Finding the right way to deliver a superior customer experience and maintaining public health from within your facilities can be challenging. During the current public health climate, your business needs to take an active role in ensuring the safety of all building occupants. Fortunately, advancements in facility management and maintenance strategies, including integrated management services, are naturally attuned to the need to improve building occupants' health. As explained by Jude Chakraborty and Kaitlyn Gillis of FacilitiesNet, “we spend more than 90 percent of our time indoors and the impact of building design and operations on human health is well documented. In an age of competitive commercial real estate markets, creating a differentiator is a necessity for building owners and facility managers.” To improve the safety of your facility, take the time to know the challenges, solutions, and best practices for improving public health without leaving your facility.
Challenges in Improving the Public Health From Within Your Facility
Significant challenges surround the issue of public health and the safety of your facility. Public health is both a politicized and charged topic, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the differences in the country, as well as brought the country together to face a grand crisis. Instead of hoping for the best, facilities managers need to first recognize the challenges they face, including:
- New regulations and requirements for maintaining a distance between building occupants and visitors.
- Limited information on how certain pathogens may spread, which requires a more in-depth approach to infection control.
- Pushback from guests and staff because of those changes.
- Lack of technology to measure if your improvements have a positive effect on the safety of your facility.
Improved Indoor Environmental Influences and Sanitation Protocols Have a Positive Impact on Occupant Health
Your facilities must not get caught up in the essential versus nonessential debate. Instead, make a difference by implementing improvements that naturally lead to improved quality of health for your building occupants. Most primarily, focus on things you can control, such as sanitation practices, maintenance of building assets, reducing risk for injuries to occupants, and informational awareness. Think about it. If you take an asset and add a water feature, long wait times might suddenly seem to pass faster for guests. If you add new filters, your HVAC system can thoroughly ventilate the facility and expel potential pathogens for disbursement into the outdoors, where they pose little risk. If you maintain electrical and plumbing systems, the risk of an overflowing toilet decreases. It’s all about making small improvements and gaining end-to-end visibility that will benefit the public health and safety of your facility.
Best Practices for Boosting Public Health From the Comfort of Your Facilities
Of course, any plan for improving the health of your building occupants should translate into improved public health. To narrow down the plan of action, simply follow these steps:
- Focus on the physical need for clean, well-kept facilities, emphasizing hospitality over service, says Stormy Friday via FacilitiesNet.
- Emphasize your adherence with all guidelines during seasonal illnesses, potential health outbreaks, and instances of lower air quality.
- Stop wasting resources trying to find problems that are clearly evident for those with access to asset data.
- Design your buildings with occupant health in mind, reducing the use of potentially hazardous chemicals or materials, creating temperate indoor atmospheres, and maintaining a properly functioning HVAC system.
- Address all potential health hazards resulting from unplanned maintenance needs immediately.
- Use a computerized maintenance management system to track and handle work orders remotely, limited risks by reducing disruption to building guests.
- Collect and analyze data to ensure the tip-top condition of your assets, particularly those involved in maintaining indoor air quality.
- Remember the value of aesthetics on emotional, mental health too.
Be Part of the Solution to Public Health Crises With Proactive Safety Protocols in Your Facilities
A symbiotic relationship exists between public health and maintaining the safety of your facility. Always know the facts, and shy away from the politically charged issues. However, you must act now to implement the processes and practices needed that will improve occupant health throughout the current crisis and those yet to come.