Most organisations continue to grapple with the headwinds of Covid-19 with many just entering the fourth phase of the crisis; emerging from lock-down and moving into re-occupation. Our more enlightened customers are starting to consider what the world will look like in a post pandemic world. They are re-imagining their strategies and considering their estate models. To help in that process we have looked at the emerging mega-trends, building on our estate maturity IDEA model, mapping out some steps that you may wish to consider to emerge confidently and stronger from the crisis.
Re-aligning to the Next Normal
Society, the economy, our relationship with technology, the way we choose to work, and our use of and need for our property estates will see continuous transformation in the post Covid world. What will this mean for property and facilities management professionals and how can those with an eye to creating future advantage start to utilise these emerging trends to improve their long run success?Learn More
The rise of facilities management professionals
Everyone has been struck by the incredible burden placed upon a small proportion of society to get us through the pandemic. From health and care workers to food retailers, distributors and utilities staff, we have seen a change in recognition of the role that they play in society. One such category within that group of heroes have been the facilities management professionals who have kept buildings operating, plants running, sites clean and safe, and substantially more.
Technology and IoT
Covid-19 has presented many challenges, from rapidly designing and implementing new working practices, through managing working lives during lock-down, and finally to implementing the new working environment. Technology has been an important enabler during these times, so how do we continue to leverage and build upon what we have done to date? We see three technological trends worthy of consideration, which are broken down as follows:
- The Internet of Things (IOT) – Offering a wide gambit of applications, which in turn can be utilised in stand-alone mode or be integrated into other data sets to produce effective ‘data insights’.
- Tools to support remote working and virtual interaction – We are all becoming used to applications such as MS Teams, Zoom, SharePoint, Google Hangouts, to name just a few, and these tools will become more ubiquitous. Questions around infrastructure, security, management and integration need to be addressed.
- Health and Wellbeing of all workers (remote & office based) – The environment in which we work is important in terms of productivity as well and health and physical wellbeing. How can technology help?
Estate risk management
Very closely linked to estate and facilities management are the real and present challenges that top executives are wrestling with around risk management. Whilst most will or should know about the need for appropriate risk assessments and method statements, it is unlikely that the level of focus and conscious need to protect estate users has ever been so high.
Our work at Bellrock has always centered around managing and reducing estate risk. We foresee that even if a vaccine is found, colleagues’ perceptions of estate risk will now continually be in an elevated state. In reaction to this, we expect a number of trends to persist.
The property as a meaningful destination
With the increased potential for staff to access technology and work from home, and the greater societal demand for better safety around larger gatherings, the use and design of significant parts of our estate infrastructure will need to be rethought.
Global warming and energy management: The long term priority
Whilst not linked directly to Covid, the enforced lock-down period has made people become acutely aware that through lower fuel usage, a reduced carbon model may be more possible than they thought.
This pressure, through legislative and societal forces, will continue to grow. From an estate perspective, there was already a drive to lower energy usage, from cultural programmes to capital projects like LED replacement.
Putting this all together
The 2020 Covid-19 outbreak will be seen in the future as a watershed moment in most aspects of all our lives. From health and safety, to society values, to the economic model of the future, most aspects of life will be changed forever.
Estate strategies need to evolve to reflect these changes. For professional property and facilities management managers, this is a huge opportunity to become front and centre of an organisations strategic reset.
Using the IDEA model to plot your way to the next normal
In order to exploit the opportunities presented by the emerging trends, the central requirement is to build and maintain excellent digital estate data and link that data to your estate activities and outcomes.
Plotting asset use, capacity, asset lifecycle and managing intelligent IOT devices remotely maximises the use of technology in improving your estates effectiveness. The journey to build this picture and the stages of improvement you may expect are mapped out within our Integrated Digital Estate Assets (IDEA) model.