The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the ways in which we work, live and socialise. Shifts in attitudes and behaviours are not fleeting, this pandemic has forever changed our lives, and for those of us in facilities management it has forever changed the way in which we work. Today we’re breaking down three ways in which facilities management will never be the same after Covid-19.
A well-run facility is so seamless that those using it, be it the public or the workforce, are entirely unaware of the litany of tasks that go into keeping a facility clean, safe and secure. Covid-19 has changed this. Leaving your home to go to a public facility or workplace requires enormous trust in facility managers. Prior to the pandemic, a tidy location would have been sufficient proof to the public that the cleaning staff had done their due diligence, but post-coronavirus more transparency is required to ensure that the public feels safe in your facility. For facility managers this means shifting a focus to hygiene in a way never seen before.
Compliance and regulation will dictate the minimum standard, but to foster trust with the people attending the facility transparency into all cleaning operations will be critical. Rigorous cleaning procedures need to backed-up by auditable records displayed visually for visitors to feel assured and secure. As facilities management software becomes more prevalent, digital displays of safety inspections, cleaning rotas and audits are increasingly being displayed in foyers, bathrooms and boardrooms for people to see cleaning operations in real-time.
Even the best run facilities saw vulnerabilities during this crisis. As economies begin to pick up again, investment in facility upgrades will be key. Many facilities have already installed protective barriers for frontline workers, perspex shields for direct face-to-face engagement and sanitation stations at building entrances. As we ease our way out of lockdown, facility managers will need to look at longer term solutions in keeping their venues hygienic and running efficiently.
HVAC upgrades and air filtrations systems will be a major focus in the near future. Well-maintained air filtration systems can help to reduce airborne contaminants, such as viruses like Covid-19, and consequently help to keep staff and visitors safe. Similarly, facility management software and IoT endpoints can help to completely digitise operations, allowing for a fully digital auditable trail of all hygiene and safety procedures, in addition to improving efficiencies and helping to protect workers.
Investment in the Frontline
Never before have frontline workers been more appreciated. The pandemic showed the world the essential work that they do keeping everyone healthy, safe and supplied. Prior to this pandemic many frontline workers felt undervalued and ill-equipped with technology to do their jobs effectively. Just as building upgrades will be front-of-mind, so too should investments in the tools frontline workers have to do their jobs well and do their jobs safely. Frontline collaboration software allows workers to communicate in a safe socially distant way; from tagging one another in jobs that need to be done to wishing one another a happy birthday, a collaboration tool improves morale and transparency while also keeping the workforce safe. Investment in tools that keep frontline workers protected whilst also connected will be vital.
Just as frontline workers will need digital tools to complete their tasks efficiently, they will also need personal protective equipment (PPE) in many cases to do their jobs safely. Investment in face masks, gloves, and hand sanitiser is an absolute must for any customer-facing frontline roles. For frontline workers not in direct contact with the public, minimising touch points will be essential. Protecting frontline workers in a factory setting will require investment in disinfectant protocols for materials acquired through the supply chain.
When we consider the ‘new normal’ goal that is often discussed in the media it’s interesting to think about what ‘normal’ really means. It’s not a time to return to normality, it’s a time to innovate and change for the better. Facilities management will never be the same after this crisis, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
To find out more about how Over-C helps FM companies to digitally revolutionise their processes visit: https://over-c.com/industries/facilities