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opinions 20.03.14

A Treat for the Senses

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. - Paul J. Meyer

Getting the most out of your workforce is something all businesses strive to do. However, it is the facilities manager’s responsibility to ensure offices are set up and managed to foster employee well-being and productivity. For this reason, 14forty asked office workers what they felt helped them to be more productive at work.

The research, which surveyed 100 UK office workers in January and February of this year, found that almost half of them (45%) believe natural light to be the key to productive working - a finding which is also supported by previous research[1]. Coming in close second was a clutter free office, which just over a third (34%) of employees say is essential.

The survey also asked respondents who they thought was their ‘the secret office hero’. Nearly half (47%) selected the cleaner for the accolade, whilst 32% opted instead for the reception team – perhaps demonstrating the importance of having a helpful, approachable front-of-house team capable of leaving a positive impression with staff and visitors.

In short, the research suggests that the little things truly make a big difference. The results clearly demonstrate the IFM provider’s potential to offer clients sustained, cost-effective and measureable improvements in productivity, by creating environments in which their employees want to work. At 14forty we provide a single point of contact for all the services we deliver. This way we can ensure that all parties, from reception teams to office managers, are working efficiently together towards creating the most productive environment.

Steve Davies, 14forty MD, comments: “This research highlights that clutter free, light spaces are of paramount importance to employees and this is something employers need to acknowledge. With clean desks and bins being emptied being important considerations for working environments, it’s clear maintaining a well-managed space helps boost productivity. As a complement to our findings, Leesman, found that only 53% of office workers agree the design of their workplace enables them to work productively. It therefore makes business sense to create a suitable office environment that meets both the needs of the business and its employees.”

A particularly interesting finding from the survey is that only 1% of our sample of workers claimed to be in favour of hot-desking. This stands in sharp contrast with publicly available research by Regus that shows that up to 55% of desks are unused in an office at any one point, demonstrating hot-desking’s potential to lower costs for businesses as well as offering a more varied working environment. We feel there is a hugely positive message to take from this however: this offers us as FM providers the opportunity to help businesses transform their working environments to encourage more efficient ways of working and improve business profitability, whilst ensuring the needs of the employees are also met.

At 14forty, we believe in integrated FM – as a service and as a business solution. By having an overview of the overall needs of the business as well as employees’ needs, we are able to find the perfect compromise that satisfies all parties, increases employee productivity and reduces costs.

1 “Effects of Prior Light Exposure on Early Evening Performance, Subjective Sleepiness, and Hormonal Secretion”, Mirjam Münch, Friedrich Linhart, and Apiparn Borisuit, October 2011:

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