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Facility Management

New ways of working: 12 implications of an innovation society for FMs

ISS Service Futures - Implications of an Innovation Society (1)

How do FMs help companies in the innovation society mitigate competitive challenges in the next decade? By providing fundamental value to help transition the way their employees work.

Society is undergoing a paradigm shift from the industrial to the innovation society and the changes are associated with increasing pressure on leaders to continuously adapt. The struggle for organizations and their FM providers over the next decade will be to balance the needs for organizational flexibility, while, at the same time, developing new means for enabling, enhancing and measuring workers’ productivity. It is without a doubt that the rapid changes introduces significant challenges in FM responsiveness, especially in considering how they mitigate competitive challenges for companies in the next decade. Here are 12 implications for FMs to consider when faced with this paradigm shift affecting work in 2020.

Implications for FMs

1. Offer service-centric approaches: FM providers’ service concepts need to go beyond looking at the workspace as a built environment for increasing efficiency and reducing costs; FM providers need to offer service-centric approaches that reflect and support the core organization’s strategic objectives, brand, and culture at the right price point.

2. Consider flexible service blueprints: FM providers need to develop flexible service blueprints that create more valuable relationships with customers

3. Align with core organization: FM providers will not gain a seat at senior management’s table until they begin to think anticipatorily and focus on increasing their responsiveness to changes in the workplace. One way to do this is to understand the eight strategic themes that affect work towards 2020 and continuously ensuring that the workplace continues to remain aligned with the core organizations’ strategy.

4. Become storytellers: FM providers must become better storytellers and help management understand the connection between the workplace and performance. FM providers cannot assume that what is “intuitively obvious to them is as obvious to the [customer]”.

5. Engage early: FM providers need to engage with architects and office designers earlier in the project planning of buildings. When the FM market transitions towards more service-centric delivery systems, the Facility Managers of the future play a critical role in designing one that involves three key elements: intangibility, customer integration and the heterogeneity of services.

6. Use scenario planning: ISS’ four future scenarios for the global FM industry explains that FM providers should expand the use of contingency and scenario planning from technical service issues – such as maintaining services during a power outage – to non-technical events that could impact customer demands on the workplace. Such planning would justify having too much or too little space and would allow quicker response to changing needs. Non-technical events could include:

  • Core organization wins a new multi-year contract
  • Addition of several contract workers
  • Product recall
  • Travel difficulties due to transportation problems

7. Accept intangibility of services: FM providers need to understand that FM services are intangible and that they need to engage with their customers to ensure that workplace strategies remain in-line, particularly as core organizations’ strategies change and as FM services need to be modified to fit the new requirements.

8. Develop services to fit organisation: A survey of FM subject matter experts reveal 7 organisational changes that will affect the workplace in 2020, with the most prevalent response being the need for new skills and work processes. Therefore, FM providers should continue to develop more services that shift less productive activities from highly skilled to less-skilled labor or to automated solutions. This includes activities at employees’ homes, where many employees work part of their time.

9. Utilize position to understand areas of improvement: FM providers are in the ideal position to assess if the current workspace is having detrimental effects on worker productivity and satisfaction. Getting familiar with the four workplace archetypes of the future will help an FM identify value in the role.

10. Cross collaborate functions: FM providers need to collaborate with HR and IT functions to ensure that the workplace continues to serve core organisations’ shifting strategies and day-to-day needs.

11. Improve workplace reconfigurations: FM providers need to develop more efficient, cost-efficient, and less disruptive workplace reconfigurations. Here are a few ways how the Internet of Things will change the world of FM.

12. Build stronger relationship: FM providers, suppliers, and customers need to develop stronger relationships to identify potential workplace reconfiguration opportunities.

Competitive Challenges for companies for the next decade are to:

  • Create relationships of higher value that produce more benefits or reduce the number of sacrifices for customers
  • Define where value is being created
  • Identify who is capturing it

ISS Service Futures - Value networks

Do you have other implications or advice that would help FMs provide value to companies in an innovative society?

This blog post is based on ISS’ New Ways of Working whitebook.

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