Wednesday 12 May 2021 is World Facilities Management (FM) Day, a Global FM initiative that shines a light on our dynamic industry and the many hard-working professionals across the field. This year’s theme, ‘Standing Tall Beyond the Pandemic’, recognises that FM teams have been called upon like never before, with unforeseen demand for resilience, compliance, flexibility and adaptability.
Over the past year, the FM profession has been in the spotlight for enabling the built environment, business and society to be open and transparent in an often shuttered and closed world. Now, FM teams are standing ready to meet the challenges of our new post-pandemic reality. Scott Meertens, our Head of Workplace Experience, shares his thoughts on the current state of FM, and the ways in which facilities managers will enable the post-COVID recovery over the next 12 months…
“Throughout the pandemic, C-suite executives increasingly looked to their FM providers for guidance and assurance on workplace safety. As a result of the increased focus on the workplace, the strategic importance of the holistic workplace environment has been highlighted. Now, greater emphasis is on planning, curating and delivering superior workplace experiences for staff as a way of kickstarting post-COVID operations and delivering on cultural goals.
Looking forward, an economy with increased growth and tighter labour markets will make attracting and retaining the best talent progressively challenging. In such an environment, workplace experience matters. Facilities managers will play a crucial and expanding role in the delivery of this strategic advantage by improving the workplace experience, while services will continue to move from being reactive and planned to predictive, analytical and data based.
The skillsets of ‘typical’ facilities managers will shift from technical to relationship based.
Data collected from smarter buildings will help FMs embed improvements that go far beyond just ‘keeping the lights on’. This exciting evolution of the profession creates career paths for existing professionals while attracting new talent to the industry. Data scientists, management consultants, systems administrators and retail and hospitality staff are a few of the many professions that could readily make the transition into FM.
COVID-19 has created an opportunity for the FM industry to stand tall and demonstrate the value it adds.
As the industry continues to automate and utilise the power of recent property technology advancements propelled by COVID, its value will only increase. Through our newly launched Global Innovation Portal, BGIS aims to contribute to the industry by harnessing and developing best-in-class ideas, as well as investing in our most important resource – our people. Providing opportunities to develop new skillsets and delivery opportunities, our Global Innovation Program will ensure BGIS remains a trusted advisor and strategic enabler for our clients well into the future.”
By Scott Meertens, Head of Workplace Experience