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Stuart O'Brien

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27 & 28 January 2020 – Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted

This unique event is entirely FREE for you to attend – simply reserve your place here for the opportunity to:-

  • Source new innovative and budget-saving suppliers
  • Learn from inspirational seminar sessions hosted by industry thought-leaders
  • Network with like-minded FM professionals who share your challenges
  • Enjoy complimentary overnight accommodation, plus all meals and refreshments

RSVP now to avoid disappointment!

5 Minutes With… Brendan Musgrove, Cordant Security

In the latest instalment of our FM executive interview series, we sat down with Cordant Security Managing Director Brendan Musgrove to talk about his company, industry trends and Tripel Karmeliet…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

Cordant security has a turnover of £110m and is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of manned guarding. Family owned, we are social business operating beyond the usual shareholder driven values.

What have been the biggest challenges the Security industry has faced over the past 12 months?

Attracting the right calibre of candidates at the market rates some end uses demand has proven increasingly difficult. We are trying to address this through best in class recruitment processes and making security an attractive career by offering a fully structured approach to development.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

There have been some major changes in the competitive landscape which has created opportunities for those agile enough to take them.

What is the biggest priority for the Security industry in 2019?

To come up with new and innovative ways to deliver value for money over and above the traditional models which may have worked up until this point.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2019?

For suppliers, it has to be being increasingly judged on output rather than input, demonstrating the value they add to their clients. In fairness this is continuation of a trend that has been developing for some time now.

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

I believe it will be putting two way data in the hands of the security officer. Both in order to direct their actions in a more targeted way, but also to provide Management Information to the end client.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…

Brexit… Still I suspect!

Which person in, or associated with, the industry would you most like to meet?

No one in particular. I have had the pleasure to meet such a wide range of people in this industry, some of the most interesting being those you wouldn’t necessarily think so. Therefore I’ll keep an open mind!

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the sector?

That some clients rightly value security very highly… and yet want to pay so very little for it.

You go to the bar at the Security Management Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

A nice strong Belgium beer – Tripel Karmeliet.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

It has to be the variety, no day is ever the same.

And what’s the most challenging?

Nothing much. Surely, the difficult bits are all part of the fun of it!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“If your snout is too far in the trough you can’t see what the other pigs are doing”…

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

Peaky Blinders of course! No contest!

Inaugural IWFM Awards winners revealed

Excellence in the field of facilities management was celebrated in spectacular style at the inaugural IWFM Awards on October 14th.

Hosted by comedian Hugh Dennis at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, 2019’s occasion was the first since the Institute’s name change last year and the nineteenth since it all began 2001.

A sparkling evening spot-lit the lucky thirteen individuals and organisations driving innovation and creating impact through a range of projects, products and partnerships and honoured them before peers, partners and friends.

A new Profound Impact award, recognising an individual whose contribution has had a positive and lasting impact on the profession went to Samantha West, a transgendered female, celebrated for how she had turned a deeply personal journey into an open conversation inspiring others to live their own truth, and sparking an industry-wide movement for changing attitudes and embracing diversity.

In his first formal Awards engagement since taking up the position in the summer, IWFM Chairman Martin Bell said:

“Occasions like tonight, where we focus on our best, really help us to evidence our impact to those beyond our world; championing the difference that excellence in workplace and facilities management can make and demonstrating our contribution to broader organisational success.

 “Our profession is about people. The people we enable through our best work, to do their best work. As we adapt to a fast-changing, more integrated world, understanding, encouraging and embracing our diverse talents can only be an asset.”

Bell also named two charities, the National Autistic Society and the Ethical Property Foundation, the former adopted by the Chairman for his tenure and the latter selected as the IWFM’s charity partner for a five-year term. 

Of 45 finalists in thirteen categories across the themes of Impact, Innovation and People the winners were:


Recognising those making a difference not only in the workplace and facilities management profession but also wider society in the areas of customer experience, the environment, organisational performance and social value.

Impact on Customer Experience

  • Savills RISE, Savills UK

Impact on Organisational Performance

  • Transformation of facilities operations at Rolls Royce, Rolls-Royce and Mitie

Impact on Society and Social Value

  • Creating Profit for a Purpose, Eric Wright FM

Impact on the Environment

  • Project Ceres Plastics Reduction, ISS with a big four professional services firm


Celebrating stand-out products, services and relationships that help to improve processes, including service delivery, as well as assisting with challenges facing the profession.

