The Facilities Managers amongst our readers will know that there is a lot involved in ensuring that an organisation has the most suitable working environment for its staff/ students/visitors. They will also know the difficulty of coordinating and the various activities that creative an effect, enjoyable and safe site.

As the person responsible for the ‘facility’, the Facilities Manager is the ultimate organizer, responsible for both operational and environmental concerns.  It’s a tough job and we salute them for their efforts! In fact, the whole world can salute them in July. Global FM, the Global Facility Management Association, has set Wednesday 13th July as the date for ‘World FM Day’ 2016.

This day will focus on the theme ‘Empowering People for a Productive World’, which is very apt when you consider some of the areas the average Facilities Manager is responsible for; the average FM is responsible for cleaning services, health & safety, grounds maintenance, building maintenance, utilities, security as well as office/education workspaces and the furniture that is commissioned for them.

Here at Connection, we have worked with Facilities Managers long enough to fully understand the problems they face.

However, understanding the problem is one thing and developing solutions is a whole other challenge. We have made it our mission to design and manufacture a range of products that serve to create the ‘Boundless Office’, allowing Facilities Managers to address all of those issues that create so much angst for the wider team. In our experience these issues are:
 

  • Lack of meeting space:
    On average 10% of meeting rooms that are booked consist of 1 person conducting a phone call or trying to concentrate. On the flip side, most meeting rooms are too big, with only a third of the seats within the room being used.
     
  • Alternative meeting space required:
    The next generation of office workers are looking for more informal, relaxed meeting spaces that don’t feel as confined. The ‘third space’ between work and home is now an expected part of an office environment and one that FMs need to deliver for their company’s specific needs.
     
  • Socialising/collaboration:
    These aspects of a workplace are now much higher on the agenda for employees and great workspaces that incorporate these concepts can attract and help to retain the best talent. Encouraging informal collaboration has also shown to increase innovation/ideas within a workplace.
     
  • Multi-purpose office environments:
    People want to be able to achieve a multitude of tasks whilst in the office, from quiet/concentrated working through to presentations and group work.
     
  • Acoustics and office noise:
    Distraction caused by noise is a growing issue for many open plan offices, whereby individuals struggle to concentrate and are easily distracted by other conversations and loud colleagues. Most employees look for areas of quiet/silence and privacy at least once within a work day.The issue of noise within a workplace is encompassed in the wellness considerations that Facilities Managers take on board. We wrote about it in a recent blog post about wellness in the office.
     
  • Representing the organisation brand through the furniture choice:
    An office space and how it is filled physically reflects the type of business that is run, the talent that works within it and the clients they work with. A great space can be a major competitive advantage.
     
  • Increased staff/team/student numbers:
    A lot of FMs are tasked with fitting in a significantly higher number of people than the original office or educational space was designed to hold. This is where the FM needs to source smarter furniture that can offer a multitude of uses.

Facility Managers are tasked with creating office and/or education workspaces that offer a mix of furniture types that can be flexed to suit changing needs. FM’s also have to be forever mindful of the brand that the company desires to portray, and developing close links with the company’s marketing department are crucial.

Connection Hive Agile Workspace product

So, how can Connection help?

For years Connection has worked directly with Facilities Managers and in partnership with Facilities Management companies to create and offer a wide range of intelligent furniture solutions. This working relationship means that we know the issues that FM’s face and have a range of products to address each and every one of them. From our Hive pods that allow for collaborative working,  to Cubbi, which creates a space for quietly focusing.  Connection is continuously developing solutions for the issues faced by Facility Managers, which is evident in the CDW 2016 introduction of our Rooms concept which allows the client to customize a room within a space.

What do you think? Have we missed any of the workspace and furniture challenges a Facilities Manager has to address? Let us know.