The dynamic workplace is already the “new normal” so what are the implications?

by Julian Harrison, Business Unit Director, myfm

Stay home – protect the NHS – save lives……Return to work if it is safe to do so…Work from home if you can….”

Despite the mixed messages the reality is stark and clear; most office buildings occupancy levels remain at 20% or less.

So where has everyone gone and what does this mean for business owners and property managers?

There have already been a number of redundancies and these will increase when the full furlough scheme ceases at the end of October. But this still leaves the majority of the office workforce now working remotely and for most people this means working from home. So, for business owners what does this mean and is it sustainable? If the office workplace is now at home, the employer still has a duty of care for the employee in the workplace…staff wellbeing and HR policy need to be reviewed and central to the strategy. Below are some key checkpoints to consider when considering a remote working strategy:

  1. Furniture & DSE assessment – A laptop stacked on 4 books on the kitchen table doesn’t really cut it and potential for employee absence due to back and neck issues followed by litigation claims is significant.
  2. Information & Communications Technology (ICT) – This area is in overdrive right now; the novelty of Zoom has long worn off – do your collaboration tools actually work and are your teams happy/prepared to use them? Have you even asked them?
  3. Travel – Dependant on office circumstances, this is potentially one of the highest risk environments – the government and many businesses are asking employees to avoid public transport. Are there alternatives? Is there a bike to work scheme and is this now inclusive of electric bikes? Car-sharing is probably not such a good idea!
  4. Alternative Remote Locations – Not everyone can work effectively from home; lack of space, young children and pets may make this difficult and frustrating. We are already seeing a swift rise in pop-up office spaces both in the high street and pubs, as people are seeking more than the ad hoc facilities available from the likes of Pret but don’t want to come into the office. Given the alternatives, could this approach be encouraged/supported if it provides a safe remote workplace?
  5. The Office – There are numerous guides and innovations available to create a safe working environment for those that need/want to come to the office. Based on Covid risk assessment there are some key FM changes underpinning this:
    1. Air conditioning moved from re-circulation to fresh air ventilation
    2. Cleaning changed from presentation to sanitisation
    3. Interaction changed from randomisation to one-way system
    4. Occupancy changed from maximisation to screened and socially distanced
  6. Property & Estates – This is no longer a short-term issue; most employees and most industry commentators agree that normal service will never be resumed! Now is the time to review leases and reconsider property & estates strategy in the mid and long term.


The workplace is evolving at a tremendous pace, which is why it is such an important time for business leaders to reassess property and FM solutions to make sure they continue to meet business ambitions.

Property and FM has a direct bearing on factors such as productivity, staff retention and client perception. Simple changes to configurations can often make all the difference when it comes to achieving cost savings, compliance and greater efficiency.

myfm practitioners, change managers and subject-matter experts can help you align your business vision with your property and FM solution. We will listen to you in order to understand your ambition, assess and analyse your current solution and design and implement a plan to ensure your business can survive and thrive.

For more information contact:

Join myfm for an online seminar, hosted by RICS, on FM contracts in a changing workplace

Takes place Friday 23 October 2020, 1pm to 2pm.

Speaker is myfm Business Unit Director, Julian Harrison.

Facilities and workplace management has a significant impact on business success, impacting employee productivity, staff retention and client perception. The workplace is continuously evolving, with Covid-19 acting as a further accelerator of change. As business and industry seek to align FM contracts to the new normal this seminar will help property managers and clients navigate the challenges and opportunities faced in FM contracting.

Specific focus areas include:

  • The new normal – Post Covid trends in FM
  • The dynamic workplace – home v hub
  • FM Models – One size doesn’t fit all
  • Contracts – risk and opportunity.

Free for those with a RICS active CPD support package.

To book your place  –

Julian Harrison is a Business Unit Director at myfm and a senior FM professional with strategic and organisational expertise supported by extensive UK and international operational, technical and sales experience –


Be your own boss within our interim recruitment business

Few working in the recruitment industry doubt that we are in a period of major upheaval. So much has changed in 2020 – working practices, uncertainty about further lockdowns, the economy, greater reliance on online methods for selection and vetting – and all this is having an impact on the way firms are choosing to manage emerging skills gaps.

Despite all this uncertainty one thing looks pretty clear cut, there will continue to be a need for businesses to access top-class talent on an interim basis. The question is how they will choose to do so in future and how businesses like ours will adapt to meet their changing needs.

An exciting point in myfm’s journey

Following some changes in our team, we are looking for a new Business Unit Director to join myfm to help us navigate our way at this important time. Our new Business Unit Director will run their own business within our business and importantly, will help us shape the direction myfm will take.

We have already been operating for 16 years focusing on interim placement within the facilities management sector. During this time, we have developed a strong brand and reputation with many of the FM service providers and end-user clients in both the UK and Europe. But we do want our business to adapt and grow, and that is where you come in.

Welcome challenge?

We believe over the next few months we will probably see increasing demand for short-term and flexible appointments as the economy starts to stabilise again. We anticipate operating in an environment for some time yet, where people have less freedom to travel for work, especially from the areas hardest hit by Covid. Technology is already playing an important part in our day-to-day operations, but we are eager to learn more about how we can innovate further to maintain that competitive edge.

To succeed, you will also need more than five years’ senior interim management experience.

If these challenges excite you and encourage you to see opportunities where others see threats, and if you have the skills and experience then get in touch.

Be your own boss

Think of myfm as a buoyancy aid – you take the plunge using your skills, experience, contacts and a huge amount of commitment and hard work. We support you to succeed with the help of our established brand, exceptional reputation and central services such as resourcing, finance, marketing and administration, as well as access to over 200 associates to help deliver the contracts you will land.

Mike Bradley, Business Unit Director (BUD) for myfm says: “I would say being a successful BUD is all about work rate. The more effort you put in the more opportunities you get. This is an arrangement which really works for me because it provides me with an income and lifestyle which suits my needs.”

Ulf Muller, Managing Director and Business Unit Director for myfm says: “This is an exciting time for our business and a time when the right person, with the right entrepreneurial spirit can help us develop and grow.”

If becoming a new Business Unit Director sounds like you, contact Ulf Muller to have an informal chat