Green buildings and the FM role in the environment

Green buildings and the FM role in the environment

If you're in facilities management you'll be well aware of going green - the process of making systems and buildings environmentally sustainable and low impact. Think about your building. How many hours are the lights on? How much energy is required to keep assets running? And how can FM create sustainability in older buildings?

In fact 'going green' impacts at every level, far beyond saving the environment. The business impacts of sustainable facilities management are significant. So how can you start greening buildings in your portfolio?

What are green buildings?

Green buildings are defined as one that reduces negative impacts on the climate and our environment and achieves neutral or even positive impacts instead. Greening buildings can occur at every level, from design and construction to building operation.

While 41% of US office buildings have Energy Star and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation, only 2.7% of office buildings in the UK are certified green. With ambitious targets for carbon net-zero approaching fast, facilities management has a critical role to play in creating sustainable buildings.

Benefits of sustainable buildings

First and foremost, a green building can drastically reduce your energy bills and operational costs. Even a small gesture like switching to low-energy LED lighting can save money and improve your building's sustainability rating. In turn that can improve the net asset value of your building.

But it doesn't stop there. Sustainable buildings have better air quality which improves the health and wellbeing of their occupants. In turn, that means fewer sick days and improved productivity. But those benefits don't end with company employees - your FM operational team will also benefit. And operators who are sharp and focused will reduce risk and improve overall operational efficiency.

In the post-lockdown world, you need every advantage you can get in attracting workers back to the office. Workers are looking for a healthier, more hygienic and safer work environment. That's something your sustainable building can deliver.

Easy steps to sustainability

The good news for facilities managers is that there are some simple steps you can take towards sustainability that reduce operational costs, increase asset value and improve the work experience. The four easy moves will put you ahead of the game:

1. Stay on top of preventative maintenance

The chances are you're already scheduling proactive maintenance to extend the lifespan of equipment and optimise asset performance. If you want to prevent older machines from turning into energy vampires, this should be top of your to-do list.

2. Start tackling deferred maintenance

Some jobs are easy to put off, but the longer you leave them, the bigger the toll on the performance and condition of your building and its assets and the more inefficient they become. Gather risk and current condition data and start building your capital budgets to lower risk and improve quality.

3. Track energy usage with historical data

Use historical data to establish a baseline for energy usage and changes over time. Analysing the data will help you make efficiency savings and improvements.

4. Upgrade assets and buildings for energy efficiency

As things age, they become less efficient. Look at energy efficiency projects to generate RoI numbers that justify those improvements.

At Catch22 we're a specialist FM recruitment agency. Contact us today for your FM needs or Follow us on Facebook for the latest news and vacancies

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.

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.

choosing a specialist recruitment agency

The benefits of using a specialist recruitment agency

If you’re looking to recruit FM professionals then using a specialist recruitment agency could be the way ahead. Working with an agency fast-tracks your access to quality candidates who are pre-screened and perfect for the job.

But that’s not the only benefit of working with a specialised agency. Read on to find out why you need specialist facilities management recruitment.

You won’t hire a bad candidate

Ready for great talent? The point of working with a specialist agency is to avoid hiring a bad candidate. A recruiter has the networks and contacts to find the ideal candidate that fits your goals and requirements.

If you’re relying on advertising and failing to find the calibre of candidates you’re looking for, that could be because the right candidate isn’t actively looking unless the right FM position presents itself. A recruiter knows where to find those candidates and tempt them to apply for your position.

360-degree support

As an employer, an agency will ease your recruitment problems by supplying the best possible pre-checked candidates. But if you’re looking for a facilities management career change then a specialist recruiter will feedback to you on your application and ways to improve your opportunities. After all, no agency wants to mismatch jobs and candidates as they’d go out of business fast. So expect excellent support on whichever side of the recruitment divide you fall on.

Save time recruiting

When only the best will do, you’ll save time using an agency to find you those great candidates. From attracting and shortlisting talent to providing specialist knowledge of the job market, an agency will help you recruit within your timeline. And by dealing with screening candidates and conducting initial interviews and salary negotiations, they leave your HR department free to get on with more important things.