Innovation in People Development & Empowerment

  • Empowering people through ENGAGE, Interserve and E.ON UK

Innovation in Products and/or Processes

  • The IMPACT Programme, OCS Group UK

Innovation in Supplier Relationships

  • Property Team, Direct Line Group

Innovation in Technology and Systems 

  • Waterless Urinal Technology, WhiffAway Group


Highlighting the humans making a difference to the profession, the teams, the newbies, the managers and leaders whose talent and dedication underpins it all.

Team of the Year

  • AstraZeneca Macclesfield Campus FM Team

Newcomer of the Year

  • Maddie Hayes, Mace Macro

Manager of the Year

  • Fiona Stewart, Student Living by Sodexo

Leader of the Year 

  • Chris Kenneally

Profound Impact Award 

  • Samantha West

Do you specialise in Business Continuity planning? We want to hear from you!

Each month on FM Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the facilities management market – and in November we’ll be focussing on Business Continuity planning.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help FM industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Business Continuity planning and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Paige Aitken on p.aitken@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

November – Business Continuity

December – Fire Safety & Equipment

For more information on any of the above, contact Paige Aitken on p.aitken@forumevents.co.uk.

Dirty office desks ‘raising risks of staff illness’

Twenty-eight per cent of telephones, 31% of keyboards and 36% of computer mice are not cleaned at all within the workspace, increasing the risk of Heterotrophic bacteria, E. coli, Helicobacter pylori, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

That’s according to a survey of 650 UK office employees conducted by GCC Facilities Management, which highlights that the items touched the most are neglected during cleaning.

And while it may appear many members of staff are turning a blind eye to office hygiene, a very similar percentage of employees are suffering the consequences of poor cleaning management.

32% stated, due to poor cleanliness, they are using their own personal items to avoid communal chattels. This ranged from mugs, tupperware and bowls.

Worryingly, almost one quarter of employees are suffering financially due to inadequate sanitation in the workplace. 23% said they have used their own personal funds to supply cleaning equipment for the sole purpose of the office.

Communal areas received the highest praise from those surveyed. 39% were satisfied with the condition of the toilets while only 16% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

The kitchen scored a satisfaction rate of 38% and the communal fridge was just behind at 37%. As not just a social hub, but the space in which food is prepared and consumed, there is still a concerning 13% who were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with its’ cleanliness.

Dr Arun Thiyagarajan, the Health Clinics Medical Director of Bupa UK, said: “Surfaces and equipment can harbour dirt, viruses and bacteria that can remain active for months. Without regular office cleaning and good personal hygiene – e.g. antibacterial handwashing – there’s an increased chance of these surface germs transferring to you and giving you illnesses like flu, food poisoning and diarrhoea. If you fall ill, it’s best to take time off work to fully recover and reduce the chance of any harmful germs spreading to your colleagues.”

Claire Maclean, Managing Director of GCC Facilities Management, added: “The findings show that desk cleanliness is easily neglected, despite the health risks that it carries and the knock-on effects it could have for businesses in terms of sickness, reduced capacity and absences. 

“More needs to be done to firstly raise awareness of the health risks that dirtier working surfaces can have amongst office workers and secondly, businesses should take more action to ensure that their staff are working in a clean and healthy environment.”

Get in the festive spirit at the FM Xmas Party – LIMITED TICKETS!

Christmas jumpers and baubles ahoy! There are just a few weeks to go until the FM Christmas Party, hosted by the team at the Facilities Management Forum and the FMJ.

Our partners for the evening include the CSHAFSI and Sanderson Cleaning Services.

Wednesday 27 November – BEAT London – 6pm till late

Join friends, colleagues, suppliers and peers for drinks and canapes, and toast the start of the festive season. But act swiftly if you want to ensure that your name is the on the guest list, as we have a limited number of tickets left.

They’re priced at just £40 +VAT which covers your entrance, drinks and canapes.

Don’t miss out! Book today!

