FM Trends Re­shap­ing Of­fice De­sign

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The fact that there is a strong cor­re­la­tion be­tween work­place de­sign and work­place man­age­ment is of­ten ig­nored or not taken into ac­count. Go­ing for­ward, the new age work­ing pat­tern would re­quire both of them to be in sync to pro­vide a healthy and tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced work en­vi­ron­ment. Sapna Sri­vas­tava gives an over­view of the new trends.

Of­fice lay­outs with as­signed seats are a thing of the past. To­day’s flex­i­ble work­places are look­ing at tech­nolo­gies to man­age con­stantly shift­ing of­fice lay­outs. Fa­cil­ity man­age­ment (FM) ser­vices too are over­haul­ing cur­rent pro­cesses to keep up with shift. How­ever, there re­mains a strug­gle be­tween the de­sign and fa­cil­ity man­age­ment stream on work­ing in tan­dem to pro­vide a func­tional and ef­fec­tive work­place. The ultimate aim of work­place de­sign is to cre­ate a well-de­signed, ef­fi­cient and prac­ti­cal of­fice. But some­times, the prac­ti­cal­ity of daily main­te­nance of an aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing of­fice is for­got­ten. Fa­cil­ity man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als more of­ten than not are not con­sulted dur­ing the de­sign phase.

the Key De­sign trends

• Well­ness: More and more or­ga­ni­za­tions are now fo­cus­ing on im­prov­ing the well­ness of fa­cil­i­ties by in­cor­po­rat­ing low VOC in­te­rior fur­nish­ings, er­gonomic fur­ni­ture, nat­u­ral light­ing, clean air, noise re­duc­tion, walk­ing spa­ces and­non­toxic clean­ing agents among oth­ers. • Flex­i­bil­ity: The next phase of open workspace trend is in­te­grated mixed-use of­fices. More com­pa­nies are seek­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive and ac­tiv­ity-based workspaces to en­hance em­ployee/cus­tomer/client per­cep­tions.

• Green Rat­ing: Green cer­ti­fied build­ings are favoured by busi­nesses that be­come a dif­fer­en­tia­tor for them from their com­peti­tors. The ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers while fol­low­ing the trends some­times de­sign in iso­la­tion for­get­ting the fact of main­te­nance of their cre­ation dur­ing its life­cy­cle. There is an in­vis­i­ble yet a crit­i­cal link be­tween a good de­sign and ef­fi­cient fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment. The de­sign­ers as well as the fa­cil­ity man­agers need to be in sync on their un­der­stand­ing of; • The com­plex­i­ties of de­sign

and man­age­ment • The core el­e­ments of the of­fice – the peo­ple, the build­ing and tech­nol­ogy • The de­tails re­lat­ing to prod­uct life cy­cle is­sues, leg­is­la­tion, change man­age­ment and the en­vi­ron­ment, main­te­nance.

NEW Work en­vi­ron­ments

Fully open of­fice spa­ces or ar­ray of cu­bi­cles are now a thing of the past. The new of­fices are a com­bi­na­tion of open of­fice plan, small-group col­lab­o­ra­tion space, pri­vate rooms for think­ing and board rooms for meet­ings. These changes are chal­leng­ing the prop­erty man­agers to man­age these dif­fer­ent spa­ces within a com­pany. From be­ing able to re­serve con­fer­ence rooms, to know­ing which desks are oc­cu­pied or empty, fa­cil­ity man­age­ment strate­gies are ad­just­ing to the trans­for­ma­tion.

Data: Most fa­cil­ity man­agers are re­ly­ing on data to make in­formed de­ci­sions and bet­ter run fa­cil­ity op­er­a­tions. They are fo­cus­ing on KPIS that map to spe­cific re­quire­ments like im­prov­ing ten­ant ex­pe­ri­ence or re­duc­ing re­sponse times to work or­ders. No mat­ter the goal, these key met­rics that or­ga­ni­za­tions are now fo­cused on help make more

Se­cu­rity: This as­pect con­cerns not only the phys­i­cal se­cu­rity of the build­ing but also the data and IT in­fra­struc­ture se­cu­rity. Mostly, fa­cil­ity man­age­ment are re­spon­si­ble for im­ple­ment­ing pro­cesses to pro­tect fa­cil­ity and oc­cu­pants. They need to be in full con­trol of the build­ing man­age­ment sys­tem to know ex­actly what soft­ware, hard­ware and apps are be­ing used, and what each ven­dor’s se­cu­rity pro­cesses and pro­to­cols are up­front.

