Starting 2020 as we mean to go on?

Five years ago, had I suggested running meditation or crafting classes at work to improve employee productivity, I would likely have been laughed out of the office. Yet today, many workplaces are doing exactly that.  

This is, in part, due to a clear recognition that a ‘well’ worker is a more productive one – that our place of work has an impact on our health and wellbeing and that positive workplaces can actively boost business performance. But exactly how widespread are these new initiatives? Is your office embracing the now well-documented benefits of a workplace wellness regime? As you browse recipes for kale smoothies and “Couch to 5k programmes, let’s take moment to ponder the bigger picture… 

Research from the British Council for Offices ‘Wellness Matters – Health and wellbeing in offices and what to do about it’, identified significant obstacles to businesses adopting a health and wellness strategy for the workplace. It revealed a widespread perception that such strategies are expensive to implement, with 74 per cent of survey respondents citing cost as a barrier. Whilst there will inevitably be costs associated with any new initiative, the report demonstrates how these can be mitigated if the strategy is deployed throughout the lifetime of a project. The report also makes a powerful business case for health and wellbeing beyond improved productivity – with benefits extending to reduced costs associated with absenteeism and presenteeism (coming to work when ill), as well as contributing to the recruitment and retention of staff. So how do we go beyond the concerns around cost? 

FM has a clear focus on wellness for 2020

The role of Facilities Management  

We have said many times before that the physical environment has a lot to answer for when it comes to creating a healthy and happy place to work. People matter. Some of the most significant conversations around trends in the Facilities Management (FM) industry today revolve around holistic, employee-friendly and efficient workplaces. When a company focuses on workforce health and wellness, employees report increases in engagement with their work, productivity increases and absenteeism declines. 

As the built environment continues to be recognised as a tool through which organisations propel their success, FM leaders must contribute insight into the physical space in which employees spend their day-to-day. At Key FM and Keystone, we don’t see health and wellness as an afterthought; rather a deliberate workplace strategy on which employers see positive returns. 

According to the most recent 2019 Health and Safety Executive’s Labour Force Survey, “an estimated 12.8 million working days are lost each year due to stress and anxiety”. Resulting in an economic cost to the UK of over £14billion. So surely the bigger picture is not that businesses can’t afford to implement a wellness strategy… it’s that as a nation we can’t afford not to!  

As 2020 cranks up, thclear focus on the issue of workplace wellbeing continues amongst influential players in the FM industry. Some examples for your diary 

  • One of the IWFMs “Mega trends” at the heat of their 2020 Conference in February is “Wellbeing”
  • Yet again there will be a whole section and theatre dedicated to Wellness at the Facilities Management show , London Excel, the biggest FM Show in the UK
  • The ISO TC/267 – Facility Management – committee recently announced their intention to map the ISO 41000 series of standards to the UN Sustainable Development goals – Number 3 being “Health and Wellbeing”
  • The hero theme for the Workplace Futures event this year is 20:20 Wellness 

I could go on… 

2020 Resolution? 

Facilities Management is a profession which involves coordinating many essential areas of the built environment with people and the work done by an organisation. Wellness is inextricably linked to FM through many factors, including but not limited to air quality, water quality, temperature and humidity control, security, cleaning materials, healthy food options, lighting, interior layout, and dedicated physical activity spaces. From an FM perspective, a focus on wellbeing goes hand-in-hand with the current redefinition of the workplace experience. From physical space and amenities to technology and operational efficiencies, the way workers experience their surroundings is key to a healthy, happy and productive workforce.  

We understand that you need an FM partner that will provide a workplace environment where employees feel engaged, healthy and safe. If you would like to hear more about how our cutting-edge Cloud Enterprise technology from Keystone, coupled with generations of expertise from our team of Facilities Management Consultants at Key FM can spearhead your wellbeing strategy, get in touch today  


Scottish Smart Buildings event – a roadmap for the future

Last week saw over 60 experts from the built environment, public sector and academia come together to celebrate Smart Building innovation in Scotland and our growing reach into international markets. The buzz within the walls of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) was palpable as leading industry players exchanged ideas on their shared vision of improving our work spaces through cuttingedge innovation.  

