Covid-19: How to Achieve Positive Outcome from the Situation
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Amidst the chaos and distress caused by the COVID-19, one of the major concerns has been the multi-brand outlets and offices which see attendance of multiple employees on day to day basis. These large facilities have dedicated team who are responsible for the wellbeing of the infrastructure and the people who spend most of the time in it. These properties are spread across residential and office parks and co-working facilities, understandably they cannot be fully shut down even during the lockdown. In the wake of a global pandemic, facility management organizations have shown great resilience by quickly adapting to the change caused by it.
While the crisis demands the world to come together on the battle and explore alternatives, be it through social distancing, remote work access, availability of critical supplies and protective measures for all and of course, all through effective resource management, it is imperative that organizations and its people extend their support and quickly adapt to the change in dynamics prevalent across all sectors across the globe.
Facility management organizations are purely cognizant of the criticality of the systems, process and wellbeing of all the stakeholders. Continuing duties of critical and essential services are crucial to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all stakeholders involved, especially in the case of business parks and residential communities. Failure to do so can result in considerable loss of health, failures in service delivery and reputational risk.
This being the case, organizations should enforce various modes of workability resulting in efficiency, business continuity and recovery. For facility management companies, the on-ground personnel can be deployed to ensure service delivery in technical operations, housekeeping, sanitization, horticulture and security as safety and wellbeing should be the utmost priority through non-clinical methods recommended such as social distancing, PPEs, job rotation and education. During these volatile times, facility management companies work hand-in-hand with all the support staff by providing them with additional incentives over and above daily wages which has ensured motivation and demonstrated commitment to keep various properties operational and ensure safety of the extended arms. In this situation it is important, the entire team should ensure their commitment to the organizations by working from home through remote access and use of latest communications technologies which allows for reasonable operational efficiency, thus decreasing losses to the stakeholders and organization. These teams should also help in assisting action plans and awareness material required to educate on the pandemic. Right from legal teams seeking permissions to ensure smooth report to work for the on-ground staff during the lockdown to EHS compliance mandates should be passed to ensure the safety of facilities, finance teams should leverage on the use of cloud technologies to ensure smooth transition of funds, marketing teams should work well on reinstating the values of their organizations by aligning with a global view on the fight against COVID-19, human resource departments should shoulder the responsibility of employee welfare through provision of regimes and practices that would help increase remote work productivity, exercise practices for mental and physical fitness and by using technology to host fun work from home sessions that continue to keep the workforce connected and involved; a holistic effort by all teams will certainly reduce the footprint of the pandemic.
Initiatives, like supporting the government through the fund in this trying time or even supporting the police forces who are risking their lives in order to keep us safe during this lockdown, shows a great sense of responsibility.
In the future, the world may explore options other than China to meet their manufacturing requirements; this may result in an opportunity during adversity. The territorial position of India coupled with the demographics of a young workforce makes it a suitable alternative to the aspiring need of the world. This along with the readiness to use technology such as IoT and AI certainly allows gaining leverage on this possible need for industrial and manufacturing activities. While this growth must be approached with readiness, facility management companies would scale up and assist these industries through safety and upkeep of their facilities with utmost precaution, proactiveness and proficiency.
The IFM industry would need to gear up and be prepared to perform their tasks covering two major objectives—resilient business continuity and cost-efficiency.