The world of Facility Management is changing - fast. Data is the new driver behind optimising expenses, streamlining your real estate and ensuring your facilities are meeting your employees’ every need.
In this article, we’re diving into the leading trends in FM to provide forward-thinking businesses with the insights they need to ensure their workplace engagement’s working in their best interests. Attract and retain top talent, boost employee wellbeing, create efficiency in your daily processes and get smart with intuitive FM, all while significantly cutting costs.
If that sounds like a distant daydream, it won’t for long: we’re outlining practical advice on how to align your operations with the fast-approaching future of FM.
Trend 1: In FM, efficiency is king
When facing ongoing pressure to reduce operating costs, companies tends to look for savings without giving much thought to the long-term repercussions. This dynamic makes Facility Management a particularly ripe target. During challenging economic times, companies trim FM budgets; once the outlook rebounds, spending levels often remain low. This pattern can lead to deteriorating conditions across buildings and equipment, potentially costing the firm more in the long run.
One tactic to sidestep this potential downward trend is doing more, with less. Helpfully, FM operators’ ability to be far more efficient with the space that they have is rapidly evolving. Take meeting scheduling, for example. Say all your department heads are trying to book space for start-of-week briefings, all around the same time on a Monday morning. They’ve got the best of predictive intentions, but they’re getting in each other’s way. If they’re all trying to book, no one can book.
You need a centralised system that logs their request data - preferred day of the week, preferred time, preferred location, required room capacity, required room functionalities, and so on - that can distribute their meetings across all your facilities’ available time slots and free space.
It’s a deceptively simple outcome, but one that’s impossible to achieve without the right data insights.
Trend 2: Employee satisfaction is more vital than ever, and innovative FM’s the key
With the work from home trend looking set to stay put, it’s up to Facility Management gurus to ensure employees experience seamless integration whenever they do set foot in the office. There needs to be an informed strategy in place, guaranteeing that each employee will have their work space, private meeting rooms, catering and parking needs met, to name just the basics.
That attention to detail is what breeds employee satisfaction. Fundamentally, it’s about more than just having a chair to sit on and a charging station to use. It’s about feeling noticed, feeling catered for, feeling valued. With the day to day functional basics taken care of, the time your employees do spend in the office is primed to be a wellbeing and productivity booster, rather than a physical and mental drainer.
However, satisfaction comes into play far before your employees even come on board. If you’re looking to bring in the best talent in the world, you’ll need to offer more than a highly competitive salary. The youngsters who’ll shape the future know they’ve got the pick of the market, so they’ll likely be paying close attention to which company will make their work life as comfortable as possible.
To that end, employees that share positive experiences about your company is one effective recruitment tool that money can’t buy. Don’t overlook your FM’s potential as a key tool in enhancing your employee engagement and retention rates.
Trend 3: Productivity positions the best above the rest - leverage FM to get you there
Between attracting the best and the brightest and keeping your high-worth senior figures on side, focus on employee satisfaction is not to be underestimated. Played right, it’s a double-edged win for the business, too.
In a perfect example of what goes around, comes around, satisfied employees who feel that their wellness needs are met at work are fundamentally far more motivated. A pleasant, responsive and intuitive working environment breeds positivity and facilitates productivity, ultimately driving your business to the head of the pack.
Trend 4: The robots are coming (and they’ll save you money on FM)
Smart is driving our society forward, with the IoT extending its reach at phenomenal speed. Getting your facilities online is a vital step to optimising efficiency and ultimately eliminating unnecessary expense. Robotic automation has a role to pay here, too, with machines poised to take over repetitive and hazardous tasks.
Imagine a scenario where your smart lighting is only on precisely when it’s needed. Where cleaning robots scoot around only the office areas that have actually been used that day. Where your automated security becomes as human error-proof as possible. Where heating and air conditioning is kept at optimised levels based on who’s where in your buildings, at what time.
Where you know how to make all that work, because you’ve got the data insights and connected systems to take your facilities to the next level.
Trend 5: The custom touch hits FM
Personalisation is a major trend in technology as a whole, from your car to your coffee machine. It’s what your employees are getting increasingly used to in their home lives, so they’ll be expecting the same tailored experience at work.
In fact, your employees might not even have consciously recognised that they’re starting to expect more from their working experience yet. That gives you, FM savant, a key opportunity to pre-empt their needs and rise above their expectations.
Imagine that one, perfect parking space that’s automatically reserved for you at precisely the times you need it. Imagine being able to view real-time occupancy levels in your favourite restaurant or coffee bar to guarantee a smooth and efficient lunch hour, every day. Imagine the seamlessness, the flow, the ease that’ll bring to employees’ daily experience.
It’s customisation that’s so subtle that it’s almost imperceptible, but that’s the whole idea.
Data: the key to mastering top FM trends
Facility Management has always been about who’s where when, and what they need. While that core’s the same, data is revolutionising the sector.
Data is what’s enabling the seismic shift from responding to your employee’s needs through time-consuming feedback, to predicting and meeting their needs without them needing to say a word. The data you can leverage to optimise your Facility Management is infinite; your models can become more intuitive, more intelligent and more cost-efficient with each employee’s every decision. Now, you just need to access it.
If you’re looking to propel your Facility Management into the future of business, the first step is finding out where you stand. Why not use our quick checklist to see how well you’re set up to capitalise on the top trends in FM?