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CREFM Covid-19 Response Group

30.03.2020, 13:14

CREFM Covid-19 Response Group

The RICS-International Facility Management Association (IFMA) collaboration is supporting a Leesman initiative to collect and model global employer data on remote working under Covid-19.

According to recent research, corporate real estate (CRE) and facilities management leadership teams face unprecedented pressure to report on the organisational impact of the mass mobilisation of home-working strategies. The joint initiative therefore aims to arm employers with actionable insights which can be used when social distancing policies are relaxed.

The initiative will focus initially on the deployment of a research tool to generate insights into the remote working experiences of  private and public sector employees, with a view to improving business continuity plans by supplying employers with critical feedback.

Organisations participating in the research will be able to learn from each other, with a newly formed CREFM Covid-19 Response Group convening to exchange and submit data for analysis by Leesman academics who will assist in developing new, data-driven response models to the pandemic.

CRE and FM professionals are expected to benefit by receiving fresh insights into the impact of prolonged home-working on traditionally office-based employees.

Numerous organisations have already committed to participating in the research and begun exploring how the global move to home-working will demand a rapid overhaul to both leadership best practice and vendor supply models. Early adopters will discuss their results in weekly virtual town hall meetings, with a view to arming the industry with the guidance and tools as the situation develops.

Leesman and RICS-IFMA are encouraging anyone who possesses expertise in corporate infrastructure or experience in delivering agile environments outside the physical walls of an office to join this global taskforce to help develop a resilient home-working model that safeguards the industry’s future.

Tim Oldman, CEO, Leesman, says: “We are amid a larger test of remote working than any of us thought necessary or possible. But if no one marks the test, we leave ourselves wide open to misinterpretation. The immediate impact on employees and employers is unknown, while uncertainty about how long this will last is adding to employees’ anxieties. We urgently need to know how home-working is working, which tasks are suffering, and which might improve.

“We believe this international crisis needs a unified international analysis that lets us learn from one another’s experiences as they unfold and together be ready for the questions that will come thick and fast when normality returns.”

Paul Bagust, Global Property Standards Director, RICS, adds: “This much-needed mass response to what has been described as the biggest global crisis since World War Two is the profession’s opportunity to demonstrate the resilience and agility it has long preached as vital for its survival.

“Our Asian colleagues are weeks ahead of us in their response and we need to capture and distribute their experiences rapidly. Now that the stakes are the highest we could have ever imagined, it is time to unite and lay out the plan for action.”

To join the knowledge network or found out more about the new tools it is developing in response to COVID-19, visit

CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Staff Reporter covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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