social media in the workplace

Workplaces need social media. Martin Pickard @FMGuru posted a question on twitter this morning on (should we) use Social Media in the Workplace in preparation for a debate this week. These debates are happening across all sectors, particularly so within the built environment, but I find it odd that we are have these debates at all and wonder:

  • What do I tell my son who is learning how to use facebook and how to blog at school, with QR codes to promote school sports day results, that when he starts work he wont be allowed to use such skills?
  • Did we have these discussions when the telephone or fax was introduced. (Lets send a hand written note around, get people together to explore whether we should allow the telephone on to sites)
  • Or indeed when email was introduced. I work with construction contractors who still do not allow computers on site, emails are send to an info@ address, printed in the head office and taken to sites by the contracts manager. We laugh at this now, but are we doing the same on social media?

Lets think about social media as collaboration and communication. Do we really want to have a debate as to whether we need ‘communication’ in the work place? Or whether we want people to work together, to collaborate?

Increasingly we shore up our policies and employee guidelines preventing the use of social media rather then guidelines on responsible behaviour. Better to have a workforce of ambassadors across social media than a frustrated annoyed workforce who criticise or worse during their own time or in their lunch times?

If we start to use the expression of ‘Real Time Web’ rather than social media it opens the door to thinking about using it as a tool for learning, sharing, communicating and gathering the intelligence an organisation needs (market, client, comptetitors, innovations etc)

Google have enabled Real Time as part of their search options. Staff can now see who has tweeted, blogged or shared anything they search for. Should we hence prevent the use of Google.  We cannot stop the use of social media or real time web, are we (as employers, managers, directors etc) just trying to stick more and more fingers in the soon to break dam?

Reading the traits of successful collaborative leaders for a piece of work with an innovative construction organisation and I see time and time again that a collaborative leader, (to which most built environment leaders would profess to be) is one that is connected, internally and externally across many sectors, through, yes, social media as well as traditional media. (Blog post to come)

Increasingly I am working with organisations who are waking up to the use of social media applications to improve winning work potential, from gathering leads/market/client/competitor intelligence, to gathering evidence for PQQ’s (from eg project blogs) to collaborative writing of responses and much more. (Follow me on @fairsnape for more on this)

Related links:

Using social media can help boards be better on sustainability. (CSRWire Talkback Blogpost)

Why FM needs to go social (a @be2camp FMX Article with @EEPaul)

Top 10: uses of social media to win work (check back after 23rd June after my session with Lancs Construction Best Practice Club)

ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard issued

ISO has issued ISO 50001, a new standard for energy management systems that aims to help organisations establish systems and processes to improve their energy performance, including efficiency and consumption. It will of course be of particular interest to facilities management organisations who will undoubtedly be asked to manage facilities to ISO 50o01

Firmly aligned with ISO 9001 and 14001, the standard is based on the well proven Plan Do Check Act Deming cycle of continuous improvement.

Plan : conduct an energy review and establish  baseline energy performance indicators (EnPIs), objectives, targets and action plans

Do : implement the energy management action plans.

Check : monitor and measure processes and the key characteristics of its operations that determine energy performance against the energy policy and objectives and report the results.

Act : take actions to continually improve energy performance and the EnMS.

ISO have issued a brochure providing back ground information to the standard

Cost of Carbon: “What was a carrot will now become a stick”

So are we prepared yet for the tranistion to a low carbon economy in the built environment?

Accouncements this week from the UK Government regarding targets for carbon reduction will affect all aspects of energy use, conservation and management. With the built environment contributing to 40% of CO2 emissions the imapct on design, material production, tranport construction and more will be very significant.

Facilities Management and the way we use buildings will most likely be the sector of the built environment to be profoundly affected. Whether the FM sector can rise to the occasion is another question, and one now being debated in FM forums, circles and events. See my thoughts on CSR Wire Talkback   

Indications from the recent Facilities Show in Birmingham (my own questioning of the exhibitors) suggests carbon measurement is just not on many FM providers agenda as yet

Can we be ready for such a dramatic tranistion, which as Derek Deighton explained is a 13 times reduction – a huge undertaking. And its not as if we havent had time to prepare in the last decade or so. Indeed as John Elkington highlighted ‘since Brundtland in 1987 we are still jollying along and still delighting in green or sustainable innovations’ 

What lies ahead in relation to the tranistion for businesses to a low carbon economy has been wonderfully summed up and explained in the May edition of  the Director in the Green Path to Growth article by Alison Coleman:

The UK has pledged to make deep cuts in carbon emissions by 2050. But as new sustainability rules bite, what are the duties of businesses? …

Britain is committed to massive carbon cuts, and whether businesses subscribe to green principles or not, they will be expected to play a key role. The Climate Change Act 2008 set a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050, which assumes energy efficiency savings of around two per cent per annum for the next 40 years. That’s a big ask.

Although many companies are implementing green operating policies and achieving environmental management standards, the business contribution to the target is being driven by myriad carbon-related sustainability rules. Yet many organisations have yet to understand the cost of compliance

and as to the cost of carbon? …

Tony Rooke, sustainability practice leader at IT services provider Logica, says: “What was a carrot will now become a stick, and with the carbon price set at £12 per tonne of carbon emitted, it could add up to eight per cent to an organisation’s energy costs. What it will do is encourage them to minimise that impact by monitoring energy consumption more closely, and redoubling their efforts to reduce it and avoid waste.

it of course makes good sense:

Alan McGill, a partner in the environmental reporting practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Forget the green agenda and just apply the commercial principles. There are lots of companies looking at operational opportunities to take carbon out and bring benefits to the business.”

