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18 January 2019
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100 not out

22 December 2015 | Martin Read

I’m really not sure quite how this has happened, but what you are reading is my one hundredth leader comment column as editor of FM World. (I know, I know – the spring of 2011 seems just like yesterday.) 

Think of this as a gift from me to you in what also happens to be our last print edition before Christmas.

But let’s turn to an end-of-year analysis first. This year has been eventful, and it is characterised in my mind by the focus on wellbeing in the workplace and the various continuing conversations about FM’s influence on the health of employees and building users. In 2016, it’s likely to remain a good area in which to hone that message about the true value of FM (a topic, by the by, which has made it into 46 of those 100 leader columns). There’s also been plenty this year on optimising individual performance, some of which - concerning inner chimps and the optimising of cognisance - you’ll see more of later in this edition.

In the outsourced service sector we’ve seen a new Conservative-only administration seeking to steal the clothes of the living wage campaign, although that policy’s medium to long-term impact – a forcing of costs on to reluctant clients – is a conversation that’s only now starting to take shape. We heard a lot before the election from service providers talking up their paying of the living wage to their own staff as well as providing living wage tender prices to clients alongside ‘best price’ alternatives – but things have been noticeably quiet on that front over recent months. Again, it’s likely to be next year before we see the impact of the steady upward march of the national living wage and how it’s reflected in client choices Interesting times indeed. 

I’d also suggest that 2015 has seen FM becoming more mainstream. Not in terms of cultural references, more’s the pity – but I’d say that on balance I’ve met more people in non-FM roles this year who truly understand what FM does in their organisation than in years past. And I’ve also been struck by the quality of some of the case studies we’ve recently published, many of them connected to the BIFM Awards process. Here again is incontrovertible evidence of the way FM can steer entire organisational ships into new and more profitable waters. You can certainly expect us to continue fighting to influence awareness of this next year and beyond. 

So that was 2015, and the end of leader column 100! Having made such a big deal of it at the start, I’m now acutely aware that, as Christmas gifts go, this one’s probably been the ‘three-pack of socks’ reality against the ‘PlayStation 4’ of expectations. But still, my thanks to anyone who got even close to reading those 100 columns over these past four-and-a-bit years.

Of much more significance, and on behalf of the entire FM World team, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The FM World Daily newsletter will publish up to and including Tuesday 22nd December, returning again on Tuesday 5th January 2016. Our next print edition will be with you on Monday 18th January.

Martin Read is managing editor of FM World