COVID-19 has undoubtedly touched every aspect of our lives, especially so at the corporate and business level. Facilities resources and management services are implemented within the industry in a variety of ways. Understanding the change from in-office workers to a focus on remote, mobile, and distance work teams makes it easier to understand its impact. According to Facility Executive, “Recent data across 15 million square feet of global office space shows workplace use dropped more than 80 percent below historical averages in March as companies and their employees looked to flatten the COVID-19 curve.” How companies approach their facilities resources practices can considerably affect their overall success in moving forward and leaving COVID-19 behind. And facilities managers need to know a few things about how to maximize efficiency and use of resources.
Overcoming Poor Facilities Resources Management Due to COVID-Induced Changes
There’s no doubt that it will be an intense process to deal with the long-term impact the pandemic is going to have across industries. Social distancing, remote working, reduction of public gatherings, closure of many communities and group meeting places, and more have all impacted facilities management and facilities resources availability. And as recovery begins, it is essential to keep in mind how to safely and effectively recover those spaces and make them profitable and useable once again.
Maximized Facilities Management and Space Utilization Create Safe Spaces
Even in the few years before this pandemic hit, there was already a shift taking place towards a more remote work setup in the U.S. and around the world as facilities resources management takes on a whole new look and feel. According to Facility Executive, over 5 million employees in the U.S. reported that at least half of their paid hours were spent working from home or another remote location outside their principal employment place. Meanwhile, activity-based work settings have continued to climb each year as businesses seek to keep like-project work teams together and offer working space that is easier to control and maintain during a pandemic like COVID-19.
Steps to Maximize Facilities Resources
Businesses can take many easy and practical steps to prepare their facilities and unused spaces for workers and customers' return customers alike. COVID-19 has changed how people shop and look for goods and services, and it has also had a significant impact on how we work and carry out business. There are many options to consider and countless things facilities resources teams can do, but there are five practical steps that can be taken right now:
- Think about what people do in the space, i.e., eating, working. Look for ways to make the workspace safer and more efficient for carrying out the tasks that employees and customers need to do in that space.
- Identify ways to reduce contact, such as plexiglass dividers. It has been shown that using physical barriers can be very effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19 when social distancing measures are challenging to carry out.
- Encourage remote work capabilities with connected management systems. Facilities resources teams can still oversee essential practices and manage teams by taking advantage of remote communication, analysis, and management tools.
- Upgrade the air purification system in all HVAC units. Science has shown air quality is key to keeping indoor spaces safe, so maintaining the highest possible indoor air quality is an important step to take.
- Uncover other ways to reduce in-facility personnel and limit person-to-person contact. Facilities resources service providers can prepare for reopening by implementing contactless and low-contact means of doing business whenever possible.
Choose the Right Partner to Increase Safety in Facilities Now
Prioritizing occupant safety is essential for modern facilities management. And the need to create safe conditions for on-site workers and building guests will continue to remain top concerns among facilities managers. Fortunately, outsourcing to a national services provider can help managers achieve these goals and maximize facilities resources. Visit us online to learn more about Cushman and Wakefield’s Facilities Solutions.