Increasingly, more people are choosing where and when to work and what to look for in those chosen workspaces.
As a result, facilities managers have a role to play in enabling positive work experiences at the same time, adopting facilities strategies that enhance performance.
Richard Flame, Director for Facilities Management at Broll Property Group says: “Smart organisations understand that their primary goal is to enhance the performance of their people … Not surprisingly, well thought through workplace designs can be powerful tools to supporting performance.”
He explains that at Broll Facilities Management, the focus is the co-ordination of and functionality of the client’s workspace thus allowing the client to focus on their business.
However, as the industry changes and clients become more savvy when it comes to choosing what kind of space they want to occupy, it has become important that facilities managers have strategies in place that enhance organisational performance, health, wellness and enabling positive experiences.
A recent CBRE report entitled: Top trends in facilities management – reveals how society, demographics and technology are changing the world of FM. Of the 10 key trends noted, collaboration, the smart workplace and the multi-generational workplace are becoming increasingly important for many organisations globally.
According to the report, by 2020, Gen Y will make up half of the global workforce, as a result, organisations will have to balance the needs of different generations of employees. Smart technology influences the way people work and where they choose to work and this has an impact on real estate and FM sectors. There is a greater opportunity to enhance the end-user experience with convenient tailored services. The smart workplace provides facilities managers a chance to gain insights in order to drive operational efficiencies and manage costs.
The CBRE reports shows that 25 billion connected things will be in use by 2020 up from 4.9 billion in 2015. Smart buildings with lights, sensors, windows, HVAC units, doors and CCTV integrated into a network will be increasingly common.
These facilities strategies ultimately contribute to enabling positive experiences, says Flame. Workspaces should provide informal spaces and pause areas that accommodate work and casual communication while fostering informal collaboration and innovation.
Providing technology that allows workers to connect and collaborate more effectively in person and virtually. These will include tools such as a mix of teleconference, video conference, web conference, instant messaging, social media and other tools to enable different teams to communicate in the way they work most easily.
The inclusion of pause areas also encourages employees to interact on a regular basis as they can continue with their work if needed, wherever they maybe within the building as long as there are technology tools enabling them to do so.
“Life stage is a more important driver of demand for factors such as flexibility workspace designs and leading employers are recognising the need to take a holistic approach to when, where and how their employees work.”
Flame says whatever the generation, when it comes to delivering new workplace strategy organisations need to do it well if they want it to succeed, and even then, leadership and change management is critical.
The role of FM has evolved as the needs of clients change with an increase in the development and use of technology and changing attitudes to the workplace.
“In future, the role of facilities managers will include among others having facilities managers who are both strategic thinkers and innovators if they are to successfully incorporate facilities strategies that enhance performance, health, and wellness as well as enabling positive experiences within an organisation,” adds Flame