Digital services company Ricoh UK has published a report that considers the impact of the pandemic on the current and future roles of workplace and facilities managers.
The report, entitled Leading Change at Work – Devising Your Digital Workplace Strategy, considers the role of four key organisational departments facilities – HR, IT, and finance & operations.
The FM section hinges on input from a variety of FM professionals who took part in one of several round table events. In discussing the future of offices, attendees spoke of how “the nuts and bolts of running an office are changing”, requiring “a huge shift in the way FMs need to operate”.
A “lack of support or buy-in from senior leaders” was seen by some as an impediment to FM helping support the return to the office, while others spoke of how employees may “need to be educated or even re-educated on what an office is, how it can and should be used”.
In addressing employees’ fear of returning to offices, technology such as facial recognition to replace touch entry points to desk booking systems to allow safe hot-spotting was mentioned, as well as the need to reinforce the value of these services to office users.
Offices, the report concludes, should be seen as “a new type of hardware instead of where hardware lives”, with office space reshaped and remodelled to enhance its new purpose (“to develop an office structure that works for your business, you must first establish what a successful productive office means to you”.)
The report’s FM section concludes with three recommendations:
- 1. Leadership: Taking an active approach
- 2. Analysis: Use data to inform decisions
- 3. Understanding: Use culture to lead change
The full report can be found here. (Business contact details required to view.)