Institute seeks innovative strategies to tackle workplace disruptions
The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM), Nigeria region, has called for innovative ways to respond to the disruptions in the workplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
IWFM Nigeria Chairman, Tunde Obileye, noted that other major challenges in the industry were the low level of awareness and a less qualified workforce, explaining that a lot of people in this space lack training, competence and skill set as facility managers.
Obileye, who spoke at the yearly conference of the institute in Lagos, with the theme: ‘Re-inventing the Workplace,’ said the conference was organised to create awareness, and share new knowledge, ideas and practices in the facilities management industry.
“Presently, the whole concept of facility management and maintenance culture is yet to be fully understood in Nigeria. Today’s event offers us an opportunity to engage our minds as we explore the role of facilities management in re-inventing the workplace. The pandemic created a shift in the where, when and how we work with significant implications for workers and structures in the built environment,” he said.
“However, there is a silver lining to what we experienced,” he noted, adding, “COVID-19 presented an opportunity for practitioners to collaborate and help our leaders to understand how the workplace is changing, and how their business organisations can best prepare for a vibrant future.”
Board chairman of Odua Group, Bimbo Ashiru, said that though COVID-19 created a lot of problems, it at the same time brought out a way of understanding the dynamics of things.
He also urged facility managers to ensure their workplace was conducive, convenient and comfortable.
Managing Partner, Ora Egbunike and Company, Cyprian Konkwo, while speaking on the diversities in the workplace, noted that Gen X, the millennials, and Gen Z, among others, all have different approaches to work and it is the duty of facility managers to ensure that despite the differences, productivity is not affected.
“When I come to work in the morning, I want to see my people face to face; that is how I was trained and how I want my work to be done, but you can’t do that for a millennial employee. What he needs is that you give him what to do and let him deliver; he can work anywhere. So, we need to design spaces that suit them, and attract them to the workplace,” he advised.
He said: “Facility managers (FM) need to initiate some wellness initiatives in the workplace such as weight loss programs to address physical health, meditation programs to improve mental focus, and flexible work arrangements.