Following on from last months Workplace Futures event, Graham Perry Head of Building Intelligence at iSite discusses ‘The value of evidence’ in the Facilities Management White Paper 2018 – FM: Adding Value.

What does the FM sector mean when it refers to ‘value’? Given that the discipline is concerned with managing both the built environment and, in more recent years, the users of the built environment, this is a pivotal question. It is important then to first make the distinction between the way value manifests in these two areas. Value to the business or its C-suite is often explicitly financial; it is about making money and saving money; it is about shareholder returns. In a built environment context, this could mean reducing the costs of running or maintaining a building and the services within it. From a user perspective, on the other hand, value is about creating environments that enable people to work to the best of their ability, keep them healthy and happy, and make them as productive as they can be.

“Business leaders need evidence, and evidence often comes in the form of data, which is captured by technology.”

We know that in today’s environment one should benefit the other and it is possible to ensure this in a number of different ways. For example, improving the user experience within a building or workplace, such as providing good lighting, adequate heating, effective use of floor space and high-quality support services, can lead to better employee performance, which in turn can deliver more sales and greater shareholder returns. The problem, however, is that in most cases the C-suite – the gatekeeper to success or action – does not see it that way. Through our many discussions with business leaders we have found that most CEOs do not ascribe employee happiness to the value contribution of the built environment. In fact, they want to discuss profit, shareholder value and percentage contributions.

To the C-suite, value is created in four traditional areas: sales, productivity, reducing cost, and reducing risk. In facilities management, we understand that these things are not mutually exclusive. We know that the built environment can positively impact each of these areas. So what does the FM sector need to do to illustrate this symbiotic relationship?

Read the full paper here