Workplace and facilities management is a transformative and enabling profession which adds value to organisations and communities in a variety of key areas. While this has been true for decades, it has been highlighted in recent times by major issues affecting the globe.
Crucial actions relating to the sustainability agenda and climate change, such as helping organisations meet net zero targets and improving energy usage, fall squarely on our profession; meanwhile, the pandemic has seen our profession rise in prominence by maintaining buildings during lockdowns, enabling the swift, safe and effective transition to working from home, and supporting the medical industry in providing care to infected patients. Chris Jeffers, an IWFM Fellow and Head of Facilities Management Advisory at Mott MacDonald, had this to say of his experiences supporting the famous Nightingale hospitals project in 2020:
‘Without the world class care and expertise of the clinical teams, more people would have died of COVID-19, but without the professionalism and dedication of the facilities and estates teams, the clinical teams could not have performed to such a high level.’
Although the impacts of COVID-19 are still with us, workplace and facilities management also has an unprecedented opportunity to enhance its strategic contribution as the country regains its economic vigour and we all build back better.
For example, the workplace expertise which enabled the seamless mass shift to home-working in March 2020 is now helping organisations to reframe their workplace strategies, which may include a permanent change to hybrid working after employees and employers alike have experienced the benefits.
As custodians of the workplace and controllers of some of the key levers that drive organisational performance, workplace and facilities managers are also uniquely placed to drive sustainability outcomes and deliver net zero targets. From workplace optimisation to energy efficiency to recycling and waste management, facilities professionals can play a major role in helping organisations take meaningful action.
IWFM’s 2021 Pay and Prospects research evidenced that qualifications increase the likelihood of advancement in organisations. So, if the workplace is going to reach its true potential as a productivity enhancing tool with FMs as its primary agents, you must have the right skills to realise this game-changing potential.
To help you stay on top of your profession or even start a new one, in January we are offering 20% off all IWFM Academy face-to-face, live virtual training and online courses and IWFM Direct qualifications booked by 31 January 2022. Find out more at www.iwfm.org.uk/professional-development or email firstname.lastname@example.org.