Property Managers Help Boost Business Productivity
The world of work, says Craig Hean, CEO of real estate agency JLL, is shifting from rigid working hours to a more flexible working environment that includes automation and the gig economy.
From human experience, this shift can result in greater productivity for both investor clients (landlords and developers) and occupier clients (corporates). “Rather than providing diminishing returns, the changing world of work is offering investors and occupiers new opportunities to generate income; and these opportunities increasingly rely on an understanding of occupier trends,” explains Hean.
IN THE CORPORATE SPACE
“With offices continuing to be in demand, albeit in new ways, investors are beginning to look beyond the corporate occupier and towards its employees,” says Hean. The satisfaction and productivity of the people using the workspace daily are the new markers of business success and are boosting the bottom line for both occupiers and investors.
During its extensive research on workplace trends, well documented in its Workplace: Powered by Human Experience (2017) and Workplace powered by Human Experience: an investor perspective (2018) reports, JLL explored how real estate can be used to influence employee experience in the workplace. Based on 7 350 completed surveys by office occupiers, this research unearthed the ways in which companies can create and enhance engagement, empowerment and fulfilment among employees through the best use of real estate.
Hean reckons that better performing buildings mean better performing people and portfolios.
Your physical space is critically important in setting the cultural tone. “A company with a standard, corporate, ‘pleasant-but-bland’ office environment has a tough time engaging employees and thus inspiring them to support its goals. You don’t have to plaster your logo on the walls, but a great workplace should feel like the company it’s home too and be aligned with its core values.”
HOW PROPERTY MANAGERS HELP
Gregg Huntingford, CEO of property management company Spire, adds that refurbishing a workspace can create a healthier work environment and ultimately increase productivity, something that a property manager can help a company achieve. “The use of better materials and more modern ways of thinking in terms of office design can create better workflows,” says Huntingford.
In addition, he says a good property manager can also assist a company meet its green requirements by linking companies to technical experts offering the best green solutions. Green features also contribute to positive staff morale.
Head of real estate investor services at Broll, Nkuli Bogopa, says property managers have the technical skills to understand the building fabric, material and systems. “A facility manager is then able to come in and develop a planned preventive maintenance strategy to make sure equipment is well maintained, thereby avoiding breakdowns and loss of productivity. This saves costs for a company because they won’t have to fix anything,” says Bogopa. It also reduces employee stress because people don’t want to work in a building that’s constantly in a state of disrepair.
A facilities manager also puts together a proactive plan for the safety, security and health of employees to ensure the wellbeing of occupants. “This includes waste management, ergonomics, regular water quality checks and ensuring that evacuation procedures and facilities are put in place and functional, so that people can evacuate safely in the event of an emergency,” says Bogopa.