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How Will Hybrid Working Impact Facilities Management?

As we adapt to working in a post-Covid economy, one of the key features of this new normal is going to be hybrid working. 

Hybrid working combines remote working with office-based working, which brings certain challenges to Facilities Management.

What is Hybrid Working?

As the name indicates, hybrid working combines working in an office space with working from home (WFH).

There isn’t a fixed formula for this. How different businesses organise hybrid working will depend on how they work, their size and the type of workplace they occupy. 

But generally, the principle is that not all of the employees will be in the workplace all of the time. 

One of the implications of this is, there will be more shared spaces and breakout areas, where people can gather for catch-ups or more formal meetings.

There are likely to be fewer fixed workstations with much more mobility of the workforce. Staff will work flexibly from a range of locations. According to CIPD, pre-pandemic, only around 5% of the workforce ever worked from home. This figure has risen to over 45% at various times during 2020.

For many companies, the advantages are clear. They can reduce the rental burden if they need less permanently occupied space. Also, they can attract and retain talent with the opportunity for hybrid working. HW offers flexible benefits to employees who want to improve their work-life balance. 

But to make this shift, businesses must also change how they manage their working spaces. A large part of the responsibility will lie with facilities managers to make hybrid working a success.

What Will FMs Need to Do?

Just as technology has enabled WFH to become a practical reality, so it will take centre stage in FM for hybrid workspaces. 

Facilities managers will need to invest in technology to support the flexible office.

One example is the use of sensor technology to detect which rooms are occupied at any given time. This will make it easier to monitor work areas for health and safety and to introduce energy-efficient heating and lighting. 

Cleaning will be another priority in the post-Covid workspace. With a shifting cast of employees on-site, FMs will need to ensure all workstations and common areas are cleaned and disinfected routinely and thoroughly.

Effective management and maintenance of the workspace require good visibility of what’s going on at any given time, and a diligent approach to workplace inspections and assessments. 

This is another key area where technology can support hybrid working. The Inspection Manager is an app designed specifically to support property and facilities managers. 

Digital templates allow you to record and share data with ease, automatically syncing between your smart phone, tablet, and desktop – providing real-time reports. 

Removing the use of paper check lists, streamlines procedures, and processes and allows for immediate, actionable reporting.

Facilities and property managers, civil engineers and construction teams are all discovering the benefits of using the Inspection Manager app.

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