New ways of working

5th of March 2014
New ways of working

Increasing competition calls for new work methods, says Nico Lemmens of ISS Facility Services.

Increasingly, global competition, the war for talents, the introduction of new technologies, and the greater focus on sustainability – among other factors – are changing how companies plan for and develop their workplace strategies and how our industry develops services to support them.

Employees work from the office, home and third workspaces; they work in private offices and open offices as well as from hot desks and touchdown points. Meanwhile, mobile devices are overtaking the laptop and the PC.

The primary purpose of a workplace is to support the people in it. Designing smart and cost effective workplaces, which will accommodate more collaboration and increase efficiency, is a major opportunity for most organisations. Many organisations are already well into this process and there is no doubt the workplace as we know it is undergoing dramatic change as it will increasingly become a place where people meet, socialise, builds relations and have fun. The future workplace will play a decisive role in building a strong corporate culture.

As organisational boundaries expand beyond the physical space, the boundaries of our industry must also evolve. Designing new and more flexible service concepts is critical in supporting our customers’ physical and virtual workspaces. The ISS 2020 Vision report: New Ways of Working – the workplace of the future analyses the strategic themes shaping how organisations will plan for and develop their future workplace strategies.

It also provides a framework for identifying the role of facility management in helping develop an organisation’s workplace strategy given the organisation’s competitive context, strategy, brand, culture, and existing workplaces. This report builds upon the findings from a previous one which concluded that future workplaces will change significantly over the coming decade.

The findings of New Ways of Working were developed through surveys in partnership with IFMA, subject matter expert interviews, and multiple workshops with customers. The study also presents external expert assessments from the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies of the strategic themes shaping the future work, the workforce and the workplace towards 2020.

To maximise the total value ecosystem, FM providers must deliver better management of FM processes, experiences, personnel and relationships with customers and end-users. They need to offer proactive, service-centric approaches that reflect, support and improve the core organisations’ strategic objectives, brand, culture, and workplace productivity at the right price point across the entire range of potential workspaces and workspace strategies.

Developing these strategies will require new approaches that not only include an understanding of where and how people work and communicate and of the supporting technologies required, but also contain new tactics for increasing the utilisation of physical workplace assets through such collaborative workplace arrangements as co-working, co-housing and fractional ownership. Supporting these solutions will expand the boundaries of the FM function into other support functions and industries and require new partnerships and alliances.


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