Stan Mitchell, Key FM CEO and Chairman of ISO TC 267 Facilities Management commented that the success of the event in highlighting today’s technologies showed “the need for FM to translate into “added value””. 

CSIC, CENSIS, Key FM and Scottish Enterprise host first Scottish Smart Buildings event

Scottish companies leading the way in Smart Building technology

After a fast-paced seminar session during which innovators and thought leaders gave their elevator pitch on the future of Smart Buildings, there was a unique chance for peers to browse and network in the spirit of collaboration. Thanks go to representatives from:  

  • Insta Energy
  • The Data Lab
  • Beringar
  • arbnco
  • Boston Networks
  • Drone Scotland
  • University of the West of Scotland (UWS)
  • Key FM
  • Keystone 

for dedicating their day to sharing insight on their contribution to the Smart Buildings space.

Charles Broadfoot, Innovation Specialist, Scottish Enterprise chats with Drone Scotland

Eye-opening stats and predictions

With each presentation came new insights designed to ensure even this experienced audience sat up and took notice, some highlights: 

  • The first fully connected autonomous office building will be a reality by August 29th, 2035… watch this space! (Beringar, From data to connected autonomous real estate)
  • We spend 90% of our time indoors… time to take a lunch time walk everybody! (arbnco, Data, Data everywhere, nor any action to take) 
  • Greater data sharing could release an additional £7bn per year of benefits across the UK infrastructure sectors, equivalent to 25% of total spend   
  • The Riverside Museum in Glasgow saved £52.3k in energy costs last year thanks to data driven improvements, (IES, Digital Twins for the Built Environment) 
Innovation meets academia

In her highly insightful session, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships: Defining a new role for Academic Research, Dr Ashwini Konanahalli revealed details of the broad spectrum covered by the UWS KTP portfolio and specifically how it is driving innovation in the FM sector.  

Stewart McKay, KTP manager from the University of the West of Scotland commented: “The KTP programme is a strategic priority at the University of the West of Scotland. Delighted so many of our current and former KTP partners were in attendance today. 

Evidence of the exceptional quality of the KTPs at UWS are visible in KPIs recently published by the university:  

  • 95% of KTP projects completed by UWS achieve or over-achieve their objectives
  • 20% of completed UWS KTPs are graded as outstanding by Innovate UK (double the UK average)
  • KTPs at UWS are in the Top 10 in the UK, working across 16 different business sectors  

Key FM is proud to be working with the only Scottish University to have a dedicated KTP centre and representing the fastest growing KTP in the country. 

Industry underpinned by international standards and benchmarking

 “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” (William Thomson, Baron Kelvin) 

is Stan Mitchell’s favoured dinner party quote and its enduring relevance was not lost on the audience. And so, the event closed with Stan’s experienced insight into values which underpin Facilities Management – standards, compliance and value add – a fitting reminder that though the new smart technologies that were on display at the event have a powerful story to tell, they need the stability of frameworks provided by ISO 41001 in order to maximise the potential of their positive impact on the workplace of today. 

Gordon Mitchell, Key FM CIO, Keystone Chief Evangelist and Chair of ISO TC 267 Facility Management Advisory Group 1 – Facilities Management Technology Task Group, commented: “We can all share in the benefits of this progress, whatever your level of adoption might be.” 

If you missed the day, you can catch up here thanks to our live stream recording from the event. 

Follow us on Linked In for insight into how we can help you ensure your business delivers on these standards and watch this space for more events with Key FM, Keystone and partners.  

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The Scottish Smart Building event not to be missed

What do you get when you bring together cutting-edge industry influencers from across the built environment with the enabling forces of Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Censis, and leaders in innovation from the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC)? 

The brainchild of Key FM CIO, Gordon Mitchell, this event is co-hosted by CSIC, SE, Key FM and Censis and will showcase exciting new Scottish products and technologies within the smart building and Facilities Management sectorsOur hand-picked speakers from innovative service providers, academia and technology companies involved in smart energy, Internet of Things (IoT), data visualisation, digital twins, smart sensors and artificial intelligence will transport you to the brave new world of the smart workplace and ensure you are fully up to date with the latest developments 

Technology in action 
CSIC Event

Scottish Smart Buildings Event 2019

Our intention with this event is to facilitate conversation amongst industry players, enabling you to be fully in tune with the latest innovations in some of the fastest moving industries in the UK. The networking sessions and technology showcase are a chance to see the technology in action in the CSIC Innovation Factory. Attendees will find out about the success stories from Scottish businesses who have accessed funding and support streams in the public sector in order to make their vision reality. The positive impact support from SE, Censis and CSIC has had on our showcase partners is truly inspirational. We are looking forward to hearing more detail on how access to academic expertisefunding and support is helping to grow business, internationalise sales, create jobs and develop exciting new products. 


