The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM), Liverpool Business School and Workplace Unlimited have launched a tool which they say could consign any doubts about the return on workplace investment permanently to the past.
Despite overwhelming evidence that the design of a workplace impacts the health, wellbeing and productivity of its occupants, space and its design has been stuck on the wrong side of the value equation for three decades. A lack of ‘real world’ proof of its value has allowed a reductive ‘non-core’ narrative to prevail about the workplace and facilities profession and its impact.
The Return on Workplace Investment, or ROWI Tool, is a calculator for determining the impact of workplace projects on organisational performance. It has been developed for use in high-level cost-benefit analysis assessments for new fit-out or refurbishment projects to factor in this additional value, so they no longer depend on cost alone.
The move comes three years to the week that the Institute added workplace to its name as part of an initiative to reposition the facilities management profession. Launching a new mission in 2018 the new IWFM pledged to help the profession advance from one consigned to little more than a cost centre by the aggressive outsourcing culture of the nineties, to a value creating super-connector that can help organisations achieve strategic goals including on sustainability and improved performance.
IWFM CEO, Linda Hausmanis said: “Five years ago, the Stoddart Review proved the existence of the workplace advantage and today we have the ROWI Tool which has the potential to demonstrate that advantage in real workplaces in real time.
“Workplace and facilities professionals know their own worth but until now the means of demonstrating their added value has been as elusive as the Holy Grail. Today’s publication is an important step to settle doubts about their strategic impact once and for all and to show organisations the true impact that this professional community contributes.”
Nigel Oseland of the ROWI project team said: “We commenced this project knowing that we might not find the final answer, but starting the process by exploring and collating the evidence was as important. We intended to remove the mystery around the challenge of demonstrating the return on workplace investment, and believe we have found a feasible and practical starting point.
“The work has been very encouraging and as all eyes are on the future post-pandemic workplace, we’re pleased to publish our progress so far, so we are sharing our findings, our methodology and plans for the future. Most importantly, we want to involve the profession because it is only in the practical use of any such tool that its true impact can be understood.”
Recruiting for soft FM services is proving more difficult in the post-Covid workplace. So, what can FMs do to overcome this?
Sara Bean, Editor of FMJ, and Jess Pritchard, Head of Corporate Sector at Moneypenny are joined by panellists:
- Mark Whittaker, General Manager, Thomson FM & Chair of IWFM
- Ian Wright, Soft Services Manager, University College London
- David Bauld, Group Facilities Manager, Paradigm Housing
- Nicola Lathbury, Managing Director, Hexagon FM
Together they will discuss the current skills shortage in a number of FM areas, ways to keep staff engaged in their job through brilliant culture, and how outsourcing could be a solution to the recruitment issue. Secure your place now for Thursday, 25th November at 11am.
To register click here.