COLUMN: INSIDE FACILITY MANAGEMENT
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
In this month’s column we are taking you into the future! In the past month, several FM experts wrote about the future of our lives and work in facilities management. Not only on the long-term, but also in the near future: can we predict the future, and what is the expectation of the impact on facility management and being a facilities manager?
The impact of technology
Let’s start off with an article from Facto, written by Nick Lettink. The first and probably the most obvious change in the future lies within the field of technology. Research done by MIT shows that managers are aware of the impact of technology (90%), but only 44% of the group says that their organization is actually preparing for this change. Technology changes so quickly that it requires different skills from employees, but also a different composition of teams. Routine work will be taken over by machines or even robots and that means that complex work remains where cooperation with these technological developments will have to take place. This development therefore requires different talent with more different specializations.
This is also confirmed in the article by Jeanne Meister, partner at Future Workplace, in which she states that we will have a pool of human capital talents in the future. This pool consists of not only full-time employees, but also (or more so) flexible and virtual “on-demand employees” that complement the routine work done by machines. In addition to looking at new (types of) employees, Jeanne also writes an interesting bit in her article about developing her own employees in order to be future-proof. To be ready for an increasing digital world, employees must be given more digital literacy. This means that employees must have access to tools based on artificial intelligence for example, but also to acquire specific skills in order to be able to be access their future role.
This applies not only to the employees in the workplace but also to the board, says Meister. Organizations must build a culture in which there is a growth mindset and where the board becomes the role model for this growth. They have to coach, make people aware of the possibilities, but also inspire them, which will lead to competitive advantage for your organization in the end as well.
Employee Engagement 2.0
The article by Lettink also acknowledges the increasing wishes and needs of employees in the future. In addition to the challenges we face today, both a physical and digital workplace is becoming increasingly important, as is the social impact of the work that employees do. This means that you will have to step up your game, as employees choose their employer very wisely. Of course, we – as facilities managers – can really make a statement here by creating a one-of-a-kind workplace and social environment.
Although the entire article by Lettink is full of interesting facts, we want to end with the perception of time in the future. The generations of today have been investing more and more time into their work, but it is expected that this will change in the near future. We will start working less, as especially new generations want more free time. They also spend their time to something that has meaning to them, such as volunteering. The fact that employees will start using their time differently, that probably affects the workplace and it will be more important to have a flexible layer of staff.
Is your organization ready for the future? Are you organized in a flexible way, and already developing your employees on a personal and technological level? We are curious to hear about your experiences!