We’re beavering away to ensure this day will bring you the most insightful presentations and meetings of minds under one roof, but as we know you can’t wait to find out more, here is your agenda for the day. 

Wed 23rd October, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, Hamilton International Technology Park 

09.00               Registration and refreshments            

09.30               Sarah Buchanan, CSIC 

09.45               Gordon Mitchell, Key FM 

10.00               Charles BroadFoot, Scottish Enterprise  

10.15               Frazer Talbot, IWFM 

10.30               Sarah Graham, Integrated Environmental Solutions  

10.45               Break 

11.00               Stephen Milne, Censis 

11.15               Marc van NeervenNeerventure CTO-as-a-Service, Microsoft for Startups Partner 

11.30               TBC, M2M 

11.45               Mark Sorsa-Leslie, Beringar 

12.00               Ashwini Konanahalli, University of West of Scotland 

12.15               Lunch and networking  

1.30                 Parag Rastogi, arbnco 

1.45                 Stan Mitchell, representing ISO 

2.00                 Showcase : Key FM, Insta Energy, The Data Lab, Beringar, arbnco, Boston Networks, Drone Scotland, University of West of Scotland 

3.30                 Optional Factory Tour 

4.00                 Finish 

This event is aimed at FM professionals and FM contractors, clients, developers, engineers, designers, architects and service providers.  

Can’t make it on the day? 

Join us via our live stream from the comfort of your desk… 


Key FM introduce True FM to China

Key FM’s CEO and CIO, Gordon and Stan Mitchell had the privilege of presenting to a delegation of 20 senior government officials and business owners  from Zhejiang province, China, this week. The meeting was facilitated by The University of the West of Scotland (UWS)already a training partner in the region. During the session we studied the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as it is employed in our True FM model and how this capability drives standards and best practice for Facilities Management operations in China and beyond. 

Gordon commented: “Today was a very informed and enjoyable presentation and dialogue focused on the many ways Artificial Intelligence will change our sector and where true partnership will lead to global best practice and change.”


Ashwini Konanahalli, lecturer at UWS added: “We at UWS are delighted to facilitate this training event during which we were not only able to showcase our partnership with Key FM but also present the sector-leading pioneering work done by Stan and Gordon. I’m delighted to play a part in this collaboration where we endeavour to apply AI technology for wider FM industry operations.

UWS Chinese delegation

Chinese Government delegates and business leaders meet Key FM

Zhejiang Department of Science and Technology 

Zhejiang (near Shanghai) is one of the most developed regions in China. The delegation’s remit for their visit to UWS was to hear from AI-related organisations, learn about AI application in industry, understand the challenges and the focus for the future as well as prospect for collaborative projects.  

The 20 officials are tasked with implementing and drafting laws, regulation and policies on science and technology as well as composing and implementing hi-tech industrial and annual planning. Collectively they manage funds, hi-tech development zones at a provincial level and are jointly responsible for foreign affairs in the sci-tech domain. 

Their enthusiasm and commitment to sourcing overseas technological cooperation and their passion to support high-tech enterprises and solutions was evident from their enthusiasm for the Key FM presentation. It should also be noted that China is one of the 32 countries currently registered as participating members of ISO/TC 267, further evidence of their will to drive forward professional standards in the FM sector. We hope this will be the start of new and exciting collaboration to come. 


ISO TC/267

32 ISO TC/267 Participants

Follow us in Linked In for future updates.

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Key FM CIO joins ISO/ TC 267 AG 2, Facility Management – Communications

All large organisations can find it a struggle to ensure that essential information is disseminated in a timely and efficient way to stakeholders. The ISO and its some 45,000 experts brought together with the collective goal of publishing international standards is no exception to that challenge.  

