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UPSKILLING LOW-SKILLED WORKERS

Will Easton

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03 February 2020 Will Easton


It is essential to meet the demands of the workplace occupier through smarter, more efficient ways of working, says Will Easton.

I’m really enthused about the workplace conversation facing technological disruption head on. In terms of both management capacity and user experience, it is essential to meet the demands of the workplace occupier through smarter, more efficient ways of working. The current manifesto around technology should help to address these challenges. The potential is there to make real change. 

However, there is an area that may be overlooked. Our industry is propped up by the ‘boots on the ground’ often lower-skilled and lower-paid individuals at the coal face of service delivery. Without these people, we are nothing. Any ‘digital revolution’ needs to ensure these individuals are not left behind or become surplus to requirements as they have not been suitably upskilled to attend to the challenges of a modern working environment. 

There is a real opportunity for positive social, economic and environmental impact by ensuring lower-skilled, lower-paid employees are enabled to carry out tasks with more automation and are empowered through technologies. Yet, we still operate with service models that are potentially blocking these opportunities. This is all about control and trust, and as a good friend recently said to me “the less we pay somebody, the less we trust them.” 

Yes, we must ensure our operational staff do not become disconnected and isolated, but we have the tools in reach to make a defence not only to workplace users but those supporting them. Technology should benefit all and support the most vulnerable in society, not just the privileged few. Can we feed that into the current workplace technology agenda? Technology needs to be an enabler not just for a better workplace, but for better working.


Will Easton is head of workplace at the One Eighty Group