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Lockdown Opportunities – Time To Reflect? 

Lockdown Opportunities – Time To Reflect? 
15 April 2020 | Updated 15 May 2020

The pandemic has meant a lot of parts of our lives have come to a standstill, and the facilities and workplace management sector is no different. Some are facing huge personal and financial difficulties, those working in essential areas are working longer hours and we are all having to, in some way, adapt to this temporary new way of life.

In the first of a four-part series of opinion pieces, co-authored by FM professionals Scott Fortune and Mike Green, the future of facilities and workplace management post-pandemic is explored.

Mike Green is a seasoned construction and FM professional, with thirty-eight years experience specialising in FM building services, consultancy and contracting.  Green is also a committee member of the CIBSE FM Group and Chair of the Central London Maintenance Association.

Scott Fortune is an Interim Facilities Director and Transformation Leader with over twenty years of experience across B2B, B2C, FM, banking, transport, public, consulting, SME and corporate sectors.

"You are more than subject matter specialists, that keep the client safe, secure, clean, warm and out of prison. You are the change agents and the controllers of vast information, a multi-skilled workforce and cutting edge FM technology."


Time to reflect and change?


The enforced COVID19 lockdown has given FM managers across the globe the opportunity to finally stop, reflect, re-energise and capitalise on the silence of a closed call centre, the 3,000 man-hours a week creating reports, defending amber and red KPIs and balancing Planned Preventative Maintenance and Reactive Maintenance jobs, not to mention the whims of your clients.

For the first time in any facilities manager or supplier’s working life, we now have been given the chance to reflect and the time to change.

At this time of imposed house arrest, and whilst our clients are a lot less demanding, we have the opportunity to completely review the client’s asset data, capitalise on the knowledge pool and drain the operational data cesspool of bad procedures. We can wipe the slate clean and go back to basics.

Over the course of several articles, we will explore what we can do to be prepared for a future that will be completely different from what we left behind.


What does the future hold?


We know the FM industry and our clients’ requirements are likely to be significantly different post-COVID-19. But we do not have the detail, insight or crystal ball to depict the future of what exactly that will be. Maybe, now is the time to take advantage of this unexpected opportunity of change. We can do this by capitalising on the availability of the monumental knowledge bank (within our staff) to prepare our businesses for that return. A return to whatever the future landscape and client operations might be.

Once the lockdown lifts, the Jurassic world we return to (our clients’ world) will be looking to us for guidance, support and no doubt a massive reduction in contract value! This is the time to show the client what you can do, that you are not just another supplier working along the contracted lines.

Now is the time to become the trusted partner, the one-stop shop for property related matters, and ultimately a partner of choice and not just a partner out of contract requirements.


A whole new world of drivers and outcomes


You are more than subject matter specialists, that keep the client safe, secure, clean, warm and out of prison. You are the change agents and the controllers of vast information, a multi-skilled workforce and cutting edge FM technology. Technology that will no doubt help to steer the client through the uncharted waters of the post-Coronavirus workplace. 

Remote working will probably be the biggest ticket item on the agenda. IT has been race tested in the field and has now achieved proof of concept. The technology works. It is likely that home working will become more usual in the commercial workplace world and space requirements in volume and type will change completely. Consequently, we will be expected to support a whole new world of drivers and required outcomes.

During the course of these articles, will be assessing the impact on businesses and how best for them to capitalise on the outcome and lessons learnt.

Picture: A closed sign hanging from a window

Article written by Mike Green and Scott Fortune | Published 15 April 2020


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