WHY FACILITY MANAGEMENT IS THE MOST EXCITING CAREER
‘’The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new’’ – Socrates
Facility Management is always focussed on building the new; and what a better time for facility managers to do exactly that! If we look at the definition of our beloved profession: Facility management (FM) is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology - (IFMA). Facility Management is one of the most dynamic and exciting professions. How?
People are constantly changing. Whether it is the change in the calibre and type of people you are serving or a change in the preference of the individual, facility managers need to keep abreast with these changes, in-order to be successful in their careers. Majority of workspace users are millennials, with Gen Z being the latest entrants. Facility Managers need to incorporate this demographic together with the baby boomers who are still in the workplace. It is the role of facility managers to make sure that the current occupants of the workplace are comfortable and that the works space is functional. Failure to do so, organisations will not attract and or retain the right talent, there will be reduced productivity and in turn, the much needed profitability the business.
The last 10-20 years have seen a steep change in the workplace and this is just about to be accelerated by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Whether the change is in terms of space planning or the actual components and materials used in the workplace, there is never a dull moment in facility management. The place has just about changed once again with remote working! It is the role of facility managers to create a results oriented workplace environment wherever the staff is working from by providing the required resources and support needed. Staff working remotely need to feel as part of the organisation wherever they are.
The process of facility management is constantly evolving as the people, place and technology change. Processes that facility managers employ have changed drastically with the help of technology. The benefits construed being better quality work within the shortest time possible; thus giving facility managers time to concentrate on other duties. The way of doing things have changed over time. How to clean, measure space, conduct security inspections; even how and where we work, have all changed from how we did things previously.
Technology is the driver all dynamism. Technology has also brought about improvement in the materials and quality of surfaces, appliances, gadgets, security features just to mention but a few. We have suddenly found ourselves forced to work remotely which has been made possible by technology. IOT had enabled us to run our facilities even when we are working from home or remotely. Building automation is expected to undergo a massive explosion in the bid to keep workplaces healthy. Facility managers hence should keep up with the pace of technological developments affecting the workplace and adopt what works for their organisation.
Given the above, am more convinced now, than ever, that Facility Management is more about people than built environment. Facility managers need to be agile and particularly at these times. The change we are experiencing is just an acceleration into what would have happened. Facility management is no longer about routine tasks but an exciting and dynamic profession that is constantly changing with the times.
Atlanta Wamahia, Founder AFMN and MD at Adroit Facilities Limited