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FM Events


“Rather than stereotyping generations,


we should focus on the individual,” Miles said. “Solutions should be geared towards personality type and not age.”


Professionalisation & personal development It should not be forgotten that productivity comes in other forms, too. In the case of facilities managers, much of their effectiveness comes from the skills, knowledge and confi dence they posses as individuals. The BIFM SIGs exist to engage with


Productivity


Whether the focus is on staff of FM service providers or the end users of organisations who benefi t from FM services, wellbeing’s link to productivity was another key trend to emerge from conference debates in 2015. While this may seem far too fl uffy an idea at fi rst, some organisations have strong evidence to suggest that by providing people with everything they need in a working environment – both physically and psychologically – the organisation will see fundamental improvements and, most importantly, achieve better results. At the Workplace Week Convention, Eric Barends, a man who deals quite literally in proof as Managing Director at the Centre for Evidence Based Management, put forward the concept of a ‘cognitive workplace’. Extensive and available research, he said, shows that the most productive workspaces take into account everything from nutrition, hydration, exercise, cognitive stimulation, noise, speech, lighting, temperature and even scent. At the RICS Strategic FM Conference,


Author information


Simon Iatrou is Editor at the facilities management news and information service i-FM. www.i-FM.net


IBM’s Trevor Miles told us that the things people require from their workplaces are universal and not necessarily dependent on age. Debunking some of the myths surrounding Millennials, Miles said research carried out by IBM found that everyone from Baby Boomers to Generation Y shared many of the same job aspirations, working habits and social needs. Do you think that older people are less likely to jump ship if a job doesn’t fulfi l their passions? Think again.


152 FACILITIES


BIFM’s growing membership, and they often offer the opportunity to boost professional development. This has only increased as SIGs such as WIFM and the London Region establish their own annual events. And because these exist mainly for the purpose of learning and engagement, they tend to focus far more closely on personal skills rather than wider sector issues. Although the WIFM Conference came earlier in the year, before many of the much larger conferences took place, its relevance to today’s trends and issues cannot be ignored. As a SIG that was originally formed to represent women working in FM, a largely marginalised demographic in a historically male- centric sector, WIFM has grown into a group that champions empowerment. In 2015’s WIFM Conference, in which the theme was ‘Breaking Through’, GBM (now ABM) Support Services’ CEO David Ford told delegates that the biggest barrier to their success is their own expectations. Anne Lennox Martin, the founder of customer-client relationship tool FMP360, agreed. She said the relationships between suppliers and clients breakdown most often because of the egos, prejudices and assumptions inherent in every individual. This perhaps gets closer to the zeitgeist


of facilities management than any other issue or trend that came to prominence at the industry conferences of 2015. If FM is to become a more intelligent and intuitive discipline that communicates with people and provides organisations with the competitive advantages they demand, then fi rst its practitioners must become more confi dent about what it is they offer and more assured of their own role in the workplace.


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