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2019, a year to define the UK’s future?

Reflecting on 2018, we saw some major shifts in markets, behaviour, technology and politics which are likely to have a continued impact into 2019 and beyond.

2018 started with a bit of a bang with the collapse of Carillion. A business with sales of £5.2bn, 42,000 employees and a market capitalisation of almost £1bn the previous year should be pretty stable, but alas!

This event understandably shook the market, customers and Governments’ confidence in the ability of businesses to survive, just because of the sheer scale.

The “Carillion-quake” continues to reverberate into 2019 for the Facilities Management (FM) and construction sectors. Contractors of all scale are finding it harder to access finance.

Reduced access to finance could well increase the risks of contractor failures going forward. Meaning that in 2019 businesses need to be even more careful who they choose to contract with for their FM and construction work.

On the workplace front; People and teams need a variety of different space types to work collaboratively, creatively or individually workplaces need to be tailored for different work needs. organisations and their staff continue to seek flexible space which is more relevant for their needs. 

We expect productivity to remain near the top of the agenda this year. Our recent research at LCMB has shown the relationship between good indoor environmental conditions (such as temperature, relative humidity and CO2) and a significant impact on staff cognitive ability and performance. The most productive and successful buildings will be those that can match and adapt for work styles will ensuring that indoor environment allows peak staff performance, productivity and well-being.

The advancement of Internet of Things (IoT, i.e. wireless technology), Big Data analytical tools and artificial intelligence, is making it possible to design buildings and workplaces which are much more adaptive to different individual needs. We’ve used these tools to mine our clients existing data to help optimise their buildings and improve their business planning. These are trends we see expanding and accelerating in 2019.      

And finally, politics. This has been the most volatile area and is indeed the hardest to predict. The UK’s future will be decided over the next quarter as Brexit reaches a conclusion. Exiting the EU will have many short-term effects on organisations, such as the demand and supply balance for office space, realignment of energy and carbon markets and targets and initial uncertainty. This uncertainty is likely to last for a further two years to 2020 when the details of the UK’s future relationship with the EU should be properly defined. 

2019 will be the year that defines the future positioning of the UK with respect to the EU, however our future long-term success and prosperity will be defined closer to home, by the ability of all public and private sector organisations to compete on the world stage. Happy New Year, we look forward to working with all our clients and partners in 2019 to help them do exactly this!

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LCMB Building Performance Ltd

LCMB Building Performance Ltd. (LCMB) improves the financial and environmental sustainability of buildings and estates, and the productivity and well-being of the people using them. We do this by reducing building operating costs, energy used and improving workplace environments and building space utilisation. We offer Facilities Management, Carbon and energy reduction and project management support.

Our clients include Tata Technologies, King’s College London, Birmingham Airport, Nando’s, Howard Tenens and England Golf.

Contact John O’Brien MD and Founder if you’d like to discuss how we can ensure your real estate and building projects return more value and enhanced Return on Investments (ROI).

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