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Text: Niek Steenhuis

Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn



A new year brings new perspectives. We asked two Facility Management experts about trends in the field. >>

Leo van de Pieterman (l) Gerard de Bruijn


We have agreed to meet at a restaurant a stones throw from the exposition halls in s-Hertogenbosch, which is where the Dutch Facilities Expo is organized every year. Leo van de Pieterman and Gerard de Bruijn have over fifty years of Facilities Management experience between them. Van de Piederman

has worked as a service and support manager for KLM and Sodexo, while De Bruijn is the man behind Humanagement. Renske van der Heide, a product manager at TOPdesk, asked them about Facilities Management trends and their predictions for 2012.

F.l.t.r.: Leo van de Pieterman, Gerard de Bruijn, Renske van der Heide


eo Ran de dieterman has been active in Facilities Management for over thirty years, working first for KLM and then moving to Sodexo in 2007. He is also a member of a number of Dutch organizations for Facilities Management professionals. erard de druijn is the CEO of Humanagement, an agency for interim project management for facilities. Humanagement pushes the fields boundaries, focusing on topics such as IT integration, Business Continuity Management and facilities ethics. enske Ran der Heide works as a product manager for TOPdesk. She is particularly interested in Facilities Management, and is chairman of the Young Professionals group in the Dutch Facilities Management organization FMN.

Facilities ethics
 RdHH: What do you think are the most interesting themes in FM at the moment?  ddH: Facilities ethics, for a start. Humanagement will be researching this theme in 2012. How do we treat our colleagues and business relations? What should we do when the cleaners are treated like dirt? What should you do when confronted with integrity issues?  RdHH: What can facility managers to do encourage ethical behaviour?  ddH: I believe that you should know what your organization stands for, and that facility managers should set the right example. You need to translate ethics into responsible actions. Being a good commissioning party is one of the most important aspects, as it makes sure that external customers are also good employers.  RddH: Ethics is certainly an important theme, also in outsourcing. In my experience, you can achieve much more when both parties give each other the space they need. The customer will express his needs which are not the same as his expectations and the provider can give feedback on how these needs can be met, preferably right from the start.  RdHH: You cant really ask questions like Have

you cleaned three times yet this week? What kind of agreements do you make?  RddH: The exact number of times that the office has been cleaned is no longer important. The real question is: has the cleaning resulted in the desired effects? You can then determine what the desired effects are.

The New World of Work

 RddH: The New World of Work is also an important theme.  ddH: Exactly. Work relations are changing: there are more and more possibilities to work at home and during the commute, and virtual meetings are also becoming more commonplace. People are starting to use the office as a kind of pigeon coop.  RdHH: If people work at home or on location, facility managers are not really able to control how they set up their work space. How can you influence this?  ddH: You shouldnt.  RddH: You simply cannot control work environments in the New World of Work. People use their laptops to work in restaurants and cafs, while others prefer to work at home. If we are lucky, they will


Gerard de Bruijn


have a study or office at home that complies with health and safety regulations to some extent. But you dont want to know how many people work at the kitchen table because they find that more enjoyable.  ddH: I do hope that we can move away from strict regulations in this area: more initiatives such as Bring Your Own Device, for instance, instead of pinning the situation down with rules and regulations. Although, even if people can work wherever and whenever they want, Im not sure that they will make use of this freedom; a large group will still feel the need to collaborate with colleagues and will prefer to do this at the office. rather than just being pushed by individuals, which has resulted in tangible changes. For instance, there are more energy-efficient company cars now. Facility suppliers want to set themselves apart with an eco-friendly

we know what can be improved and how to


Leo van de Pieterman

do it its time to get started! Present your customers with investments that will pay for themselves, such as healthier food. That will up productivity by increasing feelings of wellbeing among your staff, and also cut down on absenteeism. Its an investment, but it pays for itself in the long run.

The future
 RdHH: What are your predictions for 2012?  RddH: I think we will start seeing the consequences of the New World of Work. I, for one, cannot wait to see the results.  ddH: I hope we can finally cast off the yoke of the economic crisis that things wont be too sober and sombre, and that we can offer services with passion, pride and pleasure. After all, thats what facilities management is all about.

 ddH: We havent discussed sustainability yet! It has developed into more than just a hobby for back-to-nature enthusiasts. Im seeing lots of great developments. Sustainability is actually on many organizations agendas,

image and are acting accordingly.  RddH: Sustainability is more than just a trend, though. Much like improving services, it has become a part of operational management. There is still room for improvement, of course, but were ready for it: we have the technology,