Getting back to normal – whatever form that takes for individual organisations – looks like being a growing trend from this summer. That means investigation, planning and strategy development all need to be underway in good time ahead of decision-making and action. But none of this is easy in a climate where the moving parts are still moving and the wider context is subject to more change. Every organisation needs clearer, more concise, more usable information – the best available on those ‘moving parts’: health & safety responsibilities and obligations, work and the workplace, service design and delivery, people and their needs and expectations. This special free event has been designed to cover all this and more, drawing on information, guidance and insights from a carefully selected expert panel of speakers.

The first mid-year event in the highly successful, long-running Workplace Futures series of FM industry conferences will be both online and FREE to all delegates. We learned a great deal from the February 2021 event, our first to be held online. Though there are downsides to being virtual, there are definite upsides too – both can be managed to deliver a great experience. More than one delegate said that February was the best virtual conference experience they had had in these pandemic times.

The February programme, under the theme Impact, Challenges & Opportunities, also revealed a specific need for a follow-up conference to address the issues now moving up the agenda for many organisations and of course their people.  Focused around the theme of Return to the Workplace, the programme for July is being designed to make available to organisations, and specifically their FM teams, the up-to-date information they need to ensure that the re-opening of their facilities is a success on all measures. And there will be no delegate fee: our vision is to make this a collaborative event for the industry, one that provides everyone involved with the resources, knowledge and insights necessary to meeting the next big Covid-19 challenge – the return to the workplace.

FM has both the opportunity and the obligation to play a full, critical role in many of the vital decisions necessary to getting buildings back into operation in ways that make sense for the organisations involved. The same is true for the people involved, who will need support and reassurance as the work landscape continues to change.

Whatever the strategy for individual organisations, facilities management overall can be the discipline known for its reliable and effective support for the new realities of work, pioneering in areas such as service quality, user experience, wellbeing and sustainability. In doing so, there is the opportunity to make a widely recognised mark as a truly value-adding discipline critical to business success.