Facility executives until now have been through multiple stages of planning the Workplace for Employees and the features and protocols defining a safe, productive, and welcoming Workplace for Employees and visitors alike. Each organization is present in its place on the reopening zone after the COVID-19 forced everyone to go indoors.
Almost 60 percent of the world is open now, and many people return to a regular work routine. However, the schedule is staggered, and a lot more are still planning to come back to work this fall.
A common thread is that flexibility in this matter is key. It relates to health and safety. Moreover, the term also refers to the configuration of workspace, remote working chances, and technology needed for navigating data and long-term operation.
The broader challenge here is the onset of the hybrid workplace. Here employees can be working both on the site and remotely. What sets the difference? The fact that they won’t be working on schedules identical to each other.
Organizations that already had remote working in place were able to adjust more quickly compared to those finding offsite working as something new. Yet, the adjustment is across the board, even for those who had some offsite scheduling in place before the pandemic started.
Hence, looking ahead, bringing employees back to work at the office, connecting those who are offsite, and ensuring facility spaces are effectively used, and improving the overall real estate footprint are the real goals to be achieved.
Experts working at various operations and maintenance companies in Saudi Arabia find this paramount as facilities need to be in top-class shape.
According to Cheryl Carron, lead for global operations, experience services, and facilities management for JLL, we will expect to see a hybrid workplace in the future, one where facility managers will forecast user demand in advance with the help of advancement in technology. The use of sensors and AI will help us garner deep insights into user demand, helping facility managers predict utilization, allocate resources and amenities way in advance, reducing redundancy and shortages. This will help organizations create more excellent value for customers.
What new books have been published by the IFMA Foundation?
In a new book to be published this summer by the IFMA Foundation titled “Work on the Move 3: Building Better Workplaces After the Pandemic “; industry thought leaders are working together with facility management professionals for the provision of top-class guidance.
The concepts the book has shared are done so to help executives and managers in the facility management realm lead their companies through a critical workplace transformation in a post-pandemic world.
The role of facility management
Facilities teams have been central in this rejuvenation and overhaul happening since the early part of 2020. This role won’t change, and no expectations for it to change too. As observed by Cheryl Carron of JLL, the role of a facility manager is crucial. Their most critical muscle is their natural ability for multi-tasking, which required much exercise over the pandemic.
Daily and even hourly changes to protocol and space guidelines challenged these professionals to divert, pivot, modify, and re-write operations plan entirely. However, embracing the unexpected was the result of enhanced development in both critical thinking and innovation.
According to Cheryl Carron:
“Equally, resilience became another notable skill. Facility managers were restrategizing plans and determining areas of risk, as they became laser-focused on resiliency beyond the traditional boundaries. This will be an ongoing positive outcome that will benefit the workplace going forward.”
Be it adopting new tech tools or expanding upon existing systems; facilities professionals are also discovering the capabilities of software platforms for workplace management. The most successful organizations combine the most cutting-edge technology and an adaptive culture with agile processes and methodologies. Such organizations leverage the resiliency and knowledge of facility managers to help implement burgeoning technologies into the physical space for better allocation of resources and enhanced productivity. Facility managers are indubitably helping to create safe environments that address employees’ concerns and facilitate a return back to work. In short, facility managers are instrumental to employee productivity and comfort.