Today, March 29th is less than two weeks, and with the approaching deadline it’s hard to avoid talk of Brexit — no matter what the opinion or the outcome, we’re all united by the uncertainty of this moment in time. For facilities management in particular, with estimated 8 to 14% of the workforce coming from the European Economic Area (EEA), there’s certainly some change to come.
But, given that the Brexit outcome is still unknown even for those at the negotiating table, we should be harnessing our natural inclination to look forward to the post-Brexit future, and taking time to reflect on the things we have control over, regardless of the Brexit outcome.
The first impact of diverting focus away from Brexit and onto something that you can actually impact is a sense of relief and empowerment. It’s a subtle shift in mindset to stop focusing on uncertainty itself, but it’s worth putting into practice, given that wellbeing is a hot topic for 2019.
More tangibly, staff happiness has been proven to be linked with productivity and retention (not really surprising, though, is it?). Did you know that, on average, happy employees are 12% more productive, and that 39% of workers will work harder if they’re happy with their current role or workplace?
It’s also evident that recognition is a key factor in workplace happiness and staff retention — employees who feel underappreciated are unlikely to stay with their employers. In fact, employees who do not feel valued at work are 34% more likely to leave.
In facilities management in particular, technology can be of great help in improving both employee wellbeing and recognition — a Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) will reduce bureaucracy and lack of organisation in the workplace, making the work of managers and technicians much easier.
Besides, these systems can generate reports about each and every activity performed by any user, which motivates them to work harder and makes them feel appreciated if managers endorse them based on those reports.
Facilities management is a labour dependent sector, with the working force being increasingly costly and scarce. However, you should see this as a rallying cry to ensure you’re making the most of the people you have — after all, people are your biggest asset!
Innovation is a great way to achieve this. There are many resource-enhancing and time-saving products and services available (remember the CMMS we’ve mentioned before?), and the savviest among us are keeping on top of the latest innovations in order to stay ahead.
Innovative technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and smart meters, create easier access to better data, whilst cutting out time technicians previously spent arduously taking readings, and managers spent processing the results. The time saved can be better spent on actual maintenance and implementing well-crafted preventive maintenance plans, which will end up saving you money as well.
However, FM has long been behind in terms of innovation. Many businesses still rely on Excel spreadsheets or (even worse) paper, resulting in wasted time and a much higher risk of errors.
Infraspeak’s software, for instance, not only centralises all information, but also uses NFC technology, a wireless data transfer technology that enables devices near each other to communicate in a safe and convenient way. Using Infraspeak’s NFC tags and smartphones (which are equipped with this technology), maintenance technicians can easily access information about any asset just by touching the tag with the smartphone.
In practice, this translates into a huge increase in efficiency. Siemens, the biggest engineering company in Europe, was able to increase profit margins and to reduce the risk of non-compliance with Service Level Agreements by managing the Bank of Portugal building with Infraspeak.
Another example is Six Senses Douro Valley, which has reported a 200% increase in the number of room audits they’re able to achieve, and they’ve gone completely paper-free in the process (sustainability is also something that facility managers should be focusing on at the moment!).
Implementing the right technology is one of the main challenges that facility managers will face in 2019, so be sure to take time to analyse the current status of you company and to take action as soon as possible.
Control has been a major theme throughout Brexit, starting with the infamous “Take Back Control” slogan of the Leave campaign. This has got us thinking — what do we need to take control of in our day-to-day?
For facilities management, the answer is clear: asset management and maintenance management are complex processes that ask for a rigorous flow of information. However, many facility managers don’t have access to a unique platform where they can check the status of all operations, including failure reports, preventive maintenance plans and loads of important metrics. The resulting sense of loss of control is all too real.
Take back control of your maintenance with Infraspeak, so that everything works.