The pandemic continues to have disruptive and transformative consequences for both companies and the people they employ with many buildings in shutdown mode. The most immediate impact of COVID-19 for many will be a significant drop in sales and the key point is preserving cash.
The FM profession has an essential role to play and there is a collective effort across the industry in stepping up to the challenge, providing mission-critical support.
FMs will be “the first responders” in inspiring the confidence to return back to work safely, says a report from BDO’s Management and Acquisitions Facilities Management team.
Once buildings start to become occupied again, FM’s essential place in the logistics of completing this in a safe and compliant manner will shine a light on the sometimes overlooked industry, the report says.
Satvir Bungar, Managing Director and Head of Facilities at BDO FM wrote in the report, that key sectors that fall under the facilities management umbrella, such as cleaning, health and safety and general buildings maintenance will enjoy a “heightened awareness”.
Bungar writes in the report:
“When buildings fully reopen, there will be a heightened awareness around cleaning and hygiene, food safety, HVAC, and need for new maintenance strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
FM professionals will be the first responders to make sure people feel secure about going back to their working environments.
We hope all this starts to change attitudes towards the importance of often overlooked management of facilities at Board level and the increasing need to form effective strategic partnerships with FM operators."
Reduced hot-desking and alternatives to social distancing where it is not possible are among measures being considered to let workplaces reopen.
A draft government plan to ease anti-coronavirus restrictions also urges employers to minimise numbers using equipment, stagger shift times and maximise home-working.