World FM Day: ten experts discuss the future of FM

GRITIT logoThe theme of this year’s World FM Day is ‘empowering people for a productive world’. To mark FM’s annual day in the spotlight, industry leaders have come together to give their thoughts on the future of the industry, from the role of technology to FM’s influence on tomorrow’s workplace.

Anthony Bennett, co-founder, Bennett Hay:

bennetthay_logo“FM is an exciting place to be at the moment because there is now the widespread acknowledgement that our industry plays a vital part in improving general morale, engagement and, of course, productivity. Discussions about workplace productivity need to be about making a building function to suit the people in it. We need to take heed of the data and the research that’s out there if we’re to act and keep moving things in the right direction.”

Gary Watkins, CEO, Service Works Group:

Service Works Group logo high res“Today’s FM has a global role, integral to increasing standards across an entire organisation. Technology will continue to be vital to achieving new heights, providing usable, accessible insight and communication, even for the non-tech savvy; laying the foundation for further innovation in the workplace.”

Cathy Hayward, managing director, Magenta Associates:

Print“FM has moved out of the boiler room, if not quite to the board room, then to the open-plan desk area just outside it. Businesses are recognising that their workplace is increasingly not just a recruitment and retention tool, but can have a major impact on the bottom line through increased engagement, morale and productivity. FM is coming of age, moving from being seen as a cost liability to a valuable asset.”

Andrew Sugars, executive director corporate development, Servest:

Servest Group“Technology, Internet of Things (IoT) and applying data into enhancing service will all be key areas of focus for driving innovation in FM. None of this, however, will replace the first fundamental basic of FM of delivering exceptional customer experiences.”

Liz Kentish, managing director, people development experts Kentish and Co:

Kentish and Co logo“FM, workplace, whatever we call it, we’re coming of age. We are now focused on ensuring our people support business objectives, as well as creating fantastic workplaces, schools, hospitals, universities and so on, which increase productivity.  I don’t mean for that to sound Orwellian – it’s not all about productivity, but we spend so much time at work that the environment must be right – and that’s where FM comes in.”

Andrew Mawson, managing director, Advanced Workplace Associates:

AWA logo rgb for white bg“As an industry, we need to embrace a scientific movement in the direction of productivity. FM needs to step up a gear by understanding the latest thinking and research – and it’s only by applying the learning that we’ll improve business performance. It’s a great challenge. We have the science, now we need to use it.”

Rachel Walton, managing director, Business Moves Group:

logo“The FM sector is moving in the right direction in terms of professionalism and standards both from a career prospective and from a sustainable business perspective. As a service provider to the industry at large I welcome the collaboration and long term partnerships that are evolving as the industry matures. These partnerships will increase and become more critical as the industry broadens the service offering and expands its remit to business. ”

Bob Taylor, UK CEO, OCS:
OCS -web“The FM of the future must continue to develop a strong customer focus, listening carefully to the client to deliver a bespoke and intelligent service. We must treat people as individuals to create a working environment in which people feel positive and motivated to be productive. Our employees are key to delivering this and FM must look beyond mandatory training, looking to more diverse learning and development activities to enable staff to maximise their potential. This must be matched with an investment in appropriate technology.”

Colin Kenton, managing director of FM services, KBR: 

logo“The Internet of Things will provide huge opportunities for the facilities management profession. It will help to create better places to work, which respond better to individual’s requirements boosting engagement and productivity. It will automate processes and respond in real time so facilities are cleaned, secured and maintained according to their needs rather than a pre-planned schedule of activity. However there needs to be a balance. FM is still all about people, and we need to be careful not to lose that human touch. You can never automate good leadership.”

Bruce Barclay, senior manager, EMEA Facilities Operations, EMC:

BlueLogoLarge[1]“To continue to drive innovation in FM, service providers need to quickly recognise the importance of trusted coopetition regarding productivity and service delivery.  This ‘One Team’ and business enablement approach enhances client service standards, which is a must in the business world today. That, combined with the increasing use of data driven decision making, will have a major impact on the future of FM”.

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