NEWS & ANALYSIS FMJ.CO.UK
THE CENTRAL ROLE OF FM HAS NEVER BEEN CLEARER
Paul Bagust, RICS Global
Property Standards Director
THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORT AND RECOGNITION
8 MAY 2020
RICS has recently
to take part in the
latest edition of the
BDO M&A Facilities
which looks at the
may impact the
FM market. The
report reveals the ways in which the Facilities
Management sector has been critical in the
provision of essential services to ensure that
buildings remain safe, secure and functional
during this unprecedented period. With very
little notice FM teams were tasked with a range
of major tasks including enacting Business
Continuity Plans, keeping critical buildings
operational and managing the sudden dispersal
of o ice-based sta to home-working.
The FM industry has met this challenge with a
huge level of commitment and real courage from
frontline sta . Such an uncertain market calls for
great agility and it is encouraging to see the FM
industry respond the way it has and in addition
show such compassion, responsibility and
According to the report, COVID-19 has resulted
in facility managers taking precautions never
seen before, with new levels of decontamination
and sanitisation to help keep safe their customers
and employees accessing facilities. FM providers
have been proactive in announcing new plans for
the return to work with sanitised o ices that are
accredited to recognised healthcare standards
that provide employees with extra confidence. It
is clear that cleaning standards must be of a high
order to reassure a returning nervous workforce.
So from an industry so o en seen as a
“Cinderella” profession – FM has taken a central
role and it is to be hoped that this recognition will
be maintained as we recover and move forward.
As we look forward to the future it is clear that
leadership teams will be under unprecedented
pressure to report on the organisational impact
of the mass mobilisation of home-working
strategies and how this will impact future
property demand and use.
There will inevitably be a huge focus on
workplace function, safety and cleanliness.
RICS has teamed up with the Leesman index,
the world’s leading independent authority on
workplace experience as part of a COVID 19
response group to create a research tool that can
be used to fully understand the experience that
newly home-based employees are having.
This data will enable us to collectively better
understand at a depth and diversity never
before possible on the impact of the dispersal
of traditionally o ice-based employees on key
metrics such as productivity and collaboration.
The Facilities Management profession will
play a huge role in all of these discussions and
will take a lead in getting people back to work,
keeping them safe and enabling an economic
In one way or
another, many of you
are on the frontline
of this pandemic. Every
day I hear stories about
the fantastic work
taking place that helps
and the country to keep
going. Whether you are ensuring healthcare
sta have a safe and optimal work environment,
maintaining and protecting premises or enabling
teams to be productive and healthy during this
national home-working experiment, you are
making a big di erence.
Like many professional bodies, we’ve been
listening intently to our members throughout this
crisis and it’s clear that they value the support of
their Institute right now. Indeed, research from
the Professional Associations Research Network
only this week found that half of professional
bodies surveyed said their members were having
di iculty paying subscriptions with a third worried
about their job prospects. Our members are our
lifeblood and that’s why IWFM is among two
thirds of bodies proactively supporting members
through this time, in a range of tangible ways.
We have been gathering some of the industry’s
pre-eminent experts to take part in a fortnightly
webinar series, ‘Navigating turbulent times’,
echoing the themes of our September conference.
We’ve been greatly encouraged by the response
to this. It highlights the importance of knowledge
sharing at this time. During each live episode, we
delve into the profession’s greatest challenges,
tackle your questions and concerns, and do our
best to guide you through the uncertainty and
challenges. For now, the frame has been COVID-19
and its impacts, but we will also look into what
the future holds, how workplace and facilities
management professionals can be the di erencemakers
in the post-coronavirus recovery, and turn
our attention to the challenges that remain when
COVID-19 is no longer the focus.
Whether a member or not, this content is free so
do visit www.iwfm.org.uk/community/events for
details. You can also catch up on past episodes by
Now to recognition. Taking a moment to
acknowledge great work can make an incredible
di erence for employees and employers alike.
It boosts morale, drives productivity and, when
done in the public eye, also puts a spotlight on
organisations and the exceptional people who
keep then running.
To help you celebrate outstanding work and
highlight it so that others can learn from your
example, we have extended the entry deadline
for the IWFM Impact Awards 2020 to midday on
With everything going on, that deadline will
approach quickly, so visit www.iwfmawards.org
today to submit your best work for our judges’
consideration. The best thing about the IWFM
Impact Awards is that the celebration does not
stop with the event. As well as showcasing the
winners on our website, social media channels
and in the media, we also continue to publicise
the winners in other ways, long a er the fact.
As an example, we recently provided an article
focused on past sustainability-themed winners for
a Facilities Show e-book, which will be released
later this year.
The Awards ceremony takes place on 12 October.
One way or another, we will be raising a glass to
our profession’s outstanding work.
Chris Moriarty, Director of Insight and