Promote your brand

An agency will represent your brand in the most professional way possible and back you through every step of the recruitment process. They’ll help to persuade the candidate you want to choose you by promoting your brand values and company culture. Candidates listen to professional and experienced recruiters, giving you a way to differentiate your brand and become a company great talent will want to work for.

Provide the cover you need

Another benefit of working with an agency is the ability to get just the cover you need when you need it. Not only will they provide professional candidates for full-time roles but also emergency cover when you need it. If you need extra capacity for a new FM project then a specialist agency will have suitable candidates within easy reach so you can hit the ground running. Gaining short term access to some key strategic skills in a hurry is one of the biggest benefits of working with an agency that specialises in facilities management recruitment.

It’s our job

It’s worth remembering that one of the biggest advantages of using a specialist job recruitment agency is that it’s their job to recruit people. Finding the best people for the right position is our passion and we can handle all of your facilities management requirements whether full time, temporary or for contract work.

Contact us today to find out how we can supercharge the recruitment process and get you the best person for the job.

c22 team target growth opportunities

Catch 22 targets FM recruitment growth opportunities

c22 team target growth opportunities

Facilities Management recruitment specialists Catch 22 has announced a new management structure to implement its plans for future growth.

The senior team – spearheaded by chief executive officer Simon Aspinall and national operations director Scott Linnen – has also been bolstered by a significant investment in the agency.

Entrepreneur Gary Dewhurst, whose expertise is in the recruitment sector, has taken a 50 percent stake in the business after recognising the opportunities for strategic growth which the pair have identified. Meanwhile, former managing director Vince Parker, one of Catch 22’s original founders, has relinquished his role in the business but will continue to advise the team.

The Leeds-headquartered business, which also has offices in London and Manchester, currently supplies high quality temporary and permanent staff to a wide range of organisations – including more than 20 of the UK’s top 50 facilities management service providers.

As part of its ambitious plans, it is seeking to expand its nationwide reach by further developing the business outside its core areas of the South East, North West, Midlands, and Yorkshire.
Catch 22 also intends to grow its share of the technical recruitment market – providing more ‘hard services’ roles, such as those in the building maintenance, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and mechanical sectors.

Simon Aspinall said: “We have identified a number of opportunities within the FM & Workplace sector and I’m confident that, by developing these, Catch 22 can enjoy a period of extended growth.
“I’d also like to highlight the contribution being made by Gary Dewhurst. His investment is crucial to our future plans, but he also has a proven track record in founding and growing a number of successful niche recruitment businesses.”

Gary recently left his role as part-time CEO of gap Personnel Group after selling his remaining shares in the Wrexham-headquartered company, having sold a 75% stake in 2017 to Japanese-listed recruiter BeNEXT – allowing him to devote more time to invest in his portfolio of 10 companies.
Catch 22 was founded in London in 1982 and quickly developed an enviable reputation for its ability to supply high quality temporary and permanent staff across a range of roles in the Facilities Management and Workplace sector.

Scott Linnen added: “Catch 22 has traditionally excelled in providing ‘soft services’ across the support, office and executive functions of the FM sector but we intend to now grow our share of the technical market which we have identified as an area for significant growth.
“We would also like to thank Vince Parker for his many contributions that have transformed Catch 22 into the nationwide success it is today and wish him well in his future ventures.”

Linkedin app on a mobile phone

5 Tips For Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has more than 600 million users worldwide!  So whether you are looking for work or not, it's vital that you have a presence on LinkedIn.  A LinkedIn profile will help potential employers and recruiters see your experience at a glance.  And this means that you are more likely to be contacted with relevant job opportunities.  However, there are some top tips when it comes to making the most of your LinkedIn profile.  And remember, sometimes a poor profile can be worse than no profile at all.

Here are our top tips!

Linkedin profile photo man in a suitThe right profile picture

Your profile picture is the first impression people will get when they visit your LinkedIn profile.  It's important that the picture you choose is right for your industry and your position.  But it's equally important to add a picture as opposed to leaving it out.  If you don't include a profile picture, think what that says about you.  Does it say that you don't finish a job properly?  That your account isn't very active?

