Back in August, The IWFM, as part of its partnership with Ricoh, ran a round table event entitled ‘Customer Experience: A Conversation on Reimagining the Workplace’.
The event considered the initial reactions of the organisations represented to the coronavirus pandemic before looking to the future. Here’s how those present responded when asked about their organisation’s priorities for the next 18 months.
Antony Wiltshire, director workplace and facilities management UK and Ireland, Edelman
“We recognise that we're going to have a split working practice, where you'll have some people who will be wanting to stay home all the time, some people who want to come into the office, some people who want to come to the office one day, a week, whatever that happens to be.
“We need to revisit everybody and shore up what we're doing in terms of looking after remote workers, finding a balance to make sure everybody's safe and secure. We've actually got a lease end coming up in a couple of years’ time. We’re not wanting to plan our 10-year property strategy on the last four or five months, but this is a good opportunity for us to completely rethink offices. I believe an office is a place of collaboration where people come together and brainstorm and do the work they just can't do when they're doing one of these video calls.”
Simon Dent, IT operation manager, Ramsay Healthcare UK
”There'll be a mixture of some wanting to continue to work from home, some will want to work in the office on a more permanent basis and others will want a more hybrid agile working policy.”
Steve Johns, head of IT operations, TT Electronics
“I would expect technology to play a large part in the next 12-18 months; more meeting rooms will be converted into meeting rooms so that people can have video conferences with multiple people in the same room.
“There will be a more hybrid approach to people working in the office. I think people will start working a couple of days in the office and a couple of days at home and make it work for them. And I think from that you'll see increased efficiencies as well.”
Gary Butcher, facilities manager, Arla Foods
“We still have a lot of traditional desk space throughout our offices, and I think it's [a case of] looking at that space so we utilise it in a better way, with fewer colleagues on-site and using it either for development within our business, possibly reducing that space, using it in a different way, or reducing our portfolio.”
Tim Foster, partner, BDO Risk Advisory Services
“We are expecting wholesale transformation across a number of different sectors, and a lot of those have got substantial estates. Pubs and restaurants in the future could be looking very different. But I think this is going to impact all sectors in a variety of ways. And we want to make sure we are there to help organisations to really understand what they need to focus on.”
David Isteed, group head of property, Amey
“Our vision going forward is that we want our people to be safe and to have a choice. And greater engagement is going to be key; the days of presenteeism through management are gone.
During the hour-long event, Peter Brogan, head of research and insights at the IWFM, and Mark Ivens, marketing development manager at Ricoh, quizzed their guests on the relationship between HR and FM during the pandemic period, their long-term vision for remote working and the extent of their consultation with staff about future agile working strategies.
To watch the full event, click here.
Image credit | iStock