Navigating Facilities Management in the Era of Flexible Work: Strategies and Considerations
Facilities management has always been a critical aspect of business operations, but the rise of flexible work arrangements and remote work has brought new challenges for facility managers. In the current era of flexible work, versatile and adaptable workspaces are essential for facility managers to cater to various work arrangements. This includes creating a flexible workspace that allows employees to enter and exit the office as required and designing workspaces optimized for remote work.
According to Oliver Baxter, Founder at Workplace Maven, "facilities management has undergone a significant transformation, shifting its focus from facilities-centric to user-centric." He adds, "As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some facilities management providers are exploring digital community management services to better serve their clients in remote work environments. Employees spent the COVID years tailoring their at-home work experience to fit them, like a well-tailored suit or dress and as such became very productive. When they returned to the office, they discovered that the one size fits all approach to planning workplaces does not fit them so is it any wonder they would prefer to work from home? Also, different ethnicities and people with caregiving responsibilities have a greater requirement to work outside of the office."
Another important consideration for facilities management in the era of flexible work is to invest in technology that supports remote work, such as hardware and software that allows employees to work from anywhere, as well as tools that facilitate collaboration and communication between remote teams. Companies must also manage and maintain this technology to ensure that it remains up-to-date and secure.
There are also many ways that facility managers can take to maximize their facilities management in the era of flexible work. One such technique is to adopt a data-driven approach to facilities management. Businesses can acquire insightful information about how their facilities are being used and identify areas for optimization by utilizing data and analytics.
Another strategy is to focus on sustainability and energy efficiency in facilities management. This not only helps businesses reduce their environmental footprint but also can lead to significant financial savings over time.
In the era of flexible work, businesses must assist employees by providing them with the resources and support they need to work remotely and by fostering an environment that is adaptable and flexible within the organization. Oliver added, "It’s clear that employees require greater ‘user agency’ while in the office so consider tearing down those partitions in exchange for movable walls so people can curate the environment they require in the moment. Of course, we don’t want anarchy here so there should be guidelines and guardrails in place like ‘leave the space as you find it.’ Height-adjustable desks are another great way to entice employees back into the office as many cannot afford this luxury at home."
According to a recent report by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), facilities management is becoming increasingly important in the context of flexible work arrangements. The report states that "facilities management plays a critical role in ensuring that organizations can provide flexible work arrangements that meet the needs of employees while also supporting business objectives."
In conclusion, navigating facilities management in the era of flexible work requires careful planning and consideration. Companies can optimize their facilities management and support their business objectives in the long run by creating versatile and adaptable workspaces, investing in technology that supports remote work, taking a data-driven approach to facilities management, focusing on sustainability and energy efficiency, and supporting their employees.
INFRACARE IN THE COMMERCIAL SECTOR:
At Infracare, we have a proven track record of delivering high-quality facilities management services to reputed organizations in the UAE's commercial sector. Along with highlighting our company's credibility to clients, we place great emphasis on establishing transparent communication channels to ensure mutual understanding before commencing work.