With this is mind, ISO/ TC 267 Advisory Group 2 was formed and tasked with developing ISO/TC 267 messagingIts remit is to create awareness of the Facility Management group activities and promote adoption of ISO/ TC 267 outputs.

Communication is Key  

We are pleased to announce that our own Gordon Mitchell has recently joined AG2 and is in a unique position to help drive communications forward. Many of our readers will recognise Gordon’s passion for innovation in the FM sector and this, coupled with his position as Chair of ISO/ TC 267 AG1 FMTTG and his membership of the IWFM Artificial Intelligence Technology Working Group, underpin his dedication to ensuring news on the important work being carried out by the 45 members of ISO/ TC 267 reaches as many ears as possible.

Gordon comments: “There is no evolution if innovation and awareness are not connected.”

What is next for AG2? 
2019 Dublin_ISO

ISO/TC 267 Advisory Group

Following the release of ISO 41001 (Facility management – Management systems – Requirements) in 2018, burning questions are being asked amongst the international FM community, such as:  

  • What is the value of ISO 41001 to the industry? 
  • How does an organisation get accredited to ISO 41001? 
  • What next for technology in FM?
  • What is the roadmap ahead for FM standards? 

These questions and others are being addressed by TC members at FM events worldwide and ISO/TC 267 AG2 is primed to ensure that access to the answers to these and other questions, as well as regular updates on developments, are readily accessible.  

Be sure you are the first to know by following is on Linkedin. 

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Cutting edge Knowledge Transfer Partnership researcher welcomed to Key FM

Key FM takes pride in the international face of our business. From our beginnings in Doune in Scotlandwe now have a global reach into more than 20 countries around the world. 

In this tradition we are pleased to introduce Thepparit Sinthamrongruk, the latest addition to our pioneering team looking at the role of technology in the FM landscape. Thapparit is currently studying for his PHD in the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS)funded by the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship (SMARTLING Project). He is a lecturer at The College of Arts, Media and Technology in his native Thailand at the University of Chiang Mai.  

This collaborative research project between Key FM and UWS will deliver an industry-leading FM platform capable of autonomous facilities operation, nanosecond procurement, asset monitoring and optimisation. A highly innovative package will be delivered via a user-friendly dashboard that provides both deep insight and integration across multiple FM systems and platforms. 

Thepparit comments “I really appreciate all the support from UWSKey FM and Chiang Mai University for giving me an opportunity to do this research. I believe that this research activity can develop the Digital Twin model for industries and businesses and can develop cooperation between Scotland and Thailand in the future.”

Ashwini Konanahalli, lecturer at UWS said  “This world-leading KTP programme offers a great opportunity for us (academics) to work on industryrelated issues and create a real-world change. Through this collaboration with Key FM we not only aim to develop an end to end digital ecology but also produce academic papers in high-quality peer-reviewed journals. Most importantly, this project provides me with new insights and examples from practice, which then informs my teaching. In fact, Gordon Mitchell, CIO of KeyFM delivered a guest lecture for my Master’s students, which went down so well that one student is already exploring the possibility of a PhD in Facilities Management.”

The brave new world of Digital Twins

Thepparit’s remit is to develop an end-to-end Digital Ecology offering with a specific focus on Autonomous Facilities Management. This holistic methodology involves connecting relevant information from FM systems such as 3D models, CAFM, BMS, ERP and sensor data. This capability to achieve real-time visibility of the entire supply chain and come up with situation-centric models has the potential to positively disrupt the FM market and transform building operations.   

Facilities Management meets Global Standards

Thepparit points out “The interesting thing of this research is to develop an FM Digital Ecology under recommendations from Stan and Gordon Mitchell, Chair of the ISO/TC 267 for Facility Management and Chair of ISO TC 267 FM AG1 – FMTTG 

Indeed, as Gordon Mitchell is our leading light on matters of technology in the FM space, we can be sure that under his guidance the solutions developed by Thepparit will be a perfect fit with the practical needs of the FM industry. Evidencing once again the positive outcomes that can be produced when academia and businesses such as Key FM work together.  


Data Scientist Thepparit Sinthamrongruk, KTP researcher and Gordon Mitchell, Key FM CIO

To keep up to date with the exciting developments on the horizon, follow us on Linked In or get in touch for more information. 

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