Weird Science - by Matthew Blackmore-Squires

Weird Science?

…no, I am not referring to a certain cult film that caused many a teenager to stare at their screens, slack jawed, at the ‘science’ of building a rather over-perfect partner. Rather, the science which is being incorporated into our working environments.

As an occupier, the ‘science’ that has moved into the workplace is increasingly becoming a minefield to navigate; technology and ideas abound such as motion sensors, desk sensors, environmental controls (air quality/ flow, light quality, noise pollution), biophilia, ‘densification’, wellness / wellbeing, BREEAM, WELL Buidling Standard certifications etc. There is increasing demand for a new face in the business team, who might ensure these ideas work, are analysed and the results are acted upon in a collaborative approach. This will allow improvements in the productivity and motivation of the workforce to shine through.

Most of these technologies, have been highlighted in the excellent research paper ‘The Stoddart Review’. (more on that later in our newsletter).

So, who’s going to manage all of that for you? [Enter screen right] Facilities Management (FM)…
FM will maintain your estate, and it’s worth noting that our last REMark survey shows there are twice as many FMs as PMs now in property management. Their focus is not just on occupiers, as Landlords are increasingly looking to FM to add value to their properties and attract tenants.

Yet, FM is largely undefined and, even now, still requires more work to understand the scope of that role. Better definition of the FM role would certainly help clients understand the value they can bring to the table.

[Enter screen left] the ‘Work Scientist’* perhaps as a stereotype wearing a white coat, complete with the pens in the top pocket. This role requires an understanding of how to apply innovation, change and a more ‘geeky’, scientific approach to the workplace.

I would encourage you to look up MITIE’s very interesting video about their work at Redbull Racing (yes, the F1 team) and tell me you disagree!

As with all ‘weird’ things, it takes a leap of faith by the few for the many to have the hazy mist lifted and the prize slowly appear; at least, I think that’s how it happened in the film!

Welcome to 2017, its going to be a bumpy, but fun ride and we hope we get to speak to you at some point in the year!

* acknowledgement to Mark Tyson (formerly of Mitie Group) for this role title.