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September 24, 2019updated 26 Sep 2019 2:50pm

Making the Workplace Smart Enough to Make a Difference

A CBR Dining Club event for facilities management leaders

By CBR Staff Writer

SPONSORED – The way we construct, manage and maintain the buildings we live and work in is changing fast. Design and construction are already being reinvented through building information modelling (BIM) and intelligent prefabrication.

Now Digital Twin technologies, Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and the appliance of artificial intelligence (AI) promises to make management and maintenance smarter and more efficient. As the opportunities change, so the facilities management leadership roles change with it change too.

Those FM leaders gathered in mid-September at a central London hotel for an evening of conversation and insights.

During the event titled ‘Making the workplace smart enough to make a difference’, IBM’s Paul Russell and Paul Gatland kicked off a discussion about how new thinking has the potential to transform the workability of our places of employment.

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For example, if you could collect data about lift usage could you in turn encourage greater use of the stairs as part of a well-being project?

Or could you bring efficiency to room booking by using sensors to monitor current usage, reducing the required space and audio-visual equipment required in the process?

During the evening, attendees discussed monitoring and predicting patterns of human behaviour, identifying anomalies in workplace energy and occupancy usage, and the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning and its relevance to the FM sector.

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Among the learnings shared, Paul Russell raised the Fogg Behavioural Model which suggests that three things are required – above all others – to change behaviour: motivation, ability and trigger (for trigger read ‘call to action’).

Russell also invoked the Design Thinking methodology developed by IDEO, a California-based design consultancy, in the early 1990s.

Human-centred at its core, Design Thinking encourages planners to put themselves in the shoes of the users. Unless, said Russell, we really understand how employees are going to use the space we are creating we will fail to deliver something that works for them.

‘Making the workplace smart enough to make a difference’, a CBR Dining Club Event in association with IBM, took place at the Soho Hotel, central London, on Wednesday 18 September 2019.

To hear more from Paul Russel and Paul Gatland of IBM, watch the CBR interview here.

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