The accommodation has a major impact on the people who use it. And thus also on the results of the process that those same people are working on. By René Stevens (*)
Many management teams nowadays recognize this and act accordingly. They do this by organising Real Estate and Facility Management under the Human Resource Management department. This a good thing, because in addition to the attention to how people function and perform, it also focuses on the environment in which they must do so. The one-sided attention on ‘workplaces’ thus shifts to ‘places that work’. The crucial question here is what makes the places work for the organisation and its people. If you want to deliver custom work, you have to take the size first.
To be able to measure, there must be a standard. Only then will there be transparency and clarity. The Real Estate Norm method exists for this. This makes it possible to communicate objectively and transparently about real estate quality from the perspective of the actual users. The three initiators of the Real Estate Norm (REN), real estate broker DTZ Zadelhoff Makelaars (now: Cushman & Wakefield), project management organisation Starke Diekstra (now: Arcadis Netherlands) and real estate consultants Jones Lang Wootton (now: Jones Lang LaSalle), founded the REN Nederland foundation in 1992. In addition, I was allowed to be at the cradle.
Now, more than a quarter of a century later, I have taken over the REN foundation. My dream was and is to develop a measuring method to be able to describe the fit-for-purpose of the learn/work environment in layman’s terms. So I can regularly have a ‘performance review’ with the accommodation.
Measurement methods such as the WELL standard and BREEAM only measure specific facets like health/well-being and sustainability. The emphasis is on obtaining a (paid) certificate, assessed by external parties. The REN standard, on the other hand, is a measurement method with which own lenses are made to manage the learn/work environment.
Together with the International Real Estate and Facility Management team of Zurich Insurance Company, the REN has been completely revised to a REN 3.0. A measurement method for the real estate and facility manager 3.0, which focuses on people as users of accommodation. REN 3.0 helps to make the quality of accommodation (real estate, FM and IT) SMART so that it can be managed to realize, monitor and safeguard the desired user experience in addition to effectiveness and efficiency with the PDCA cycle.
The ultimate test of the effectiveness of the learn/work environment is the experience of those who use it. In addition to the (subjective) opinion of the users, there is also a need for an objective assessment of the actual performance of the accommodation. In this way, it can be assessed whether the intended effectiveness of the accommodation is being realized in an efficient manner on time, within acceptable risks and budget.
(*) Ir. René Stevens MBA, ATELIER V real estate B.V.
Column for SwartWorkPlace magazine. (February 2018)