The New Normal will not be influenced by the past, but will be affected by affordability, viability and self help. Controversially this will reposition FM delivery in terms of both the scope of services and service levels; Leading to a 30%+ reduction.
A recession as never before known is the governments financial message; the practicality of accessing and occupying the workplace under social distancing restrictions; the public safety concerns about traveling to work; and the reliance on “ working from home” are being openly discussed. All of these and other factors, are significantly dampening demand for traditional FM Services and disrupting traditional FM thinking.
Self Help may be the more recent and is not openly being debated yet, but for those looking at return to the workplace programmes it is very clear. Success of these programmes is heavily dependent of occupant behaviours; plus a reliance on the individual to self-sanitise, to sanitise their direct environment and to act responsibly. Indeed, Self Help is core to mitigating risks thrown up in the return to work risk assessments being devised by businesses.
Connect the dots, overlay that on the FM market generally and it becomes pretty clear to all that the FM market will be ravished by Covid-19. Example dots:
- Clients are economically challenged!
- Social distancing has impacted communal areas making gathering points non viable a severe impact for the Catering profession. Staff are expected to bring their own refreshments in many cases.
- Sanitisation Protocols that rely upon the occupant to self help
- Media usage (paperless) to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 contamination
- Office based occupancy levels of 30-40% of capacity, and traveling restrictions that prevent travel to work
All these examples lead to reduced demand for those FM services
All the dots indicate a significant contraction in FM demand that we estimated to be 30%+. Vendors need to think differently if they are to survive.