Director of Market Development, Assurity Consulting
3rd January 2020
For me, it doesn’t feel that long since the start of the new millennium and yet this week it was 20 years ago. Conversely, it also feels that considerable and significant change has been packed into these last two decades from a health, safety and environmental perspective. For example:
- Sustainability became more than just green issues, capturing wider social, economic and employment issues;
- Disability and other discrimination grew into a range of protected characteristics through the Equality Act;
- Management of safety came under scrutiny, review, revision and change;
- The health and wellbeing agenda came to the fore, particularly in areas such as mental health, depression and anxiety;
- Our global climate broke and is still breaking all sorts of records and concerns over climate change spilt out onto our streets.
The next decade will continue to see many of these issues affect us, both in and out of work. In fact, they have already started, with ethical veganism now a philosophical belief and so protected from discrimination, and 2019 now the second warmest year on record with terrible fires in Australia and terrible flooding in neighbouring Indonesia.
Now nearly four years post-introduction the sentencing guidelines for health and safety have caused as many organisations to review where they are as brand image and reputation. Regulatory changes (such as GDPR) cybersecurity, political change, AI, robotics and supply chain disruption have also seen and will continue to see our systems and processes challenged.
But for those managing buildings and estates change management is part of the job and with each issue comes an opportunity. I believe our workplaces and built environments will be more and more at the centre of the solutions needed to successfully deliver our future needs, putting those that manage them well in a very good place!