Today we celebrate World Facilities Management Day (World FM Day), dedicated to acknowledging and applauding the men and women across the globe who undertake the challenging responsibility of maintaining the safety, efficiency and usability of our workspaces. Not every profession has a day dedicated to the importance of their work – but since 2008 we’ve paid tribute to the unsung heroes of the built environment: Facilities Management Professionals. Facility management is a critical component in caring for the assets and infrastructure of a business, but it’s also critical for employee quality of life, performance and engagement.
This year’s theme is Building Resilience for the Future. According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) the focus is on the important role facilities management plays in keeping business operational through risk mitigation, continuity plans, sustainability and energy management. Ultimately, the intent is to underscore the facility manager’s ability to adapt and respond to shifts in business, politics, energy consumption, extreme weather and challenging economic conditions – keeping business operations running in all situations. According to Global FM, World FM Day will highlight aspects of facility management such as:
- Risk and Business Continuity – FM is a key component to building resilience in business both in prevention and in the continuity plans to keep operations running or getting them back up swiftly;
- Sustainability – with the challenges and targets surrounding climate change how we manage our buildings and FM infrastructure; and
- Energy Management – with projected energy cuts in many countries and fluctuating energy prices the way in which we manage our energy consumption is swiftly rising up the agenda for businesses, governments and society
Over the past 25 years, I’ve watched the role of the facilities management professional evolve as the FM function earns a seat at the strategy table in more organizations. FM professionals are being asked to continually adapt to the evolving business landscape and address emerging new trends within the sustainability, technology and energy management functions. It’s an exciting time; facility management teams have a chance to shape the future of their organization, not only from the cost and efficiency perspective, but also from the asset and infrastructure planning perspective. Perhaps most importantly, FM professionals have the opportunity to deliver a measurable increase in quality of life and increased performance of individuals, organizations and communities. With a climate of change afoot, it’s important to look at things differently, and that’s just what we are doing — from creating a way to measure impact in Quality of Life per Square Foot, to sharing our industry insights via our Workplace Trends Report.
Believe me when I say senior executives know that a company is only as good as the engaging, innovative, and thriving environment they provide their employees, clients and customers. Whether it’s an energy management solution, an infrastructure renewal project, or a facility redesign to optimize workspace, the conversations are taking place at all levels. Today’s facilities solutions are mission critical to an organization’s culture, their people’s quality of life and ultimately their future.
Join the conversation at #WorldFMDay.
Gary Herald is Senior Vice President of Sodexo Facilities Management Solution