How does facilities management impact workplace productivity?


There is overwhelming evidence to support the idea that health, wellbeing and productivity of staff is significantly affected by workplace design. In particular, the role that Facilities Management (FM) organisations play in designing and maintaining the workplace is gaining attention from companies in a variety of sectors.

The British Institute of Facilities Management defines FM as: ‘The processes that maintain and develop an organisation’s services to support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities.’ Key areas include cleaning, health & safety, heating & ventilation as well as general office management.

Covering such a wide variety of processes means that effective FM is vital to the overall success of any business. It is facilities managers who are at the helm of ensuring that organisations have the most suitable working environment for employees and their activities.

FM and productivity  

There has been a great deal of research exploring the relationship between FM and productivity. A survey by Sodexo and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors revealed that 61% of respondents felt that improvements to workplace facilities had positively impacted their wellbeing at work.

Taking a closer look at how FM links with productivity, there are many little-known aspects that contribute to the productive office. For example, when deciding on the position of equipment such as printers and copiers in the office, it is up to FM managers to assess whether a specific location would hinder ease of access or become a noise disturbance to nearby staff.

Even factors such as the temperature of a workplace can seriously affect productivity rates. During one study by Cornell University, it was discovered that raising the temperature of an office from 20oC to 25oC resulted in employees making 44% less typing errors – a staggering impact.

How important is efficient FM?

As well as having the potential to directly improve productivity, FM influences several other areas of employees’ lives that together contribute to the overall output of a company. Research by Sodexo revealed that FM can help to enhance social interaction among colleagues and increase ease of efficiency in day-to-day tasks. This shows that good FM practice is crucial for employees to be able to work in a motivated, focused and effective manner.

It is clear that facilities managers have an important part to play in improving productivity, including deciding on the best products and solutions to introduce into the office environment. As part of their critical decision making role, seeking out products and solutions intended to boost employee productivity is key.

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