Facilities management is far more than keeping buildings clean and comfortable. It is a global market valued at almost 35 billion dollars in 2018 and is growing at 11% a year. Facility managers need to keep abreast of industry trends so they can keep clients happy and costs down without sacrificing quality, and tenants need to be aware of recent changes and how they could benefit their workers. Here are five trends that are redefining facilities management in 2019.
Integrated Property and Facilities Management
Facilities and property management have traditionally been seen as two separate functions. However, these organizations are being combined. This can yield cost savings. And by bringing the real estate or “outdoor” functions together with the “indoor” facilities management, leadership has better insight into the entire real estate portfolio while occupants enjoy a higher level of service.
The space-as-a-service model is best exemplified by shared working spaces like WeWork. Facilities managers don’t just keep the building clean and cool. They almost become concierges, delivering everything the person needs from IT resources to services and amenities.
This has been largely enabled by technology. Whether it is someone who rents the desk via WeWork’s app or a business that places facilities requests via a website, occupants are able to reserve spaces, request services like the setup of a new desk or delivery of items to a conference room, receive mail or authorize visitors. It certainly drives the rise of flexible space that could serve as an office, meeting room or test lab at a moment’s notice. For example, flexible workspaces can be converted from conference rooms or open break areas to a row of hot desks to accommodate an influx of telecommuters in for the day.
The Emphasis on Health and Wellness
When a building has poor indoor air quality, the increased incidents of respiratory problems demonstrates the link between facilities management and quality of life. However, there is a much greater emphasis on health and wellness in society as a whole and that is being added to the list of expectations facilities managers need to meet.
This article that was published on Bevi.co touches on many Facilities Management Trends and initiatives like the WELL framework, for instance. The Well framework is a set of guidelines that facilities can follow in order to offer a better and more human experience to tenants. This could mean anything from offering healthy food and drink options in break areas or amenities like fitness centers, among other things.
Making these kinds of additions does more than simply keep your workforce healthy, however. Adopting WELL principles could eventually lead to a more engaged and productive workforce, reduce absenteeism, improve morale, and reduce costs associated with high turnover rates.
Automation can also be used to maximize the comfort of occupants as well as save energy. CMMS, automation, and the associated data collection have extended to include predictive analytics, payment processing, and automated notifications and alerts to minimize the administrative load of maintaining a facility while keeping customers in the loop about the status of their requests.
Automation can now be used to allow your employees to do things like requesting more suitable office chairs or certain adjustments to the office layout without relying on traditional paper forms. It also allows facilities managers to ensure the safety and comfort of workers since they’ll be better able to arrange for important repairs before it’s too late.
The Need to be Environmentally Sensitive
Design for sustainability has become a major selling point for facilities. Businesses want to receive the LEED certification, and one of the simplest ways to do that is to build it into their facilities management program in addition to the building itself. Businesses are seeking facilities that already meet LEED standards because consumers want to do business with such environmental certifications. This alters everything from waste management to the materials used when you renovate an office.
The Rise of Augmented and Virtual Reality in Facilities Management
Facilities managers aren’t yet getting requests to set up 3D holographic suites for their clients to hold virtual meetings in, at least not yet. However, VR and augmented reality are starting to alter how they do their jobs. Field service vendors and technicians are starting to use augmented reality (AR) to identify equipment failures faster and make repairs easier. That reduces delays and can cut costs. VR is starting to be used in training of technicians as well and we can expect to see more VR and AR applications in facilities management in the future.
Flexible, versatile, environmentally friendly, comfortable and customer-centric are not just buzzwords for facility managers. They are the defining characteristics of the buildings that people work in today.