Waste and Inefficiencies as Identified by Dalhousie University Facilities Management Staff
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This research project aimed to survey Facilities Management (FM) staff on the Dalhousie Studley campus in order to gauge their perceptions of waste and inefficiencies on campus. The survey was conducted using a hard copy paper survey which was distributed to break rooms and other areas where FM people would likely be present. The survey was comprised of seven questions in total that asked about things such as waste, water use, and energy efficiency. The questions were designed in a way to allow respondents to offer suggestions and opinions based on observations made while working. The total population for this study was 219 employees, meaning a sample size of 140 respondents was required in order to achieve a confidence interval of 95%. Limitations and flaws in the study design resulted in only 15 respondents completing the survey. A number of challenges lead to this low response rate, including things such as communication and advertising issues. Despite the low response rate, some interesting results were still collected. When respondents were asked if they believed electricity was used efficiently on campus, 60% of respondents said no. When respondents were asked if they believed water was used efficiently on campus, 46.7% said no and 40% said yes. Since the sample size for the study was so low, these responses are not statistically significant, nor generalizable to the entire population, but they do point to some interesting opinions that could be looked into further by future research in this area. Overall, this survey of the FM staff at Dalhousie could be improved if further research is done on this population of people. We recommend that staff are surveyed using an online format in order to increase the response rate. We would also recommend communicating directly with both staff and supervisors in order to advertise the survey and inform staff of the purpose of the research.