Facilities Show focuses on wellbeing

The Facilities Show plays host to some 11,000 facilities management professionals, acting as a platform to network, discuss and learn in mid-June each year, and the Magenta team were of course up in full force this year, meeting familiar (and new) faces, engaging in the content and visiting clients.

A definite focus for the show this year was wellbeing, and how could it not be? (With recent efforts to bring the topic to light). With multiple talks and panel discussions scheduled across the three days, organisations of all scales and individuals from a whole host of backgrounds came together to pick apart mental health in the workplace, and what can be done to help support it.

Kicking off the first day with a not-so-PC-bang, keynote speaker for the day Ruby Wax delivered an hour-long presentation with energy, charisma and comedic value uncharacteristic of a typical trade show. She opened her presentation with a powerful message: “Being stressed is fundamentally different from being mentally ill. I cannot say this enough. It’s literally as different as being pregnant, or not. 1 in 4 people have it, it’s a literal disease that you can see in your brain. Being stressed, is not. Both are equally as important, but both require totally different approaches.”

Wax continued: “Trying to deal with mental ill-health at crisis point is like walking into a gym for the first time and trying to lift 200lbs. It just can’t happen. You have to work for it, manage it, and keep on trying.” Speaking from her personal experience, Ruby passionately (and hilariously) expressed the need for employers to be able to spot, support and encourage those suffering with mental ill-health.

Across the rest of the show, other debates broached mental health at work. From the impact of sleep to designing for wellbeing, the future of FM and bringing in wellness initiatives into business, the content at the Facilities Show 2018 truly reflected the state of the industry at present.

As always, a multitude of topics and industry-relevant discussions took place across the three days around the ExCel, the show’s home for a fourth year. Namely – ‘managing the cultural shift that comes with flexible working’, a panel debate with participants from WhereWeWork, Active FM, Heritage Lottery Fund and Ricoh, and looking at the ‘workplaces of the future’ with Active FM again, BMA, BRE and Anabas.

Bringing the second day of the event to a close was the Young Managers Forum’s (YMF) launch of the 2018 Young Leader of the Year award, where previous winners Andrew Hulbert of Pareto FM, Candy Hollingham of ISS and Antony Law of Churchill shared their experiences and advice to hopeful winners of the year’s awards. Magenta is working closely with the YMF this year to support the scheme, so keep your eyes peeled for the M-People at upcoming events!

While the exhibitors were diverse and sometimes impressive, the real pull for many attendees was the opportunity to learn, debate and discuss with fellow FM professionals. It was fantastic to see so many Magenta friends and clients exhibiting, speaking, networking – and as always, we look forward to attending next year!


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Ben Keeley