Almost every day there seems to be a new research report, opinion piece or white paper discussing how employee happiness, wellbeing and agile working contribute to productive and effective working environments. It is reassuring that the property and facilities sectors are now focusing on the factors that directly affect employees, as people are the largest cost and biggest contributor to success for most companies.
When our customer Landsec relocated their headquarters from the Strand to Victoria, there was no question that they would set themselves some rigorous objectives in the delivery of a healthy and satisfying environment. The relocation provided Landsec with the opportunity to adopt a new workplace strategy aimed at bringing together different areas of the business.
Landsec decided on an approach grounded in the latest research and thinking, to adopt a new workplace strategy aimed at increasing communication, collaboration, employee wellbeing and sustainability. To achieve this, the BREEAM and International WELL Building Institute™ frameworks were adopted and the project led to the first dual certified workplace in the world to reach BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Certified™ Silver.
Facilities Services often receive little mention in achieving leading working environments but cleaning and waste services have played an important part in achieving these standards.
NJC recognised that not only would processes and procedures have to change, but our overall approach to resourcing the project would need to be different. We realised that the manner in which we briefed our on-site colleagues, and the training we provided was critical to maintaining the standards.
Our cleaning training has been tailored to the needs and protocols of the frameworks, focusing on cleaning procedures, safety and recording of information in appropriate cleaning logs. Waste has been reduced, with all our team fully trained in waste separation and recycling.
NJC has worked with the Landsec team to introduce additional cleaning protocols, including specific cleaning of all high touch surfaces (including light switches and door handles) to ensure high levels of hygiene, contributing to employee health.
Eco-labelled products have been adopted to avoid chemicals which may adversely affect indoor air quality and cause eye, nose or throat irritation, while fragrance free soap is available at all hand-wash locations.
But we do not have to take Landsec’s word on the new holistic approach achieving a better working environment. The changes have had a significant impact with a recent Leesman survey of the Landsec headquarters finding that 88% of employees felt that the new office enables them to work productively, compared to a global average of 67%. In addition, they are the second, and largest, UK workspace to be WELL Certified™.
With health, wellbeing and productivity rightly on the agenda of most companies today, we look forward to using our expertise and knowledge to partner and support other organisations on their journey.