But don't worry.  if you'd rather not have a headshot, why not have a picture of you performing your job? Be creative to stand out, but keep it professional.

An eye-catching headline on LinkedIn

When anyone is searching on LinkedIn, what they see first is a thumbnail image and a headline. Whilst the default is for this to be your job title, it doesn't have to be.  You have 120 characters, so you can be as creative as you want to be.  You can even use emoji's if appropriate - they certainly help you to stand out. A great way to stand out is to think about what it is your job achieves.  There's an eye-catching headline right there.

A well-crafted summary

Despite having 2000 characters to use in your summary, our advice is don't!  Too much information and it won't get seen.  We are all processing a lot of information on a daily basis, so keep it short and interesting!  This is your elevator pitch and getting it right will really help you to stand out. Not sure where to start?  Take a look at your peers or competitors for some ideas. But remember to make it your own!

linkedin connections graphicMake connections

Just because you have a LinkedIn profile, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will start receiving connection requests.  Be proactive and get those invitations sent out.  Start with your colleagues and go from there.  LinkedIn is full of fantastic algorithms that will make suggestions of who you should connect with. If you are looking for work then connect with local recruiters who work in your sector.  You'll be amazed how quickly you start to receive calls or messages with new opportunities.

Ask for recommendations on LinkedIn

Bonus tip. It is not essential but it will certainly help you to stand out!  Having recommendations on your profile is a way of helping to prove that you are good at your job.  Are there particular skills that you want to highlight - ask for a recommendation!  These can be from colleagues, managers, clients - get as many as you can!

So now that you have a standout LinkedIn profile, why not send us a connection request? You can also follow companies on LinkedIn too.  Follow Catch22 and be the first to know about our new jobs.


4 Top Tips for Acing Your Second Interview

The second interview – congratulations, you've impressed the hiring managers and made it through the first stage. You are now one step closer to securing your dream Facilities Management job.

But what makes the second interview, different from the first? And, more importantly, how should you prepare to make sure you get it right? It’s often a mistake made even by senior candidates that the research and preparation are all about the first interview. But the second interview is even more important. Don't think that just because you've been invited back that you don't have to prepare as well as you fit for the first.

Whilst the first interview usually just covers the important basics, the second interview will really get under the skin. The interviewer is trying to determine if you are the right person not only to do the job but to add value to the company too. Will you be there in 3-5 years time? What will your role be and what skills can you bring with you along the way.

So here’s everything you need to know...

The Second Interview – Use what you learnt in the first interview

“So, since our last meeting, what thoughts have you had about the job and the company?”. It's such an important question to make sure you are prepared for!  It isn’t designed to trip you up, but being underprepared will leave you waffling. Be confident in your response. It’s OK to take in notes. Things to include are your main reasons you want this job, why the company is the right fit for you, their vision etc.  This not only proves you have thought about it seriously but that you have listened and retained information - a good skill to have! But, and this is where you can really stand out. Think about why the company should want you!  Perfect your elevator pitch!

Refer back to things that were discussed in the first interview.  What were the key things you noticed that were important to the company? Bring them up in conversation and then use examples to show you share the same values. Do they have a certain culture?  Have you worked in that culture before? Can you demonstrate your success? Just remember to keep showing that you are the right person for the job.

successful interview

Address anything you missed in the first interview

The second interview is also an opportunity to say things you forgot to say in the first interview.  Or, ask things you forgot to ask.  Make the most of this chance to shine!  Become the front runner!  Was there something that you feel you didn’t answer right the first time?  Or, maybe not to your best ability.  We know that interviews can make some people flustered, or nervous.  Especially if it's your first one for a while.  Don't be afraid to discuss this in the interview.  It could make all the difference to the outcome rather than not wanting to reminder the hiring managers.  This time around, you should be more confident than the first time.  But, remember not to be overly confident – you haven’t got the job yet!  But at least you know that you are a potential hire.  Now it's down to you.


