Together with some 80 FM professionals from EMEA, a small group of motivated Belgians participated in IFMA World Workplace. The 4,000 visitors and 500 exhibitors shared experiences and discussed new trends in the FM field at the City Music Center of the music city of Nashville, Tennessee.
Dr Jessica Green of the renowned Santa Fe Institute spoke about the difference in air quality of buildings with mechanical and natural ventilation. Providing healthy air is one part of a healthy and safe working environment. This is a big challenge today, as increasing ventilation and filtering often consume a lot of energy. Finding the right balance is one of the focal points of her research.
Jeffrey Saunders, director of the IFMA research department, led a very animated panel discussion on the preliminary results of the 2nd IFMA Experts’ Assessment: New Ways of Working Towards 2030. 300 workplace experts worldwide took part in an update of the first study in October 2020. Not all panels were convinced of hybrid working as the new standard. The long-term impact on employees would be negative in terms of engagement and productivity. Moreover, according to some experts, we underestimate the claim that employees are more productive today. This opinion was not shared by all panelists.
Besides a healthy (hybrid) working environment, there was a lot of focus on the role of digital transformation for Facility Managers. The presentations and discussions confirmed that existing technology does not add enough value for organizations and, consequently, integration and interoperability are necessary. In the future, big data will be used to optimize the balance between the use of the working environment and the building and its installations.
The energy crisis in Europe has not gone unnoticed in the rest of the world. That measures to ensure energy supply in the short term and reduce energy consumption in the long term are in line with global sustainability principles is beyond dispute. Only a radical transition to a new energy model will be successful, according to some.
The annual report 2022 shows that IFMA is stronger than ever globally. With over 22,000 members in 134 countries, IFMA remains the leading and most relevant trade association for Facility Management (https://ifma.viewer.foleon.com/annual-report2022/fy-2022/