Covid-19 is changing our industry and profession . . .
Covid-related challenges present unique new opportunities for today’s leaders in RE&FM, or what we prefer to call CRE&WS.*
Workplaces today are not just physical structures. They can proactively address health & wellness, promote engagement & morale, enhance the environment, boost productivity and increase profits.
In the Covid era, data-driven strategy is more critical than ever. It’s critical to base decisions on science, facts, and best practices.
*Corporate Real Estate and Workplace Services is a term reflecting new roles as corporate coordinators and workplace optimizers.
. . . introducing new areas to perform and measure.
In addition to meeting changing workplace needs, CRE&WS can add increased value through its interface with HR, IT & top management. Successful collaboration with these and other corporate groups can:
1.Integrate health & wellness programs
2.Enhance employee engagement efforts
3.Equip and support those working at home
Covid has introduced and expanded many challenges. CRE&WS is uniquely well-positioned to lead in addressing them.
“Your Facility Manager may be better positioned to prevent you from getting Covid than your physician.” Dr. Whitney Austin Gray, Senior VP Research, International WELL Building Institute
1. WHERE WE ARE NOW
Some metrics prevailed before Covid-19 . . .
Key Metrics highlight important business issues and results in managing an organization. In 2019, important CRE&WS metrics included those listed here.
2019 Key Metrics
1. Total Cost of Occupancy (TCO) per Square Foot (Usually Rentable SF)
2. Total Cost of Occupancy (TCO) per Occupant (All Facility Users)
3. Cost per Workspace (TCO / “Seats”)
4. Square Feet per Workspace (Total SF / Seats; Usually RSF)
5. Occupancy Rate (Occupants / Seats)
6. Cost Per Revenue Dollar (“CPRD” equals TCO as a Percent of Revenue)
7. Cost Per Operating Dollar (“CPOD” equals TCO as a Percent of Corp. OpEx)
8. Capital Renewal Rate (Capital Investment / Current Replacement Value)
9. Burn Rate (Total Costs of Vacant or Unutilized Space)
10. Ratio of Gross (or Rentable) to Usable Square Feet
Other Important Metrics: Capital Spending per Portfolio SF, Revenue per Employee, Churn Rate (Workplace Moves), Internal and Outsourced Staffing Ratios, Staff Productivity (Occupants per FTE, SF per FTE), Cost Breakouts (Utilities, Maintenance & Operations, etc.), Regional Breakouts and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
2. WHERE WE ARE GOING
. . . but new questions and expectations have emerged . . .
Benchmarks will be adjusted to assess 2020's unusual occupancy and operating costs. Covid-19 Best Practices, however --and outcomes of programs implemented-- have become critical.
Examples of key questions (by location, state and region as possible) include:
1. What were the RSF, headcount (#) and occupancy (%) of facilities on 1/1/20?
2. When did your company close your facilities to normal use by occupants?
3. What was the typical occupancy level (%) during the summer of 2020?
4. What are your current RSF, headcount (#) and occupancy level (%)?
5. What levels are expected at end of Q4-2020; Q1-2021; Q2-Q4-2021?
6. When are your return to work dates, and what headcounts are planned?
7. What is your company’s policy on who decides when / where employees work?
8. What changes in SF and occupancy are planned for 2021? 2022? Long-Term?
9. What space-related steps are you taking to make the workplace Covid-safe?
10. Which entry steps, event responses, contact tracing, HVAC changes, sanitizing, etc.?
Examples: BPI (bipolar ionization), UVC (ultraviolet), Merv-13 (filtration), DHP (dry hydrogen peroxide), biocidals, CDC/WHO guidance, EPA/FDA compliance, state/local restrictions, NIH tests, lab-validated system selection, etc.
. . . bringing new methodologies, symbols & terms . . .
. . . that reveal a clear need --and a major opportunity-- for CRE&WS:
- Develop the data necessary, in advance of the needs
- Explore a range of planning scenarios and implications
- Report findings and recommendations to management
These issues may be familiar to us, but they are not well understood by all colleagues. CRE&WS can take a leadership position, acquiring the data that will optimize high-level decisions.