20 March 2020 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management has published new guidance to help the profession deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
The IWFM has collaborated with its Risk and Business Continuity Management SIG to bring together advice and resources to help facilities managers.
The advice says, "best practice in risk and business continuity management requires those with responsibility for safeguarding their colleagues and the public to stay informed and up to date".
The institute said: "It doesn't claim to be a definitive guide to everything, but rather a prompt on some key issues."
"We live in challenging times. In the space of a week our daily routines have changed dramatically. As workplace and facilities managers, you are among the principle agents for managing an organisation's response to issues like coronavirus. You have most likely been working flat out in recent weeks, helping your workplaces, colleagues and loved ones to adapt at pace.
"We've been adapting too. On Monday we took the difficult decision to move our national conference back by six months - to 25 September - and have since postponed a number of regional events and face-to-face training courses.
"We've closed head office until at least the end of March, but we are fully operational and very much open for business and continue to stand ready to support your professional development in any way we can throughout these testing times."
The IWFM said facilities managers "are responsible for many of the levers which can create a great workplace experience, whatever the setting".
Following the outbreak of Covid-19, some organisations will be trialling remote working for the first time at scale, realising the benefits as well as understanding the challenges of prolonged remote collaboration, and discovering new approaches that can be applied in a 'business as usual' state.
The institute said: "You can enable and support work which can help maintain and even increase productivity, support positive cultures, and demonstrate positive impacts on health and wellbeing.
"The preparatory work we at IWFM have carried out in recent years has enabled us, with little notice, to activate home working with great efficiency. Like any business continuity approach, it only works if you plan for any possibility."
See the guide here.