Empowering Indian Workforce Through Facility Management: An Imperative For India Inc

The current world of work, defined now as the new normal, entails a fluid intermingling of hybrid and physical interactions that organisations and employees have been adapting to

The integrated facility management sector integrates people, processes, and technology to enable functionality, safety, and efficiency across its diverse projects and operations. A large segment of the workforce in India is constituted by blue-collar workers, and this forms a crucial component of the integrated facility management (IFM) sector.

Over the past few years, accelerated by industrialisation and growing economic frontiers, the demand for a facility management workforce has tremendously increased across traditional industries, including infrastructure, manufacturing, and construction, as well as in the telecom, logistics, and e-commerce areas.

With industry 4.0 ramping up and the prevalent need for skilled labour, many consumer-facing corporations, as well as those in the construction and infrastructure sectors, have begun to externally partner with organisations that specialise in facility management operations. While the effects of the pandemic caused this sector to reset and re-align its approach, it has created opportunities for the workforce to expand their boundaries and come to the forefront. Another significant element influencing the future of blue-collar jobs is employers moving toward involving the workforce in the creation of sustainable companies that are based on the maxim of profiteering with purpose.

The current world of work, defined now as the new normal, entails a fluid intermingling of hybrid and physical interactions that organisations and employees have been adapting to. This has led to a boost in the scope of IFM services that were being traditionally extended across workplaces. The manner in which facility management employees are recruited, trained, and managed has undergone a complete transition.

The need for flexible staff is rising, and the entire value chain for facility management workers is being increasingly digitised. Scalable matching and the provision of on-demand services have been enabled by technological intervention and innovation. India has over 250 million blue-collar workers, the majority of whom are not adept at using technology due to a lack of access and availability. Therefore, it is crucial that businesses upskill their workforce and equip them with the know-how to use and understand technology, tech-based solutions, and build their capabilities.

The employability of the facility management workforce has expanded rapidly with the rise of technological platforms, start-ups, and e-commerce businesses. While the impact of technology on the workplace has been a highly deliberated topic, its implications for the growing blue-collar workforce are yet to be examined. The evolution of new and emerging technologies will lead to a continued increase in the demand for trained personnel.

The management of intelligent workflows will necessitate a certain level of digital literacy in these contemporary jobs. In addition to technical skills, workers will require other capabilities and soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, reasoning, creativity, collaboration, and emotional intelligence. Technological advancements have given organisations access to a variety of e-learning platforms that can be used to train staff on-the-job and retrain or upskill them for future roles. In addition to this, investors, consumers, and regulators are also becoming more invested in how companies endeavour to achieve their environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG) goals.

In line with this, businesses will need to execute extensive workforce upskilling initiatives that underline aspects related to sustainability and technological innovation, among others, which are crucial towards achieving their corporate priorities. The facility management workforce forms the backbone of the economy, enabling businesses to function and thrive. It is imperative we undertake concerted efforts to empower their growth and tap their potential, which in turn helps businesses scale and reap benefits.

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