What is the quality of work life per square foot of your workplace?  Business owners and senior leaders often look to a number of measures or metrics to determine operating costs and how their business is doing financially. Facility costs are often measured on the basis of costs per square foot. But how do you measure the impact of the work environment on your employees?

Debra Dailey, Vice President of Workplace Experience Strategy for Sodexo Corporation has coined the phrase equality of life per square foot to help leaders and facility managers think about the value of the work environment in relationship to employee behavior and performance. The work environment consists of the physical environment, the social environment, the operational environment and the organization’s culture and climate.

It is well established that the workplace environment impacts employee behavior and performance which, of course, contribute to organizational performance. In Dailey’s model, the work environment is a key driver and enabler of employee well-being, becoming a major influencing factor necessary to make both the employee and the company successful. With four to five generations in workplaces today, employers need to meet and manage a broader range of employee work needs and experiences. How many different generations are at your workplace?

The term “quality of life” references the general well-being of the individual and society. Individual quality of life indicators include: wealth, employment, the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation, leisure time and social belonging. Stated simply, quality of life refers to an individual’s total well-being.

Dailey’s quality of life per square foot formula is based on three fundamentals:

  1. The health and well-being of the workforce are inextricably linked to the productivity of the workforce and productivity is linked to employee engagement. Engagement and productivity are therefore linked to the health of the organization. The better the work experience, the higher the level of engagement and the better the performance.
  2. Employees are a resource to be invested in, not a cost to be managed.
  3. It is possible to measure the value derived from investing in employees and the work environment.

The work environment is certainly an area over which the business owner and leadership have much control. How do you perceive the work environment you are providing your employees? How do you think your employees would describe their work environment? Ask your employees what they think and find out if your perspective matches that of your employees.

You can access a copy of Dailey’s white paper The Quality of Life per Square Foot Approach to Real Estate here: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/59261’sodexo’workplace’trends’

William McPeckWilliam McPeck, MSW, CWWPC, WLCP

Bill McPeck is a Workplace Wellness Centre of Excellence, Inc. Associate. Bill is a Certified Wellness Culture Coach, Worksite Wellness Program Consultant and Work-Life Professional. He is available to help you with all your employee wellness, safety, work-life and well-being needs. Contact Bill with your questions, comments, or concerns at 207-355-1203 or williammcpeck@gmail.com