Blog | February 2023

Looking Forward: How FM Achieves Big Goals in 2023

With the help of effective facility management and experienced partners, organizations can achieve significant goals around employee retention and workplace development.

Todd R. Robertson, PE, CRE, CMRP, LEED AP, PMP

Head of Technical Services, North America

Dr. Chesley Black

Vice President & Head of Workplace
Management, Americas



As more organizations return to offices or fine tune their existing hybrid work arrangements, 2023 will be a crucial year for streamlining and solidifying the workplace changes that have occurred since the start of the pandemic. The past few years have been an exercise in experimentation with massive changes occurring across office occupancy and workplace culture. It’s clear that hybrid is here to stay, shaping office environments and compelling employers to shift focus from cost savings to the needs and well-being of employees. By developing strong partnerships with facility managers and workplace experience experts, leaders have a rare opportunity to enhance how their spaces operate to boost worker engagement, prioritize critical strategies around sustainability, and invest in effective tools to achieve big goals and keep outstanding people. 

Investing in the Future

According to Gallup, around 80% of remote-capable workers have hybrid or fully remote schedules. With only two in 10 remote-capable employees working fully on-site—and a meager 6% reporting a desire to return to the office full-time—flexibility is proving to be a vital component for attracting quality hires, especially as hybrid work has been shown to increase job satisfaction and reduce attrition by 35%.

As a result, one of the top ways leaders can invest in their company’s future is increasing employee engagement and creating compelling spaces for collaboration. With many employees now in the workplace only two or three times per week, employers must create an atmosphere that fosters energy and connection to entice people to make the commute. Through the advice and efforts of experience managers and other workplace specialists, organizations can build on their existing values and ambitions to build a setting that keeps workers content and motivated to grow their careers where they are. Financial incentives like sign-on bonuses, relocation allowances, and performance-based raises can also help attract employees, especially skilled, in-demand individuals like engineers or technicians.

According to the ISS Pulse survey from summer 2022, employee engagement now outranks operational efficiency as the top priority for clients—cost savings dropped out of the top five altogether, replaced by concerns about attracting talent. It’s clear that leaders are concerned about the experience of their people, which is why it’s so important to develop offices that encourage collaboration and give workers a sense of belonging. Without investing in the right amenities, technology, and overall experience, companies may struggle with both retention and the ability to achieve long-term goals. Increasingly, the scope of an organization’s workplace services and facility management also reports through HR to ensure a strong people strategy is in place; close partnerships with human resource teams are necessary to determine the best policies to build an impactful workplace experience. 


The Rising Role of Sustainability

To meet crucial Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) benchmarks, sustainability continues to be a major priority for leaders as they plan for a future with fewer emissions. A sustainable approach to facility management helps companies reduce consumption, implement energy efficiency programs, optimize waste management, and explore new ways to reduce their carbon footprint. ESG has become a central consideration, and increased sustainability practices are necessary for organizations to demonstrate corporate responsibility and accountability for their environmental impacts.

With businesses and other institutions across the globe pledging to achieve net-zero emissions, leaders must explore how to make their spaces more sustainable while also maintaining high standards for their workplace experience. A facility management partner provides energy and waste audits to examine consumption, review costs, and make recommendations to increase efficiency, like upgrading climate control or lighting. After an on-site review and recommendations report, updated lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems offer near-immediate energy and cost savings, as well as prolong the life and reliability of vital office infrastructure.

Property technology and artificial intelligence have reshaped what is possible in the workplace, allowing organizations to collect and actionize data to make building operations more sustainable and provide employees with digital tools to increase their productivity. Workplace mobile apps and sensors collect extensive information on what employees utilize and prefer, helping leaders create a setting where people can do their best work with fewer barriers. Robust data collection also allows property owners to develop a detailed understanding of how their asset operates and where to make changes for increased efficacy.  

Making Places Where People Excel

Many companies are downsizing their real estate portfolio and changing the design of their offices to better reflect the needs of their people. A growing emphasis on offering a variety of collaboration spaces, attractive common areas, and bookable workstations, from individual quiet rooms to larger places for meetings and town halls, signals how employers are reshaping their spaces to prioritize a flexible and employee-focused culture. With so many able to do their heads-down work from home, the workplace should provide an exceptional opportunity for people to connect and communicate with their colleagues—if the office is an enjoyable place to be, employees will want to be there.

Workplace experience managers are key for valuable placemaking, as they curate relationships between a company, their workers, and the local community. They drive connections with local businesses and create experiences for employees they can’t get elsewhere, activating the space in sustainable and cost-friendly ways. Strategic partnerships between an organization and experts in workplace experience and facility management are necessary to provide a place where people can thrive. One aspect of this partnership includes embedding with employee resource groups to not only give workplace experts more information on the culture of the business, but also to provide resources to deliver better services, amenities, and events. These efforts, in conjunction with data collected from digital tools like workplace mobile apps, inform experience managers on how to best curate their approach, boosting effectiveness both digitally and in terms of service delivery.

Although an emphasis on employee or occupant experience is rising in importance, workplace infrastructure remains essential to provide the right built environment for people to thrive. Alignment between what workers need and what the space delivers drives the success of hybrid work plans. A productive relationship between an organization and their FM and experience partners allows leaders to make informed decisions with fewer worries about cultivating a compelling office culture.

A Variety of Options

Given the vast number of decisions leaders must make about the workplace going forward, a strong facility management and workplace experience partner is an essential component to meet organizational goals and ensure employees feel capable and supported in their roles. Although the future is unknowable, FM and workplace expertise allows companies to face difficult challenges with an engaged workforce and impactful technology solutions.

About the author

Todd R. Robertson, PE, CRE, CMRP, LEED AP, PMP

Head of Technical Services, North America

Contact Toddmailto: todd.robertson@us.issworld.com?subject=Inquiry

About the author

Dr. Chesley Black

Vice President & Head of Workplace Management, Americas

Contact Chesleymailto:chesley.black@us.issworld.com?subject=Inquiry