Resilience Emerging as Issue for Facilities
Laurie Gilmer discusses emerging trends affecting the way maintenance and engineering managers do their jobs
Business continuity and resilience.
This topic was popular in more cerebral circles just a few years ago, but it has finally hit mainstream as an observable trend. Business continuity and resilience go hand in hand with safety and security planning and emergency preparedness, but until recently the focus has been in the immediate emergent needs.
What has changed is a shift toward long-term thinking for continuity of operations. In other words, it’s not enough to have security elements in place and a robust emergency preparedness program. Business resilience planning takes that next step to answer the question of the way organizations continue, maintaining core functions after the initial response to an emergency. Facility managers and other organizational decision makers are putting more effort into long-term impacts and ways to address them.
Data, data, data. It's no surprise that data security is a concern for organizations and employees. We don't want sensitive information going places it should not go. But employee data gathering is a newer issue. Organizations typically gather and maintain personnel data for the purposes of understanding issues related to recruitment, employee retention, and employee management.
With the increasing interconnectedness of personal devices and social media platforms, as well as the organization's ability to monitor those connections and data flow, organizations now can monitor communication patterns and any information flow that crosses the network.
From a facilities perspective, interconnectedness can be helpful, especially when we are charged with making the safety and security of personnel and business a top priority. But we also must balance that with prudence and individual privacy concerns to ensure we don't create a trust breach between employees and organizations.
Real estate flexibility. This could be the "Don't tie me down long term to your financial model" concept. It speaks to the erosion of long-term leasing arrangements and the rise of flexible work spaces, which can be rented just as one might have a month-to-month apartment lease.
This idea has been around for quite some time, but it is gaining in popularity for more than just small businesses. For organizations that must continuously adjust to rapidly changing customer needs, locking into a long-term rental agreement that binds one into a far-reaching financial arrangement is less common, and this is a good alternative to consider.