experience to be just as easy as booking a video call and sharing a screen online.

As a result, FMs must ensure their facilities offer seamless and intuitive communication between colleagues, clients and suppliers, whether they’re in the same building or working remotely. Video conferencing facilities, for example, will be essential, as services such as Zoom have been such as firm fixture in life during lockdown. Online room booking facilities will be critical too and may even help to control the flow of people in and out of spaces as social distancing continues.

Boost agility by outsourcing The impact of COVID-19 has changed how facilities managers procure and run services. The outsourced model has proven to be one that the industry can turn to for support. Reaching out to expert providers has enabled FMs to deliver fast, efficient and effective solutions that meet the changing needs of modern business and will be an approach that continues to be favoured post-pandemic.

By budgeting for outsourced tech-related services, such as managed hosting, IT support or customer call handing, companies can avoid the associated fixed-cost overheads of managing them in-house. At a time when the economy is so uncertain, this will provide a welcome relief. Passing responsibility to specialist suppliers gives FMs and IT departments the freedom to manage services from anywhere, calling in support as and when it is required.

Without the pressure of having to provide workspaces for every employee, businesses have the opportunity to re- think their needs and how they will accommodate the new pandemic normal, where social distancing rules apply. By reviewing total square footage and calculating what percentage is dedicated to meeting rooms, collaboration spaces and individual working, it will be possible to determine which spaces could potentially be repurposed, used to help distancing or be taken out of service altogether.

At Moneypenny, our focus has always been on creating a range of different types of spaces to enable employees to work as effectively as possible. Our team has access to traditional, formal areas with presentation capabilities, casual and comfortable break-out spaces to inspire new ideas and even our own in-house pub. We know that different working styles and professional situations require varied environments and understand the importance of giving our employees the right tools. As people come back into the workplace after a prolonged period of home-working this level of choice will be particularly important.

When employees do make the journey into the office, it will most likely be because there is a genuine need to collaborate with others. Workforces have turned to technology to carry them through the crisis and have become reliant on new systems that they didn’t require previously. Now that they’ve become accustomed to meeting remotely, they will expect the collaborative “Many employers that were

reluctant to offer flexibility around remote working prior to Covid-19 now know it’s possible.”

Since the outbreak began, consumers have realised that they value human interaction. While visitors into your offices will be limited, it will be vital to remain accessible and personable at all times. By outsourcing the management of switchboards, FMs can help their businesses to deliver a consistently high level of personal service to clients, reduce call waiting times, direct calls to remote workers easily and enhance the customer journey – all while keeping the number of personnel onsite to a minimum.

As well as financial and service-focused benefits, outsourcing technology has an overarching ability to do one thing that every facilities manager craves – create a simpler working life. By putting agile solutions in place, they can free up resource to focus on other areas of their role – safe in the knowledge that they’re boosting occupiers’ organisational efficiency and resilience in a post-pandemic era. TOMORROW’S FM | 33

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