Add your name to this list of senior FM professionals

You’re invited to join us at the Facilities Management Forum, which takes place 27 & 28 January 2020 in London – secure your free guest pass today!

Your pass will give you the opportunity to meet with suppliers based on your own unique requirements, attend a series of seminars and network with like-minded senior hospitality procurement professionals.

Plus, overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments and an invitation to our networking dinner, are complimentary.

Unlock your priority pass here and join representatives from:

  • Alston Elliot
  • Amicus Therapeutics
  • Anglian Water
  • BAE Systems
  • Barratts Development
  • BGC Insurance
  • British Airways
  • Butlins
  • Butterfly Hospitality
  • Capita – London Borough of Barnet
  • Center Parcs 
  • Close Brothers
  • Connection at St Martins in the Fields
  • Costa
  • Deliveroo
  • Dixons Carphone
  • E.ON UK
  • EasyJet
  • FBN Bank 
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Grainger PLC
  • GSK
  • Hallmark Hotels
  • JLL @ Facebook
  • London Borough of Redbridge
  • Milton Keynes College
  • Partners in Purchasing 
  • Pavers 
  • St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club
  • Tata Global Beverages 
  • Taylor Wessing LLP
  • The Knightsbridge
  • The Royal British Legion
  • Trinity Brands UK
  • Vibrant Partnerships
  • Visa
  • Wiltshire Council 
  • Wyboston Lakes Resort
  • Zurich

Don’t miss out – Confirm your ticket here!

‘Sick building syndrome’ back with a vengeance

The UK’s offices are making us all sick again, according to a survey from business technology specialists Remark Group.

Sick building syndrome (SBS) was, Remark says, largely believed to be a phenomenon of the nineties, but new findings in its ‘Air Quality and Wellbeing at Work’ 2019 survey show that it may well be making a comeback.

In the survey of over 1,000 UK office workers, findings revealed that 86% get headaches at work, with almost a quarter of people (23%) saying they get them every day. Worryingly, nearly all office workers (91%) report that they suffer from tiredness or lethargy at work, with 41% saying they suffer every day.

Other symptoms are also rife, such as dry, itchy or watery eyes (78%), dry throat (76%) and itchy or irritated skin (70%) and only 11% of people describe their sleep quality as good during the working week, with a quarter reporting that their sleep quality was poor.

Shockingly, 80% think that poor indoor air quality could be having a negative impact on their health with the same amount reporting it could be having a similar effect on their productivity at work. Furthermore, 57% think air quality is affecting their mental/physical health.

Environmental psychologist and workplace wellbeing expert Dr Nigel Oseland said: “Whilst sick building syndrome is still spoken about, it is not as prevalent as it was in the 1990s, when it made the headlines. Office wellbeing is of paramount importance and it is clear that a person’s work environment can impact significantly, not only on their health and wellbeing, but also on their performance.

“It is therefore crucial that today’s businesses focus on creating healthy buildings which encourage wellness and productivity. They can do so, by monitoring air quality in the office and embracing new technologies to ensure that the work environment promotes workplace wellbeing.”

He added: “I am shocked by the results of this survey, but not entirely surprised. Whilst we are producing some great-looking, modern offices we need to pay more attention to basic human needs, to the so-called hygiene factors, such as good indoor air quality, temperature control and noise reduction. The various disciplines within the workplace industry need a concerted effort for a marked step change from sick buildings to healthy buildings. Everyone has the right to work in a healthy workplace.”

Remark asserts that UK offices have a strong culture of meetings, with almost 90% of people having up to 10 per week and 72% spending up to 11 hours in meetings every week – 34% of these meetings taking place in rooms without windows. 

Nearly 90% of office workers say they find themselves nodding off or losing concentration in meetings, whilst one in four of us say meeting rooms aren’t facilitating productivity or collaboration, and half of people leave meetings thinking they weren’t successful.

Indeed, Remark conducted research amongst its own employees to determine whether or not poor indoor air quality affected an employee’s productivity and/or wellbeing. Results showed a considerable drop in productivity levels when windows were closed, which coincided with the rise in CO2 levels. 

Penelope Harrall of Remark Group said: “Remark’s office is located outside the city centre and close to open space, so it’s interesting to see that even here we have an issue with indoor air quality. 

