19 Aug 2019

What Role Will Facilities Management Play in the Future of Work?

The future of work offers unparalleled opportunities, but also significant challenges. So much has been said about the future of work, significantly changes are happening to the ways we did things few decades ago; and artificial intelligence, robotics and ultimately, the Internet of Things (IoTs) are at the heart of both business operations and human development.

In many respects, the future of work is already here and it is shaped by two powerful forces: The growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, and the expansion of the workforce to include both on- and off-balance-sheet talent.

The development of automation enabled by technologies including robotics and artificial intelligence brings the promise of higher productivity (and with productivity, organizational growth), increased efficiencies, safety, and convenience. But these technologies also raise difficult questions about the broader impact of automation on jobs, skills, wages, and the nature of work itself.

Many activities that workers carry out today have the potential to be automated. At the same time, companies are changing and expanding the way they identify and recruit talent. Also, independent workers are increasingly choosing to offer their services on digital platforms and in the process, challenging conventional ideas about how and where work is undertaken.

As work becomes more and more fragmented and technology sits at the centre of business operation and people productivity, the workplace is also changing in shape, form and purpose. Today’s workplace is no longer about where people come to earn a pay by doing their job, research has shown that how the workplace engenders collaboration, builds corporate culture and projects both brand identity and image are important the employees and by extension, business growth.

Therefore, in an age where culture, brand and (digitally enabled) productivity will define the workplace; what role will Facilities Management play?

In the future of work where technology will eliminate location and distance, Facilities Management can then not just be about the physical work environment and what make it functions. Therefore, the role FM will play in the future of work is captured in Chair of Institute of Workplace & Facilities Management, Nigeria Region, Wale Odufalu’s presentation at the 2019 edition of the Nigerian Facilities Management Roundtable. Wale who is also the Group Executive Director Corporate Services of Alpha Mead Group, noted that Facilities Management of the future is a “function that integrates people, place and process with the purpose of improving the quality of life of the people and the productivity of the core business”.

To therefore to improve the quality of life of people in the workplace, and eventually the productivity of the core business, FM must humanize it place and digitalize it processes.


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