As your employees return to work they may bring with them hitherto unimagined anxieties. Having negotiated the journey to work whilst observing the latest guidelines and been advised of the social distancing arrangements in the office they may still harbour concerns about the actual safety of their surroundings. Until now the role of the facilities manager was probably given little thought, unless the heating failed or the air conditioning was not functioning. For the FM manager, the adage, ‘No news is good news’, was probably a true summary of building occupants’ feedback. However, our experiences of the last few months have made us all more aware of the role of our surroundings on our wellbeing and people may now be inclined to question what is being done to ensure the safety of their working environment.
“Now is the time to ensure that your building’s services are all fully functioning. Many premises may have been operating with a skeleton staff, with entire floors unoccupied for several weeks. These checks include making sure your boiler is working safely and efficiently, no radiators have sprung a leak and that the air-conditioning is ready to kick into action when the warm weather returns;” explains Kevin Tarbox, managing director at Southern Maintenance Solutions
At the same time this might be an opportunity to look ahead and think about how you could make your premises even more comfortable for your staff. The understanding of how buildings impact on our wellbeing has been formerly recognised in the international WELL Building Standard which ‘takes a holistic approach to health in the built environment addressing behaviour, operations and design. WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.’
There are several simple and cost effective steps that can be taken; what about considering upgrading your lighting to include what is termed ‘tunable white’? This technology allows for the ‘colour’ of the lighting to to mirror those of natural daylight and as such compliments our own circadian rhythms. Secondly, the installation of an instant hot water tap in each kitchen area; no more people huddles in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil and significant reductions in both water and energy consumption.
Whilst your full systems’ maintenance may not be scheduled until later in the year, taking the time now to check key elements will not only highlight any problems, but will give you the chance to rectify them before they become more serious, costlier and have a wider impact on your already disrupted business and your anxious staff.
If you need advice or support for any of your building services then please contact Southern Maintenance Solutions.
Kevin Tarbox, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01635 33363