The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has been included for the first time on the Top Workplaces list compiled by the Houston Chronicle. The annual list, which was compiled this year following a survey of more than 68,000 Houston-area employees, ranked IFMA 63rd in the small business category. The Houston Business Journal reports that there are more than 100,000 small businesses like IFMA in the Houston area.
“The impact of the built environment on workplace satisfaction is one of the foundational aspects of the facility management discipline,” said IFMA President and CEO Tony Keane, CAE. “The positive results we have been able to achieve with IFMA’s new Service Center of Excellence is not a matter of luck or chance. It is the end result of a carefully planned and executed effort to wield the office as a tool to boost employee performance and satisfaction. On behalf IFMA, I want to thank the Houston Chronicle and WorkplaceDynamics for this tremendous honor.”
IFMA’s inaugural ranking comes just months after a landmark relocation within Houston from Greenway Plaza to a new facility, dubbed the Service Center of Excellence (SCOE) in Memorial City. A scientific survey of IFMA employees suggests that the new SCOE has played a central role in improving the work environment. Overall workplace satisfaction in the new location is 80%, a significant increase from the previous location. According to a 2011 IFMA Workplace Performance Study, the average level of workplace satisfaction is 59%.
The most apparent difference between the current workplace and the previous one is the dramatic reduction in size. Compared with the space at Greenway Plaza, the new facility has just half the rentable square footage (down from 22,000 to 11,000) and nearly half the usable square footage (down from 15,710 to 9,949). The per-person space reduction from 302 square feet to 191 square feet combined with increased internal and external staff mobility has had a positive impact across variety of important workplace metrics, including an increased perceived ability to collaborate among managers, employees, and remote workers.
These results, combined with the Houston Chronicle Top Workplaces listing, challenge the conventional wisdom that bigger is better for the workplace. In fact, in some situations, the opposite appears to be true. This is just one of the many facets of effective facility management put into action by IFMA in the new space.
“If you look at organizations where collaboration and teamwork are important, you’ll often see them utilizing smaller, more flexible spaces,” said Keane. “This applies to everything from locker rooms for athletic teams to barracks for soldiers. When it comes to facility management, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Each decision has to be shaped by specific circumstances. That being said, some organizations are discovering that they can achieve better results with their facilities by reducing their size. It’s a formula that has worked well for IFMA.”
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