The great return why conventional workplaces still matter

The great return: why conventional workplaces still matter

With 78% of workers saying they want to work from home three days a week, the days of conventional workplaces might seem numbered. But despite the success of WFH, there are some compelling reasons why the idea that office workplaces have become obsolete could be premature. Here's why there's no need to panic if you're in facilities management.

First impressions

Business premises can be surprisingly influential when it comes to forming an impression of an organisation. In fact, people will get an impression of a business just seconds after visiting their offices. And the workplace environment impacts at different levels, including talent acquisition and staff morale.

Business premises are a storefront, a place to differentiate yourself from the competition. The office lets your business showcase its ethos, culture and values in physical form. A well-managed building is a clear indication of credibility and success.

Go social

One thing lockdown has highlighted is how social human beings are. While remote working has introduced the flexibility some workers crave, the novelty of Zoom meetings has begun to pall. And while research indicates that flexible work options are now part of the landscape, work is far more likely to evolve into a hybrid of WFH and office time than a fully remote working solution.

What technology can't replicate are the water cooler moments. The micro-interactions that workers enjoy with their colleagues passing their desks or grabbing a coffee in the breakout area.

Online meetings are perceived as all business, leaving little room for the human interactions that are proven to boost productivity and staff morale. Another reason that the office is far from dead is the vital role it plays in the wellbeing and mental health of workers, helping to fend off the loneliness of remote work.

Innovation and generation

But workplaces aren't just places to generate social interaction. They also benefit innovation and idea generation, those light bulb moments that can't be scheduled into a Zoom call.

Developing new ideas is a dynamic process, and inspiration can strike at any moment. The ability to capture the spark and turn it into a conversation with a colleague is what drives creativity in most workplaces. And it's something that virtual contact can't hope to replicate.

Work/life divide

The boundary between conventional workplaces and home has been eroding for a while, enhanced by always-on technology. It's much easier to stay connected to the office 24/7 which should benefit flexible working patterns and employers and employees alike.

But research shows that's not the case. In fact, increased connectivity is a source of anxiety for most workers who feel the pressure to be connected even when they're not working from home. The always-on culture begins to feel like an unspoken performance expectation from the top-down, disguised as an advantage in increased convenience and flexible working. But the impact on morale and wellbeing is rarely considered.

Burnout is an inherent risk of a 24/7 work culture and can escalate into serious health problems that ultimately reduce productivity and increase absenteeism. Having no right to disconnect is storing up a ticking public health timebomb, meaning the return to the office can't come soon enough.

At Catch22 we're a specialist facilities management recruitment agency you can trust. Contact us today to find your next FM superstar. If you are a candidate looking for a new vacancy follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn for our latest vacancies.


World FM Day

Happy World Facilities Management Day

The purpose of World FM Day is to recognise and celebrate the vital work that workplace and facilities managers and the wider industry contributes to business worldwide. It aims to raise the profile of the facilities profession anywhere that its practitioners influence the health, safety, productivity, and wellbeing of people who use the built environment.

This time last year we were acknowledging the “New Emergency Service” on the frontline against COVID-19 keeping the key health, education, food, transport and utilities sectors safe and clean. A year on and the last 12 months has seen our FM heroes continue to be in the spotlight as they have adapted service delivery and compliance activity to changing circumstances - professionally and with a minimum of fuss.

Today, as lockdown restrictions are eased, FM teams are faced with the challenges of devising and implementing return to the workplace plans to meet the new strategic needs of their business or customer. I am confident they will do this with similar expertise and success.

What an exciting time to be developing a career in FM. Here at Catch 22 we shall certainly be encouraging individuals to embrace the opportunities resulting from the pandemic whilst attracting fresh talent into the industry we love.

To discuss how Catch 22 can introduce you to FM talent or support you in the re-opening of your workplace please do book a call with me here. In the meantime....


woman remote working in facilities management

The rapidly evolving world of remote facilities management

woman remote working in facilities management

If you work in facilities management you'll be familiar with preventative maintenance, managed rollouts and making data-driven decisions. They're all effective ways to lower spend and extend asset longevity.