“Today’s office environments can drain happiness, health and even productivity but ensuring that air quality is regulated can reduce symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and eye irritation, while increasing productivity and general wellbeing.

“The sensors we used monitored nine different elements, with the most important being humidity, temperature and carbon dioxide. By using air quality sensors, you can maintain the right level of air quality and enable all employees to benefit from a comfortable working environment.”

The survey also found:

  • Only half of people (47%) have temperature control in their office;
  • 30% of people don’t have access to open space near their office;
  • 30% won’t open windows as they are worried about exterior air quality;
  • 56% are worried about air quality in the area in which they work.

There are multiple solutions to poor indoor air quality. For some companies, simply opening the windows and adding more plants into the office is a great solution. Air purifiers can assist in removing contaminants from the air in a room to improve air quality. There are also living plant walls that combine the benefits of nature with technology.

5 Minutes With… Guy Pakenham, Cordant Cleaning

In the latest instalment of our FM executive interview series, we talk to Cordant Cleaning Managing Director Guy Pakenham about his company, industry trends and difficult TV viewing choices…

Tell us about your company, products and services. 

Cordant Cleaning, part of the Cordant Group, is a Social Business whereby salaries and shareholder dividends are capped so that we can improve society person by person. Our teams deliver cleaning services throughout the UK predominantly in the transport and logistics sectors however we have a wide client portfolio in a number of markets. We have undergone a period of huge growth over the last four years, more than doubling the turnover organically to £80m.

What have been the biggest challenges the FM industry has faced over the past 12 months?

The uncertainty of Brexit has certainly had an impact as FM companies rely heavily on a European workforce. There is no indication that existing staff will not be allowed to stay, however, GB has obviously become a less attractive destination of choice for those economic migrants of the future.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

Whilst the public sector seems to be more and more interested in taking services in-house we have certainly seen large companies in the private sector that were traditionally in-house operators look for the cost savings and other benefits of outsourcing.

What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2019?

To survive and thrive in the lead up to and new world of Brexit.

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

I am speaking as an MD of a cleaning business, but how companies provide their clients with MI has seen a significant focus; moving away from paper and being able to communicate and see KPI performance in real time on screen. 

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

I really hope not, but probably Brexit. This topic may well be wrapped up in the performance of a new government that at the moment could be anyone…

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the FM sector?

The strange situation that if end users want to save money they first go the FM companies who operate on the lowest margins. Or am I just being naive?

You go to the bar at the Facilities Management Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

Bottle of lager. Still a teenager at heart…

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Like most people who can make a difference to a large organisation very quickly, the most exciting thing is having ideas that you can put into action.

And what’s the most challenging?

There is no doubt that H&S, Compliance, GDPR and HR requirements has grown astronomically over the years. Some of these are appropriate, however, the amount of work, time, energy and expense for a business is always a challenge to get right every day…

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Do not recruit in your own likeness.

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

It has to be both!

Incentive FM Group extends portfolio with Savills

Property management specialist Savills has awarded Incentive FM Group a contract to provide a range of services at The Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden City.

Under the terms of the 3-year deal worth in excess of £1.5 million, security specialist Incentive Lynx and cleaning specialist Incentive QAS will be responsible for ensuring that the 240,000 sq ft centre is both clean and secure.

The Howard Centre is situated in the heart of the town centre with 53 units, a mixture of retail and food outlets all under one roof.  It has around 8 million visitors per annum and there is direct access to the railway station and the bus station.

As part of the remit Incentive FM Group will provide a single manager responsible for ten security guards and seven cleaners, providing an efficient, integrated approach. Its Leviy Contract Management Solution will be utilised to optimise the service levels, promoting transparency and bringing key insights. In addition, NFC tagging will utilised to monitor cleaning patterns.

Shaun Wall, Manager at The Howard Centre, said: “Incentive FM Group not only has the right expertise and skills to support us, but they also share our commitment to developing their people. This like-minded approach was key in our decision to award them this contract.”

Martin Reed, CEO at Incentive FM Group, said: “At Incentive FM Group we have the  ability to self-deliver a full range of specialist services across the FM spectrum, both individually or in a bundle, meaning that we can adapt to our clients’ exact requirements.”