FM Spotlight: Christina Yaniv, Account Lead, JLL @ Uber
The Total Facilities ‘Spotlight’ mini-series profiles a different expert working within the FM industry each month. Each expert shares insight into the varied nature of their role, their background, and current trends shaping their work.
This month we are featuring, Christina Yaniv who is an Account Lead for Uber ANZ at JLL. JLL is a leading professional services firm that specialises in real estate and investment management including industrial, commercial, retail, residential and hotel real estate. We asked Christina to share more about her role, how she got to where she is today, and the outlook of the industry.
Why did you choose a job in FM?
I spent a lot of my prior working life in property development. I developed a love of building design and a keen interest in construction. This led to a role in project management and then FM. I’ve loved my recent FM roles, so am staying put for now.
Tell us a bit more about your current role.
I work for one of the world’s leading real estate companies, JLL, and am the Account Lead for Uber ANZ. My role is to manage the FM services delivery and to identify opportunities to improve quality, customer service and cost performance, being strategic and innovative and to align with industry best practice.
What was the industry like when you started compared to now?
Definitely more technical and operational oriented. Today, clients focus on and seek an emphasis on user experience and a holistic approach to enhancing the workplace to make it a fantastic place to work to attract top employees and to improve employee retention.
How has COVID-19 affected your workplace and FM in general?
COVID-19 has had a massive impact. It has meant that FM’s need to adapt at a rapid pace, learn more and accept constant change. It has put a spotlight on ways of reducing the risk of the spread of bacteria and viruses in the workplace using UV-C light and Needle Point Ionisation, for example. Also risk management is important in our industry. There’s even more mitigation of risks in the workplace daily now. Monitoring COVID-19 risks, cleanliness, sanitation, marking up tenancies for social distancing, providing food in a COVID-safe manner and monitoring staff attendance on a daily basis are only a few of the new tasks that have been added to an FM’s remit. This has now settled into being the new norm for FM’s now but it will keep changing. The one constant in FM is change.
Any positive trends you’re seeing in the industry?
Since COVID-19, organisations have experienced a massive work from home experiment and there is more acceptance that WFH does not equate to a loss of productivity as was once feared. I’ve found that employees are liking the flexibility of choice. Although this new WFH flexibility may lead to some organisations considering reducing their real estate footprint, there’ll still always be a need for FM’s to manage workplaces.
What is your most proud contribution to the FM industry?
I really feel a great sense of achievement from setting up the Uber account. I acquired the role at the time of transition for Uber from one Uber FM supported by some contract staff to outsourcing to JLL for all of APAC. Recruiting the FM team who are really capable and customer-obsessed, introducing best practice in FM and building strong working relationships with the Uber workplace teams has been very rewarding.
What’s the future like for FM?
It’s definitely a work in progress.. As mentioned, some new norms are being practised and until we have a successful vaccine, they’re here to stay.
Flexibility and choice around WFH or in the workplace will remain important to employees. Ultimately, the future for FM’s will be meeting the challenges of improving employee experience within the workplace by creating spaces of productivity, engagement and collaboration. The provision of hard and soft services will remain important and service levels will remain high but everything we do will require a good touch of creativity and innovation.
Any advice you would give to those thinking about a career in FM?
Being an FM is an interesting, diverse, and an always evolving career due to constant innovations in the industry. You need a good eye for detail and the ability to do multiple things at once. It’s surprising how small the industry is. You’ll always come across someone you’ve worked with previously or met before, so don’t burn bridges! If you’re unable to undertake a degree in FM, then do as many other relevant courses as you can as you move along in your career. A career in FM is both challenging and rewarding. I highly recommend it!