But the way you carry out your work is changing. Remote facilities management could be the new normal if hybrid styles of working take hold.

You may already have added wellbeing checks, including fresh water and plants to your checklist. Post-pandemic, your responsibilities will expand beyond operational efficiency to ensure that employees feel safe, comfortable and healthy in the workplace.

Challenges for remote facilities management

Buildings age. The chances are that your building lacks the ability to seamlessly upgrade to the next generation of remote technology. It's likely that you'll be struggling with legacy control systems that may not be fit for purpose when it comes to remote operations.

The big challenge for remote FM is digital transformation. And while employees have made the most of IT solutions for remote working, cybersecurity is always a challenge. At the end of the day, any business will need physical workers, but whether ageing buildings are up to the challenge of hybrid working is a conundrum that facilities managers will be expected to solve.

Is your data and connectivity up to the job?

To handle remote facilities management effectively, data is key. But do you have the resources and tools in place to collect, analyse and act on that data? And do you recognise the difference between applied and actionable data?

The good news is that you already have transferable predictive analytics skills that can help you meet the challenge. Actionable data tells you what you need to do to achieve an outcome. Applied data means you know what to do with that knowledge. In the new era of remote facilities management, you can rely on data to know what happened, what will happen and when, and what actions you need to take for a positive outcome.

Embracing remote FM

These are the actions you need to take to be on top of the challenges that remote FM presents:

- Rework your facilities management playbook to include improved use of data and remote reviews of your work

- Re-examine your building priorities in light of the new hybrid world of work

- Implement a cloud-based computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) to centralise data and ensure it's applied correctly

- Use applied and actionable data to understand the needs and activities of users in the new normal

- Upgrade infrastructure controls to support digital management as part of your ongoing digital transformation

- Think beyond the pandemic to areas of improvement including an effective recycling programme and encouraging healthy behaviours that stick

- Re-evaluate your third party suppliers and ensure that they follow hygiene, social distancing and other safety measures you may have implemented

- Be open and transparent with all building users

Harness the power of remote management

More than ever, you have a unique opportunity to put facilities management at the centre of your organisation's response to the post-pandemic world. Embracing remote management will help you prioritise measures that ensure the safety and comfort of employees as they return to work.

If you're looking for your next role in FM, get in touch with Catch22 and we'll be happy to help.


Next steps following an FM interview

Next steps following an FM interview

Next steps following an FM interview

Did you know that what you do after an interview could impact on whether you get the job? If you've ever wondered whether you should follow up on an interview with an email or call, then you may be interested in making the most of the post-interview period.

If you want to reinforce the professional impression you gave at your interview or to elevate your chances of success by keeping your name fresh in the interviewer's mind, these are the steps you need to take for the best chance of success.

Ask for contact information

When you're job hunting in FM and you land that interview, don't leave without asking for contact information and next steps. Ask how long it typically takes for the company to make a decision, or whether there'll be a second interview.

Assess your performance

This is critical to help in future interviews. Write up how the interview went, including how you answered the questions, the things you wish you'd said, and important names, insights and questions. This will help you improve your performance in future and mean that you're well prepared for that second interview.

Send a note soon after the interview

Sending a thank-you note within 24 hours of your interview should be top of your to-do list. It may be more appropriate to send a handwritten note. If not, send an email and take the opportunity to add a link to something relevant or current in facilities management. Make it relevant to the content of your interview so it adds value to your thanks.

Send supporting documents

If you've been asked to submit supporting documents, make sure you do it as soon as possible. Whether you need to submit consent forms, references or a written assessment, sending your documentation in a timely manner is another top priority.

Contact your references

It's good practice to let your professional references know that you've been for an interview and that they may be contacted. In fact, you should only submit references if you have that person's consent.

Connect on social media

If you use sites like LinkedIn, try connecting with your interviewer post-interview. If they accept your request it could be a signal that they're interested in hearing more from you. Even if this turns out not to be the right FM position for you and you end up working for a different company, it's a useful way to expand your personal network. That in turn means you'll be ideally placed to make the most of future FM opportunities.