People get ready, there’s a CO2  train a comin’ You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board”  With apologies to Curtis Mayfield

I have often said the built environment is a fascinating and great sector to be involved with – and now as we realise the carbon train is a-coming and we see its time to get on board, the journey could get a lot more interesting!

Thoughts?

Will BIM move to FIM? (Webinar 16/4/10)

The concept of a Facilties Information Model as a more encompassing, arching umbrella model to a Building Information Model has been discussed over the last few years, but with little (public) evidence of use in practice.

I guess in some ways it reflects the larger discussion between construction and facilties management, between the provision of buildings and use of buildings. And, as in practice we see FM and endusers taking a more prominent role in design and construction, we will see BIM become Facilities Information Models.

Good then to see the public debate and webinar How Owners are using BIMStorms scheduled for 16th April: (Info from BIMStorms:)

Owners are looking at BIM in a much broader way, beyond just design and construction. Learn how everyone can learn how to work with information in BIM that brings greater value to owners for the full life-cycle of projects.

Linking Business Requirements to BIM
Early Planning
Design and Construction
Facility Management
Real time sensor data connected to BIM
Managing a portfolio of projects using Real Time BIM data
Creating a feedback loop to work with existing buildings in BIM

Please join us in this webinar that will show how owners such as The Los Angeles Community College, GSA, US Coast Guard, School Districts, are using BIMStorm and the Onuma System to define projects, interact with architects and manage lifecycle information.

April 16
9:00 AM Pacific
10:00 AM Mountain
11:00 AM CT
12:00 PM Eastern
4:00 PM London
5:00 PM Oslo
1:00 AM Tokyo (April 17)

This blog post will be updated after the webinar.

twittering facilities management

Post UPDATE:

A twitterleague group has been created at  http://www1.twitterleague.com/view_league/181  – this may not be the ideal method in the long run but a good starting point to identify those in FM who use twitter.  I can see the definition of facilities management may well be discussed again as we have fm’s, architects, construction people and property managers in the group.  As it should be !  

To be involved follow @fmleague 

 

Twitter has certainly become the buzz of the new web applications and for good reasons.  Earlier, last year, I could see that twitter would be big, but didn’t really understand why or how.  Now, after a years use I start to see the benefit, broadly around open communications, learning, sharing and inspiring concepts.  

I am also convinced that twitter can and will have a major part to play within facilities management, in engaging with building users, and even in twittering data from building systems to facilities managers.

Inspired by the work of Su Butcher to create a league of twittering architects I would like to create a directory of those in fm using twitter, and collectively start to explore and pilot using twitter.

If you are in anyway connected with facilities managemement and use twitter, and would be interested in discussing twittering fm, please leave your details as comments to this post or send me a twitter @martinbrown

A quick search on tweepsearch suggests there are only 23 users with facilities management in their profile – but there must be more ( I know there are!)

musing on a carbon 1:5:200

Reading many items and articles on the carbon issues that the built environment faces in the coming years, I have jotted a number of random thoughts in google notebook, which may one day be useful ‘spin’ for example:

…almost every building uses more energy than design calculations …… technology alone is not enough …… design 20%, people 80% … attitudes and behaviour towards energy use need to change …….. it is our responsibility to make sure that the building users understand what they need to do to meet the carbon objectives set at the design stage…… people just change the lightbulbs and appliances as soon as they move in ……. eco bling in buildings is too complex for fm’s so they switch it off and open the window..

And then, describing the 1:5:200 concept to someone today, it clicked, maybe it is the  1:5:200 thinking that joins these snippets together and is a new paradigm required in relation to sustainability and carbon management.

Maybe, if  the impact of construction is set to 1, then could the impact or influence of fm be 5 and the impact of building users 200? (in this thinking the influence of design is 0.1)

(and of course, as with the cost 1:5:200, these are indicative magnitudes to illustrate relationships between construction fm and buildings in use, not absolute figures)

Comments welcome ….

facilities carbon management

Indication that carbon management is becoming a key element of the facilities management role is evident through the Guardian article Cut and Run which focuses on UCLAN’s excellence performance in obtaining the Carbon Trust Standard.

The Carbon Trust says that universities and higher education institutes spend more than £200m each year on energy, and emit 3.2m tonnes of carbon dioxide over the same period – the equivalent of heating more than a million average households.

This puts the facilities management of carbon into perspective – not only as an environmental obligation but also as a social and moral one.  And yet “there is currently a capacity gap in the skills required to manage carbon reductions across large institutions”  FM organisations and institutes take note!

Interestingly UCLAN see the big challenge in carbon reduction as being travel:

Though the university lobbies the council for improvements, problems with the interchange between rail and bus timetables, for example, discourage students and staff from using them. This means transport is a factor in the university’s carbon performance that is proving particularly difficult to improve upon.

Now wash your hands and reduce your carbons … 

I have a slight concern over the quote from Richard Rugg, head of the public sector department at the Carbon Trust. “carbon management is essential. It needs to be viewed in the same way as health and safety”  

In terms of resources, focus and appropriate funds a big yes, but carbon management (as indeed is H and S) is a people, hearts and mind topic, not one of policing, instruction and order as Health and Safety is in danger of becoming / has become.  Facilities Management tend to be fast and easy with littering (even spamming?) walls with notices and instructions to visitors building users… no more please !!