Evolving Trends in Facility Management
2018 is going to provide FMs with a series of opportunities to take advantage of. Let’s look at a few trends that are already a part of facility management and others that will soon be integrated in the sector.
The very first and the biggest trend has to be technology considering that artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics, drones, machine learning and IOT (Internet of Things) have already become an essential part of the sector. Technology has and continues to play a huge role in streamlining facility management; it began with security applications, smart surveillance, technology sensors and is now moving on to robotics, wireless technology and more. Technology will definitely shape the future of FM in a huge way.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The roles and responsibilities of an FM will continue to expand and grow. Over the last few years the role has already changed from the one ‘maintaining a building’ to one having series of responsibilities like data reporting, energy, safety & emergency management, vendor relationships and security. This trend is likely to magnify in 2018 with FMs playing key roles in increasing efficiency, productivity and incorporating technology to generate better ROI.
Over the last few years, there has been an emergence of diversity in work spaces and as companies keep looking for ways to attract millennial employees and compete with non-traditional work environments, we are likely to see more innovative workplace designs; for e.g. the latest one being the increase in co-working spaces. FMs will be given the task of maintaining the diversity in a single work area which could be from open spaces to conference rooms to individual work stations to the building exterior/interior and more. The uniqueness of every work area will pose a different challenge for FMs to handle as the companies will depend on the FMs to maintain not just their space but also the brand image along with it.
IoT (Internet of Things), reporting, collection is generating a huge amount of data today. An advanced FM company is the one who will efficiently collect, save, analyse, plan and execute as per the data received to produce maximum value and benefits for its customers. Correct information management has massive benefits for all the stakeholders although the challenge is up to the FM to manage all the data – explicit and implicit and then create a strategy based on it and execute it as well. This trend shall definitely be a huge part of the FM services in the near future.
Sustainability and Health:
Global warming is one of the biggest environmental challenges we are facing and to become more energy and carbon-efficient, developers will have to develop more sustainable buildings. FMs and the service industry will have to create sustainable solutions in order to maintain the building as per the new design and products used during construction. Along with the support towards the environment, the focus on health has also increased. This has led to new incentives in building designs to promote healthier lifestyles, creating a significant impact on the way the services will be delivered by the FM.
Employee Welfare and Productivity:
The focus of all facility management activities has shifted to the end goal of employee welfare and productivity. Buildings are designed and maintained keeping people and productivity in mind. The entrance of millennials into the workforce has augmented this change in approach over the years as productivity drivers are now not only influenced by direct factors but also by indirect factors like work place design, lighting, air quality, temperature, ease of movement, etc. This trend has led to the facility manager playing an increased role in driving employee productivity in an indirect way.
– By Kunal Lala, Vice – President, SILA