10 questions with... Jan Hein Hemke

3 June 2018

In each issue we ask an FM professional the Tomorrow’s FM 10 questions. This month we spoke to Jan-Hein Hemke, Managing Director of Facilicom UK

Q1 What was your first job?

My first paid role was as a business development manager for Rentokil. After a few years, I was promoted to Divisional Manager Belgium, before moving to the Facilicom Group where I’ve now worked for nearly 20 years.

Q2 How did you get into the Facilities Management industry?

During my MBA, I’d intended on working in the hospitality sector – my MBA was on hotels – but the Dutch tourism trade was in a slump at the time and my original sponsor was unable to continue its support. Facilities management and hospitality share many similar characteristics and I managed to get sponsorship from Rentokil, which led to a job offer once I’d submitted my assignment.

Q3 Who, in any other industry, do you most admire?

Elon Musk.

Q4 If money was no object, what car would you buy?

Based on the previous answer it should be Tesla, but actually I am not so much into cars or things. I would prefer a unique experience over material things. Climbing Mt Vinson on Antarctica or singing in the Royal Albert Hall will be high on the list.

Q5 How would you improve the Facilities Management industry?

A key part of my role is facilitating colleagues’ development and ensuring everyone is treated with respect and dignity. That may be through fair pay (we’re Living Wage Recognised Service Providers); ensuring their wellbeing (all our colleagues have access to an employee assistance scheme); or by ensuring they have the opportunity to grow their careers and progress through training and development. It is important to embrace new innovations and technology, but I think the FM industry needs to maintain a focus on people and relationships as they are crucial to success whatever the future brings.

Q6 What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I grew up on a farm, so I suppose for a while I thought I’d continue along that path. However, I’m very adventurous and like to travel widely and see new things, so that’s probably why the hospitality industry appealed.

Q7 If you could have a super power for a day, what would it be and why?

The ability to fly or even better teleport. I visit clients regularly and that would allow me to see them more often.

Q8 If you could host a dinner party with any three guests, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

I think Tim Minchin should add a lot of fun and talk to the evening. Stephen Hawking to add depth to the conversation. And the last person would most likely be just a young ambitious person at the start of their career and with her/ his life in front of them. I really enjoy interacting with young people, they have not been (too) programmed yet and have in general a fresh new look at the world. 

Q9 What do you think is the future of the Facilities Management industry?

The FM industry has an exciting future ahead with many innovations making great inroads into the way we live and work. It’s not yet clear exactly how things such as AI, the Internet of Things and driverless technology will affect the industry, but it’s clearly going to have an impact.

Q10 Gregory Blondeau, Founder of Proxyclick asks: How can FM suppliers work better together in our move towards smart buildings and cities?

Relationships and communication remain vital in how we work together. Parties all along the supply chain need to be involved in planning and decision making where smart buildings and cities are concerned. For instance, what impact will these initiatives have on services such as cleaning? Whatever technology is developed, we still need the human touch.
Source: Tomorrow’s FM June 2018