Integration of workplace services continues to gain momentum, claims report

Integration of workplace services is gaining momentumHR, FM and IT within large corporate organisations are gradually being brought together to provide ‘Workplace services’ that recognise new working practices and the importance of people. This trend – which has already seen an agreement between the BIFM and CIPD to collaborate in the future, will accelerate in the increasingly agile, digitally driven business environment.  This presents an opportunity for FM to provide new service solutions that focus more on supporting people, and less on the buildings from which they work. This is according to a new report, Delivering the Vision of an Integrated Workplace, was commissioned by Mitie, which will be unveiled at the Facilities Show next week. The report highlights the opportunities for FM providers to offer an expanded range of consultancy-style services, such as space management and the analysis of FM and property data to drive property strategy.

FM players that can adjust to these changes by focusing on delivering new high-quality services and integrating their offering will benefit enormously says the report. The research drew on in-depth face-to-face interviews with property, estates and facilities directors across a total of 40 major UK organisations, including BSkyB and Nestle. The study also involved surveying over 200 facilities managers and other in-house property managers who represent the ‘feet on the ground’ in organisations. The research also found:

  • Property consolidation – The rise of agile working and the need to save money will drive the continuing consolidation of property space over the next five years which will thus encourage new ways of delivering FM services
  • Strategy disconnect – There is a disconnect between the business leaders and the ‘troops on the ground’ who implement workplace strategies. Business leaders overwhelmingly predict a big reduction in property estates, whereas only 22% of those responsible for implementation think this is the case
  • Deserting the regions – Non-manufacturing organisations are deserting the regions in favour of consolidation in the South East because of the large pool of skilled labour. The trend is for ‘mothership’ premises in the South East and supporting regional offices, with the City of London,  Silicon Roundabout, Soho, and Kings Cross amongst the most popular locations
  • FM as a strategic enabler – There is overwhelming consensus that FM is moving from being a commodity service to a strategic enabler that brings together different parts of the business. 57% of end users felt this was the case as did the majority of the participants in the executive interviews

Martyn Freeman, managing director of Mitie’s Facilities Management business, said: “This study reveals some fascinating trends, principally around the evolution of ‘workplace services’, which all facilities management providers must adapt to if they are to thrive in the flexible workspace of the future which is focused on the people they support. “We’re going through a period of great change but FM’s position as a central function in the evolving workplace of the future means it is ideally placed to capitalise on this to grow as an industry and enhance its strategic function within organisations.” Nick Green, Director of Property at BSkyB commented “The way we work has changed dramatically in just the last five years and will continue to do so at an increasing pace. This research highlights the importance of organisations focusing on the people and building effective workplaces around their needs, rather than focusing on the traditional measures of SLAs, KPIs and contract details. “Within BSkyB we have already recognised that departments which traditionally stood alone, such as Property, FM, IT, and HR will increasingly work more closely together, and could eventually form a single ‘workplace services’ function,” he concludes. To download the full report visit