Since advancements in technology and communications, flexible and remote working has become a popular choice for many companies. From employees who split their time between working remotely and in the office, to people who never step foot in an office at all; there is an array of flexible working options out there. Here we will discuss how flexible working will affect facilities management and the changing landscape of the traditional office.
What is flexible working?
Flexible working is the ability to work in a way which suits the employees needs. This can include things such as adjusting start and finish times to working remotely from home. Employees have a legal right to request flexible working and a recent YouGov survey has shown that only 6% of Brits now work the traditional 9 – 5. But what does this modern way of working mean for facilities management?
A common misconception is that less occupancy in the office means less need for facility management and maintenance, however that is not the case, rather it just means the landscape of facilities management in changing.
With the reduction in workers within an office space it can mean that aspects such as heating, and air conditioning units are used in different ways. Heating may have to increase to fill a larger space whilst air con may not be used as often. Over and under-using apparatus such as this can lead to increased need for maintenance. It may also be necessary to conduct a thorough electrical usage plan; with a fluctuation in capacity and people coming and going, electrical usage can vary greatly. It’s therefore important to make sure an energy plan is put in place to account for this.
Less people within an office can also mean smaller maintenance problems are more likely to go unnoticed. In order to stay ahead with arising problems, reactive maintenance should be partnered with a planned maintenance team who can regularly check the property for signs of wear.
As the 9-5 has disappeared, so has the traditional office cubicle layout. With an increased need for collaborative spaces between teams or even different companies, there will be an increased need in office refurbishments.
Whilst these changes can be exciting and modernising, there are certain aspects to take into consideration when conducting a refurbishment. Things such as remaining compliant and reducing the disruption to the work environment, along with taking in to account potential company growth and capacity are all important. With a facilities management team on hand, these changes to office layouts can run smoothly and aid in transforming your space to be in line with modern work requirements.
With people coming and going at various hours, or perhaps not even working from the office at all, the office space can be left open to increased security risks. As it used to be customary to lock up at 5pm, now with flexible hours, this is changing and could mean that parts of a building are left unlocked whist not being occupied.
This can lead to an increased need to invest in security systems such as CCTV or access-controlled doors or perhaps even hiring security guards to man the office.
Another aspect of security to consider would be to ensure your IT and data are fully protected. With an increase in remote workers, files will often be stored on local servers, therefore it is important to ensure these are regularly maintained and made secure, along with ensuring they are accessible to all workers at any time.
How will Facilities Management Adapt?
Facilities management has the ability and technology to adapt alongside the modern changes in the work environment. Whether it is providing increased planned maintenance checks, altering the maintenance schedule to ensure minimal business disruption to ensuring your electrical usage plan is set out correctly, there are many ways it can adapt and keep up to your business needs.
With the right facilities management team for your business, you can be assured that maintenance will continue in line with the changes in your office environment.
So, whilst there is a definite shift occurring in the office space environment and facilities management is changing to adjust, there is still a need to stay on top of maintenance and the overall management of a building. So whether you are a new collaborative space, or sticking to cubicles, MSL are available to help with all your facilities management needs, contact us for more information.