Amidst all the important yet increasingly circular discussion about the pandemic’s wider implications for the workplace - you can only take so much ‘whither the office?’ when the near future remains desperately uncertain - it’s been a sheer joy to relive the exploits of the facilities teams whose actions during These Extraordinary Times were detailed in submissions to the recent IWFM Covid-19 Response awards.
What we see in all of them is the coming together of individuals, teams and contract partners for the good of client, end-user, and wider community. In our reporting this issue we’ve afforded the four winning Covid-19 Response award winners the same status as the other people and projects judged top of class in 2020. How could we not? But here’s the thing: all the Covid-19 Response submissions deserve exposure, so you’ll be seeing us detailing the key aspects of all submitted entries in our newsletter and website (as well as extended versions of the winners’ stories that have had to be shortened to fit this print edition.)
“The submissions detail fighting spirit, character and abundant creativity”
Facilities personnel have turned crisis into opportunity, be it by reaching out to ensure the wellbeing of a local community, digging in to ensure massive programmes of change are seen through to their conclusion, or pivoting to new ways of working so that project deadlines are kept. The recurring theme is of people going outside of comfort zones or simply working incredibly hard to fulfil a newly prescribed mission target.
So much of the debate about workplace and facilities management in 2020 has coalesced recently around the return or otherwise of office workers. But in that, there are too many variables to determine a single narrative. So instead, how about one based on compassion, collaboration and sheer hard graft? A narrative characterised by the early media coverage of this sector’s Covid-19 response, from NHS Property Services to Edmonton Green Shopping Centre’s facilities team rolling their sleeves up and literally giving back to the community?
The submissions detail fighting spirit, character and abundant creativity. So as the days get darker, we’ll be adding some brightness back by putting the Covid-19 Response stories on our newsletters. See you online.