Guest Contributor

What Does Facility Management Look Like in 2021?

By | Riyan Alam

As we prepare for the post-pandemic world, there are a lot of things we need to take into consideration to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for employees. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the dynamics of businesses, and facility management is not an exception. 

From internal communications to time and attendance functions, data processing, and many other business operations look very different now than they did at this time last year. Many employees will also feel skeptical about returning to work. Business leaders and facility managers alike now find themselves navigating a complicated, sometimes perplexing landscape of remote employees, reorganized workspaces, and heightened safety concerns at hand. 

So what changes in workplaces and workforce management practices do we expect to see in a post-pandemic environment? Let’s take a look.

Safety First

Even though employee health and well-being already falls under the realm of facilities management, safety will still be a priority in a post-pandemic environment. Let’s be honest here, even if vaccines come out early in 2021, many employees may still feel skeptical about returning to work. Nearly 90% of high-level managers are worried about top quality employees leaving their jobs due to pandemic-related concerns. Particularly in manufacturing, healthcare, construction industries where employees do not have the option to work from home.

Safety may include absolute adherence to social distancing, implementation of touchless attendance systems, and many other measures that limit physical interactions with things and humans. For example, re-arranging work desks, safety protocol in elevators, staircases, lobbies, washrooms, and so on. Facility managers will now have to plan on how to make the best use of their office spaces and unused spaces.

Flexible and Agile Work Practices

While employees return to work in phases as needed, many organizations will still offer remote work opportunities for extended periods. Some tasks can be performed with just a connection to the internet and a laptop. However, not all businesses can afford this. Flexible and agile work practices, for example, may include offering different shifts for work to reduce occupant density in a given facility. Employees may have assigned workstations, and some may have the option to choose their workstations as per their needs. This can help in the sanitization and cleaning of workstations as needed. 

Educational institutions, for instance, may remain closed for an extended period. Therefore, working from home options may be offered to build employee trust. Facility managers who work closely with HR will play a vital role in keeping employees loyal and motivated. 

Welcoming Mobile Apps

The ability to access systems and information remotely has had a tremendous impact during this pandemic. Achieving this feat was possible through various mobile and web-based applications that allow users to access the systems from anywhere. According to a survey, over 80% of C-suite executives had plans to increase their organization’s focus on mobile. This pandemic has only made that push more urgent. There are obvious applications for mobile technology in organizations that offer remote work options, but that isn’t the only area where going mobile can be fundamental. 

Daily time and attendance operations are one vital area that can be managed by mobile technologies. Mobile applications also provide managers the tools to measure KPIs and whether various safety measures implemented are effective or not. A robust mobile application can also allow employees to view and change their schedules, clock in and out remotely, request sick leave, other paid time off, and many other employee utility options. Giving employees the ability to manage these functions straight from their mobile applications can make your workforce feel more engaged and empowered. In addition, it also takes a lot of arduous tasks out from the manager’s plate, freeing up more time that can be spent on other activities. 

Centralized Management

Besides making your workforce feel more empowered, mobile applications also help streamline and manage tasks in a centralized space. For example, through cloud-based facility management software, managers can get a bird’s eye view of their entire ongoing maintenance operations currently underway, those that are yet to be executed, and those that have already been performed in multiple facilities. Facility managers can log in work orders and schedule maintenance tasks, enabling staff to view data from anywhere and anytime. 

Centralizing your technology and operations in a single platform is a smart way to reduce confusion, improve overall productivity, and unite management’s vision across the organization. In addition, a one-stop dashboard with extensive customization capabilities can help management get on the same page. Operations, maintenance, and HR managers have more control over their daily functions. Collaboration with different departments and teams becomes easier while maintaining transparency. Corrections can be made more quickly, and errors can be spotted easily.

To sum it all up, re-aligning your best practices to reflect unprecedented changes we’ve experienced this year is vital for any organization that hopes to stay safe, compliant, productive, and profitable in the years to come. 

Author Bio:

Riyan N. Alam is working as a Digital Marketing Analyst at M2SYS Technology, a cloud-biometric company, and a lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn things. Riyan enjoys spending his time traveling, reading up on current industry trends. He uses curiosity, combined with his passion for reading books, to write about subjects valuable to people and their daily lives.

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