Mo­bil­ity: In­creas­ing fa­cil­ity man­age­ment is re­ly­ing on mo­bile de­vices to com­plete work or­ders, in­spec­tions and preven­tive main­te­nance. Now with Smart Build­ing tech­nol­ogy and mo­bile com­bined, teams can go one step fur­ther. For ex­am­ple, the clos­est build­ing en­gi­neer get­ting a no­ti­fi­ca­tion that a cer­tain floor dropped be­low the de­sired tem­per­a­ture be­fore a ten­ant com­plains.

Fa­cil­ity MAN­AGE­MENT trends

The def­i­ni­tion of fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment (FM) is con­tin­u­ously evolv­ing with the chang­ing be­hav­iours and pat­terns of work­ing. And, the fa­cil­i­ties man­agers are ex­pected to cul­ti­vate an at­mos­phere that en­hances pro­duc­tiv­ity, col­lab­o­ra­tion and pro­duce mea­sur­able ROI. To do that, they need to keep up with the lat­est work­place trends and tech­nol­ogy.

Em­ployee Ex­pe­ri­ence: The em­ployee ex­pe­ri­ence is the sum of all in­ter­ac­tions an em­ployee has dur­ing his/her of­fice hours. The work­place is a tan­gi­ble rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the com­pany cul­ture and the em­ployee ex­pe­ri­ence is most in­flu­enced by the phys­i­cal sur­round­ings. More and more fa­cil­ity man­agers are now pro­vid­ing mo­bile apps or desk­top dash­boards to em­ploy­ees for keep­ing them con­nected with fa­cil­i­ties de­part­ment. As per Steel­case Global Re­port: En­gage­ment and the Global Work­place, there is a di­rect cor­re­la­tion be­tween sat­is­fac­tion with the work­place and en­gage­ment level.

Met­rics Defin­ing FM: Real es­tate ac­counts for a large per­cent­age of any com­pany’s ex­penses. In fact, it’s the sec­ond most costly as­pect of run­ning a busi­ness, just be­hind per­son­nel. In or­der to re­duce real es­tate ex­penses, the fa­cil­i­ties man­ager must have in­sight into the to­tal square footage of the spa­ces owned or leased by the com­pany, the lease agree­ment terms, the cost per square foot and the value of each space. More­over, the fluc­tu­a­tion of oc­cu­pancy needs to be mon­i­tored for space uti­liza­tion. Ac­tiv­ity-based work­ing and of­fice hotel­ing de­crease the quan­tity of workspace needed. Cal­cu­lat­ing space uti­liza­tion in­cludes as­sess­ing space ca­pac­ity, vacancy rate, cost of space per em­ployee and to­tal an­nual fa­cil­ity costs, among other data.

Cre­at­ing Em­ployee Cen­tric

En­vi­ron­ment: To cre­ate an ami­able work­place, FM im­ple­ments tech­nolo­gies like, sen­sor con­nected to the In­ter­net of Things (IOT) along with in­te­grated work­place man­age­ment sys­tem (IWMS). The IWMS col­lects work­place and work­force data such as in­ven­tory lev­els, as­set us­age and lo­ca­tion, oc­cu­pancy and more to help de­sign workspaces that sup­port a pos­i­tive em­ployee ex­pe­ri­ence. For in­stance, FM team can eas­ily ad­just tem­per­a­ture and light­ing based on room oc­cu­pancy, quickly com­plete ser­vice re­quests and de­crease down­time of im­por­tant as­sets and equip­ment or en­sure ad­e­quate num­ber of workspaces to fa­cil­i­tate var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties.

go­ing ahead

In the com­ing years, we’ll see tech­nol­ogy driv­ing the workspace de­sign. The fo­cus will shift to align­ing tech­nol­ogy with the de­sign as­pect and in turn en­abling the fa­cil­ity man­age­ment func­tions. This will also mean that the fa­cil­i­ties man­agers and the de­sign­ers would share an un­der­stand­ing of how each el­e­ment of the of­fice de­sign func­tions and re­lates to the other el­e­ments. The need is to en­gage the fa­cil­ity man­age­ment team early in the de­sign of the work­place to uti­lize their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence to cre­ate the best pos­si­ble of­fice that re­mains so for many years to come. The fa­cil­i­ties man­agers must be able to in­ter­pret the client brief and as­sist de­sign­ers to cre­ate a work­place that can serve the needs of the work­place users and un­der­stand the de­sign process to en­sure the best pos­si­ble re­sults.

There is a clear onus on every­body in­volved in the de­sign and man­age­ment of work­places to un­der­stand how the de­sign process works and what their own con­tri­bu­tion should be in­clud­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion that should have a clear vi­sion of it.

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