Use your waiting time wisely

While you're waiting to hear back about the results of your interview, there are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances of future success. Brush up on new skills to add to your CV or make connections with people you may know working for the hiring company who can give you some valuable insights. Stay calm, and follow up as per the hirer's instructions. For example, if they ask for an email follow up within the week, don't call two weeks later.

If you're job hunting in FM, we're the facilities management recruitment agency you can trust. At Catch 22 we have an enviable reputation in the FM sector so why not contact us for your next FM job today?


Facilities management career

Everything you need to know about a career in facilities management

Facilities management is at the heart of the success of any business. This role is gaining growing recognition as workplace design becomes more critical to productivity, health and wellbeing, especially in the way of the pandemic.

If you’re interested in a career in FM, here’s what you need to know about moving into this exciting career.

What is facilities management?

FM involves two different levels of operation:

1. Strategic and tactical work.

You’ll work with clients, customers and departments to help them understand the impact of their decisions on every part of the facility and how it's run.

2. Operational roles

Carrying out tasks with specific knowledge and highly trained skills that protect employees' health and wellbeing

FM is a combination of a number of disciplines covering people, place, technology and process. You’ll require skills and knowledge, including business management and administration, knowledge of economics and accounting, computer literacy and customer service skills.

What does a facilities manager do?

Facilities management is all about integrating processes that allow buildings to run as smoothly as possible. You’ll be in charge of managing essential services including maintenance, health and safety, procurement, security, communications and space management. By creating a productive work environment you’ll help and support employees to achieve business goals.

You’ll also be responsible for business relocation, working closely with property, IT and HR. You’ll also be expected to work closely with designers and builders and be responsible for developing strategies for building sustainability through energy and resource-saving.

What skills will I need?

You’ll need excellent people skills and have a keen interest in logistics. People from a military background often find FM is a good fit for their skillset.

You’ll need to be self-motivated and capable of solving problems and overcoming obstacles to keep processes running smoothly. You’ll be orderly and methodical in the way you achieve your objectives and you’ll be able to demonstrate impeccable organisational skills.

Most organisations are reliant on facilities managers, especially in a crisis. If you have leadership skills and great intuition then a career in FM could be right for you.

Routes into facilities management

- A foundation or university degree in facilities or building services management

- An advanced apprenticeship in FM usually takes between 18 to 24 months with on-the-job training and college tuition

- Working towards the role and gaining an on-the-job qualification like a Level 3 Diploma in facilities management

- Applying directly for jobs that fit your technical and management skills, or if you have a related qualification in engineering or surveying

Why you should consider a career in FM

This is a rapidly growing profession and businesses are increasingly aware of the critical role FM plays in the smooth running of day-to-day operations.

A job as a facilities manager means that no two days are ever the same. You’ll have a chance to make a real difference to the business and the people working in your building. The challenges and responsibilities you’ll face are always changing but your skills in problem-solving and staying calm in a crisis make this a rewarding career.

Job satisfaction, salary and benefits like overseas travel all make a career in FM varied and exciting. Contact us at Catch 22 to find out more.

Keep up to date with our latest jobs via our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Catch22FmJobs


skills for a successful facilities manager

Successful facilities managers have these skills

skills for a successful facilities manager

Interested in a career in facilities management? Then you’ll need a wide-ranging set of skills from operations and maintenance to project management. It’s even more true now that the pandemic has changed the face of the workplace.

But beyond the tick box lists, what are the skills that an FM needs to really stand out from the competition? Here are the top skills that successful facilities managers need to succeed.

Adaptability

Successful facilities managers share one common trait - they’re cool under pressure. Whatever challenges arise, a good FM will demonstrate the adaptability to navigate what’s next by being agile, resilient and fully prepared.

Adapting to the changes brought about by the pandemic requires facilities management to adapt to a much more people-centric style. Managers will be expected to create a safe and coherent working environment where everything works seamlessly, and the financial implications and the health and safety of workers is perfectly balanced.

Data-driven approach

An FM needs to be able to do more than ensure safety, comfort, functionality and efficiency in the built environment. If you want to succeed you need a data-driven mindset that lets you analyse the quality of service and facilities spend, with a view to proactively identifying cost outliers and savings, as well as other areas for improvement.

