FMLink Weekly News Digest I November 1, 2022
Owl Labs, creator of cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, 360-degree video conferencing solutions, in collaboration with leading remote work research and consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics, has just released its sixth annual State of Remote Work report. Owl Labs surveyed more than 2,300 full-time workers across the United States to uncover the latest trends and perspectives around remote and hybrid work, from employee tracking software to the four-day workweek.

The State of Remote Work report reveals what drives employees to quit (and “quiet quit”), the amounts of money that in-office workers shell out on everything from lunch to pet care, the decline of the open plan office, and the rise of task-based hybrid work. It also explores burnout and stress, particularly about a possible recession. The data shows that flexibility, versus fully remote work, is the new norm and what employees really want. Employers are delivering on staff members’ requests to work where they want by allowing a range of in-person and remote options, resulting in more inclusive hybrid environments.

Infogrid, a leader in building intelligence, has just published its recent research on employee attitudes about workplace energy efficiency, in a report entitled Energy Management and the Workplace of the Future: Why We Need an Efficiency Revolution.

The survey of more than 4,000 U.S. and U.K. respondents reveals that employees are highly aware and concerned about energy efficiency, costs and environmental impact. Findings show many are calling on their employers and governments to take action.

"Employees in both the U.K. and U.S. are concerned about energy efficiency in their workplaces, and its global environmental impact," stated Ross Sheil, senior vice president at Infogrid. "They want greater energy efficiency at work, and they hold building managers and owners accountable. Our surveys show that employees have immediate worries about how to handle heat waves and energy shortages. Companies and landlords should acquire the right energy management technologies and partner with employees to reduce carbon footprint."

Nearly 70% of companies are struggling to hire candidates, with just under 50% reporting staffing shortages. Although struggling to fill skilled trade positions is nothing new, Covid-19 drastically deteriorated the situation with a mass exodus of the workforce. Adding insult to injury, another 27% of the workforce is set to retire by 2030.

While organizations vie for more hands to turn wrenches, the choked supply chain is furthering the challenge of operations with long lead times and material shortages. Common parts needed to keep equipment operating are simply not available or will not arrive for weeks, if not months. Projects and equipment installations are essentially being shuttered due to long lead times. For example, major equipment, such as chillers and switchgear, purportedly have lead times of 3 to 5 years. News reports speculate that the supply chain will stumble well into 2024.

A shallow labor pool and strained supply chain are setting the industry up for a perfect storm, impacting operations and further stressing facility departments.

Healthcare Design magazine in partnership with the Center for Health Design and The Healthcare Design Conference + Expo have announced the winners of the Nightingale Awards — the industry’s leading program to recognize products related to the healthcare built environment that is named to honor Florence Nightingale, a tireless advocate for the improvement of care and conditions in military and civilian hospitals in the 1800s.

The judging criteria for the awards are the product’s contribution or solution for clinical or operational outcomes; aesthetics and innovation; built environment solution, durability, functionality, and quality; industry certifications and standards; environmental sustainability; and list price.

The Nightingale Awards are directed by Eileen McMorrow, editor-in-chief of The McMorrow Reports and FMLink, who recruits the jury of healthcare facilities professionals, architects and interior designers who evaluate the products before the show opens. 

The Nightingale Best of Competition Award, Gold Award, and Innovation Award in Storage & Accessories went to Zippsafe for ZippSpace Pro. Additional award winners include Accurate L&H; Kwalu, Mohawk Group, OM Seating, Vaask and Wieland, among others.

Though employees have habituated to remote and hybrid working, for management it has been an arduous road when coming to terms with these new diverse working models and workplaces. With acceptance marking a done deal, it is time for facility managers to reinvent the office once again.

During the pandemic, organizations quickly retrofitted their workspaces — adding on bits and pieces here and there — to support hybrid working styles for the short term. FMs must rebuild their workplaces from a hyper-hybrid-working-centric perspective. In these newly reinvented workplaces, employee experience will take priority in ways that champion more human interactions and connections. They will also level the playing field for on-site and remote employees that enables community and culture building.

To achieve this reinvention and avoid becoming overwhelmed, three essential factors should be prioritized:
  1. Technology must be equitable and inclusive to level the field for remote and on-site employees.
  2. Companies must truly deliver on a workplace experience that delivers something the home office cannot and earn the commute of employees.
  3. As proven by the pandemic, staying agile is imperative; can the workplace adapt in five years, a year, or even the next six months to meet organizational and business needs?

The Gridd® adaptive cabling distribution system enables a building to adapt to inevitable technology changes, remain highly functional and operational, and save money at every stage of its life cycle. An original contributor to the circular economy, Gridd’s fluid, modular design enables moves, adds and changes without the mess of traditional cabling methods. If a facility manager can avoid contributing to the waste stream, that’s also an added benefit to the company’s ESG commitment.

The Gridd Mobile App makes it even easier for FMs, IT teams, electricians and maintenance personnel to make power and data cabling. Gridd Mobile provides augmented reality (AR), technical support, as-built drawings, how-to videos, original site pictures, and product information conveniently accessible on a smartphone or tablet.

Gridd Mobile allows facility technicians to see exact power, voice, and data cabling locations through the floor in an instant, making systems’ changes quick and easy. Gridd Mobile improves the life of your facility, allowing future facility teams, even years from now, to make moves, adds and changes to the same space with ease. When using Gridd Mobile, there is no knowledge lost between teams.

The Power to Change just got easier with Gridd Mobile. 
Will Webster, regional vice president and SME for ABM Facility Services, met with Eileen McMorrow, editor-in-chief, The McMorrow Reports and FMLink, to discuss how ABM Engineering+ delivers more value through comprehensive comprehensive customized solutions and specialized technical services. Corporations, healthcare systems and higher-education institutions are challenged to find trained and qualified engineers to operate and maintain facilities. With more than 10,000 on-site engineers and 1,750 maintenance technicians on the road, ABM is one of the largest providers of on-site engineering solutions in the U.S. ABM’s team answers questions about how it provides its unique-to-the-industry solutions.

What is the range in years of experience?

Will Webster: From one year to over 30 years. Engineers can progress from an entry level position to a chief engineer or assistant chief engineer role in 10-12 years. Many will go through a four-year apprenticeship during this time where staff is working every day at the job site and going to classes at night. This results in a good balance between learning from the books and on the job. The real-world application is key because things are often not in the right place or systems could be more advanced or dated than what was studied in class. Working alongside experienced staff is also key for new engineers.

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