Workplace Futures Conference – 21st February 2023
Technology in the workplace: beyond the information age
The Information Age has seen us embrace technology and the resulting data – collecting it, analysing it and converting it (with greater or lesser success) into strategies and decisions that deliver real benefits. In part, this is why the era we are currently living in is defined as the ‘Information Age’.
In facilities management, for several years the discussion has been around the opportunities that the power of technology offers to change much of what we do for the better – more of the right information faster, more insight into problems and solutions, more efficient use of resources, better outcomes, better personal experiences.
Going beyond the Information Age, will lead us to an era when machines will ultimately be smarter than people, though it is hard to determine how far into the future that will be – especially for FM. This new era, already defined as the Imagination Age will see creativity become a primary creator of value. We all have the opportunity to collectively imagine, create and define the future we want to inhabit and work in, before it arrives and we lose much of the chance to shape it. We are already experiencing how the pandemic has fast-tracked how, where and when we wish to work, and how the workplace needs to respond, to be transformed and to provide an environment for collaboration and creativity, despite the notable resistance by some organisations to invest into the future.
The technology that already exists, appropriately specified and integrated, gives us the power to provide workplaces that meet the need for a better experience for users in an environment that is efficient, cost-effective and supportive of sustainability goals. This is entirely possible now. But what’s often missing before the Information Age can deliver on its full promise is that top-level strategy, the integration of all elements into a single system that provides a coherent, comprehensive source of accurate, usable information – one truth in one place, with easily defined ways to respond to it.
But, of course, not every organisation moves at the same pace, whether client or service provider. There’s the issue of change itself, which is not always easy. There may be issues around costs of implementing new technologies, even if only in the short-term; and in many cases there may be a need for new skills to successfully deploy and manage new systems. Probably the greatest challenge, however, is simply to understand – to understand what a particular piece of new technology means, what it offers, what its real benefits and costs might be, whether it is the right choice for a particular situation.
Our world changes fast, though, and businesses need to keep pace. Talking about technology is important; but unless there is action and creativity, too, some will be left behind in shrinking markets.
Workplace Futures 2023 will help the FM sector realise the far-reaching effects of technology – and to convincingly demonstrate and sell the ROI and real benefits to its clients, benefits that will affect not just profitability but their ESG goals and objectives, too.
Facilities managers and associated service providers are not naturally seen as technologists or IT specialists. A recent survey found that almost three-quarters of those working in the industry classed themselves as ‘tech-savvy’. But, the same survey found that 60% still need additional information to know where and how to incorporate smart technology into their role and into business processes more broadly, pointing to a lack of knowledge on how it can specifically support them.
Workplace Futures will tackle this question and explore what FM can and must do to put itself in a leadership position on some of today’s most pressing issues – including the role of existing and emerging technologies in post-pandemic work styles, work space design and use, the employee experience, wellbeing and sustainability. Technology can be a major driver in making the office a destination of choice and all workplaces, including hospitals, transportation and industry, cleaner, safer and more productive.
What can we learn from the pioneers in these areas, the individuals and companies that have been quietly getting on with developing and deploying new systems and services? The ones that are showing real imagination in their work?
Workplace Futures 2023 will bring together a strong panel of speakers to offer valuable, knowledgeable, practical information and insights – from the big trends in the technology world, the commercial world and into FM, through current challenges and opportunities, to case studies of implementation and successful outcomes.
We might not be able to define what the Imagination Age will hold for the sector in one day; but we will go beyond the Information Age of today and we guarantee to challenge your perceptions and provide essential take-aways and plenty of valuable insights.
Join us to learn, share, discuss, network and benefit at this unique event created by the industry for the industry.
What’s on the agenda:
• Data gathering, analytics & reporting
• Smart buildings & workplaces
• Artificial intelligence & machine learning
• Rise of the robots & the emergences of cobots
• Digital twins
• BIM for FM
• CAFM & IWMS
• Investment strategies in technology
• Virtual helpdesks
• Sensors and IoT
• Apps of every sort
• Using technology to better the workplace experience
Join us on Tuesday, 21st February 2023, in person & interact on our virtual platform.