Having the capacity to use analytics to leverage data is a key skill for any FM who wants to stay on top of their game.

Tech creativity

Every facilities manager knows that they can expect to encounter daily challenges. But how you deal with them, and the creativity of your technology solutions will help you innovate in the workplace and push your skillset into new areas.

Technology has assumed an ever-growing role in facilities management, particularly during the pandemic where the ability to leverage tech solutions has made the difference when making business adaptable to Covid-19.

As a manager, you’ll need an open mind and the ability to stay on top of new opportunities in reporting, service management and delivery. An FM who stays on top of innovation is in demand.

As our reliance on technology intensifies, human traits are at a greater premium than ever before. Remember that facilities management is, above all, a people facing business requiring unique communication and management skills.

Ultimately, well tooled technological solutions will keep people and assets safe as we navigate out of lockdown. For example, tracking and vetting solutions for the individuals that access your facility as employees, contractors or visitors.

Compassion

One of your most critical tasks is creating a healthy and happy working environment. That means dealing with people effectively and with compassion.

Being able to understand people’s challenges and pain points will make you better at creating the workplace they need instead of one that works on paper. And in light of the pandemic and fears around returning to the workplace, understanding and compassion are absolutely essential.

A combination of these essential skills will see you shine in your career. As the workplace changes, there are important challenges ahead and as a facilities manager, you’re ideally placed to meet them. Want to know more about an exciting career in facilities management? At Catch 22 we’re the specialist recruitment agency you can trust, so get in touch today to find out more.

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Tenant Liaison Manager

How to become a Tenant Liaison Manager

If you’re looking for a new career opportunity in FM, have you considered becoming a tenant liaison manager? If you want to liaise between staff, management and tenants providing support and a first-class service then this could be the facilities management role for you.

What is a tenant liaison manager?

This is a challenging and rewarding FM role that requires high levels of customer experience and great problem-solving skills.

You’ll need good communication skills to keep all stakeholders involved about the impact of any project but you’ll also be able to put the information across in a friendly and understandable way. You’ll also need great problem-solving skills to be able to deal with any complaints and to seek quick and effective solutions.

Your time will be spread between office-based tasks and working in the field and you’ll be expected to handle complaints and manage resolutions between tenants and management.

If you’re caring and empathetic, quick thinking and capable of lasting conflict resolution, and you’re job hunting for a more challenging customer services-based role, then becoming a TLM could be the right move for you.

Job hunting in facilities management

The good news is that the skill set you need as a successful facilities management professional gives you the flexibility to undertake many roles. You’ll already be highly organised and detail-oriented with the communication and liaison skills to work with a range of departments.

When it comes to problem-solving, you’ll already be skilled in anticipating problems before they arise by keeping supplies at the correct level, scheduling preventive maintenance and heading off technology issues. These are all great skills when hunting for alternative FM careers like moving into tenant liaison management.

Here are some top tips for a successful job hunt:

Research your new role
You’ll find plenty of TLM job descriptions online. Take the time to read them thoroughly and start mapping your skill set to the skills required. This is invaluable when you start to write your CV and application letter.

Create three main messages

When you’re CV writing you need the first three statements to be memorable, positive and clearly outline your career goals and what you hope to achieve by moving into a new FM area. Emphasise your messages in your personal profile on your CV and in your LinkedIn profile.

Practice for interviews

In the current climate, you’re as likely to be asked to video interviews as face-to-face ones, so it’s important to practice for all eventualities. Interviews are tough enough to land so be prepared. Make sure your answers are clear, short and upbeat. And be prepared to answer questions on why you see TLM as the right career move for you at this time.

Do a personal audit

Before you even think about shifting career, think about the skills and experience you’re selling to prospective employers.

What job titles are relevant to your job hunt?
What are your main skills and achievements?
Do you have evidence to back you up?
Which roles are you looking for and why?

When you’re confident about the answers to those questions, give Catch 22 a call. We’re a specialist agency that can match you with the right tenant liaison manager opportunities and give your FM career a boost.