Get to know who you're meeting

Researching people before an interview is now fairly simple. A quick LinkedIn search will tell you about the career history of who you are meeting. Whilst this is great as first interview preparation, you can take it a step further on the second interview. Take a look at what pages they follow on LinkedIn, their education or skills. This can tell you a lot about a person and also if you have anything in common. Maybe it’s a sport, a good cause, or simply an approach to business. People like to hire people that share their values. Any chance you get to demonstrate this - take it! There are other things you can do to find common interests too. Do the company sponsor a charity? Maybe you have raised money for a charity before. Or, maybe the charity is of particular interest to you. If a hiring manager really can’t decide between two excellent candidates, a shared value could really tip the balance in your favour.


Saying thank you after the second interview

It's not over after you have finished the second interview. Sending a short message of thanks to the hiring manager will go a long way - don't forget to thank your recruiter too!  Sending a thank-you email may seem so obvious to so many people, but we are always surprised by how few people actually do. It doesn’t have to be a long message. Just express your thanks and your genuine interest in the role. Thank them for taking the time to meet with you again.

If you are looking for work within Facilities Management, get in touch with our expert team today.

employee mental health

How to support employee mental health post lockdown

Employee mental health is now a huge topic.  It has come to light even more during the pandemic and lockdown period.

As lockdown eases and people start to return to the office, it is to be expected that there will be some unease from employees. Interestingly, research consistently shows that over 50% of workers are 'uncomfortable' about returning to the office. This stems from COVID-19 anxiety and fears around travelling to and from the workplace via public transport. Also, there is also a preference for more flexible working arrangements.  Therefore, employees are reassessing their relationship with the workplace.

As well as all this, factor in the stress and isolation of long months working from home.  It’s clear that supporting employees and their mental health is an increasing need of the ‘new normal’.

Actionable steps to support employee mental health

As employees return to the office, facilities management play a role in minimising any anxiety. Create effective social distancing and hygiene measures that are easily actioned.  This will play a role in helping to reduce their fears.

Create a supportive and healthy work environment. Produce safety protocols that are clear and effective and communicate these to employees.  Create safeguards for their own self-protection and those of others.

Assessing the workplace

For FM professionals, reviewing the workplace and implementing new guidelines is a critical part of supporting workers to feel confident in the return to the office. Communicate the COVID preparedness of the workplace clearly to returning employees.

The office space may need a deep clean, with a focus on multi-touch surfaces. You may need to adjust the layout of the workspace to observe social distancing and ensure that interactions between employees and clients promote safety and trust.

Make sure that supplies of paper towels, hand gel and PPE if necessary are in place. Reassure employees that basic hygiene measures are taken care of.  This goes a long way to alleviate the worry associate with staying safe in a busy office.

Connect with vulnerable staff

The official government advice is that there is no need for individuals to self-isolate at the moment.  However, the situation can change at any time. Official guidance says that vulnerable adults can return to their workplace if it’s COVID-secure.  But they should still work from home if possible.

Individuals who are vulnerable and have been self-isolating are at particular risk of feelings of isolation and loneliness. Other employees who have lost relatives, friends or colleagues may not be in a robust emotional state to return to work.

Organisations should be prepared to offer distanced forms of counselling and therapy via telephone, email or video. These wellness options should offer privacy and flexibility to employees who wish to access them.

Connectivity is another issue for those still working from home. Facilities management need to risk assess the situation.  You also need to put in place appropriate measures like virtual water coolers so teams stay connected.

Effective emotional support is critical

Lockdown has affected different people in different ways. It's important to assess the levels of anxiety and mental wellbeing in individual employees and teams. Hold one-to-one and/or team meetings before the return to work so issues and concerns can be communicated.

This helps to reassure employees that their worries around their mental and physical wellbeing are being taken seriously.

Ongoing emotional support and COVID defence plans will be critical in the months ahead, so start now to support the mental and physical wellbeing of your employees in the post lockdown world.

You can find more information and guidance on the Government website here:
or visit our blog update on Mental Health Awareness Week