By Lucian Anghel, Founder & CEO, Timepal Romania & Facilities Management Services
What global economic, social and cultural forces shape the future of the facility management industry? Let’s look at the issues we need to consider to ensure business success in the medium and long term. For managers and decision makers in many industries it is relevant to know the main trends in the field of facilities management.
- Increased employment costs
First, outsourcing facility management continues to grow in popularity. This tendency is largely driven by the demand for high-quality work space and facilities at the workplace with low operating costs. This trend is further fueled by the high costs of hiring an internal FM team and their complex task of managing a wide range of services.
There is a lot of pressure on companies today to provide value to their customers, who need to constantly innovate and expand their services to provide more and more value. The consequence of this is often a reduction in their budget for support services, including FM. At the same time, employees and clients expect better work experiences. Which is exactly what makes outsourcing these services more and more attractive to many companies.
- IoT and artificial intelligence
New technologies are increasingly used to improve labor efficiency and reduce costs. The first of these technologies is the Internet of Things (IoT), a technology that is increasingly adopted in the field of interior lighting management of buildings and climate control.
Second, among the technologies used by companies to reduce FM costs is robotics. Artificial intelligence is suitable for both dangerous tasks and repetitive tasks. This is why some FM executives choose robots to perform the cleaning and security tasks.
The operational savings that technology offers will likely lead to widespread adoption of IoT and robotic hardware over the next decade.
- Personalization of the workplace
Productivity and employee well-being are the focus of attention in recent years, the value of happy and involved staff being fully recognized. This has led to a tendency related to the creation of strategies that actively promote the involvement, well-being and, finally, the productivity of the personnel in the workplace.
These strategies need to adapt to an increasingly diverse workforce, customizing FM services to their specific needs. An essential part of the personalization of the workspace is the adaptation to the priorities of a younger generation, which requires ecological services, sustainable processes and work areas that blur the differences between the private and professional spaces.
What employees expect from the workplace has changed a lot over the past 20 years – and will continue to change rapidly. The facility management sector will need to continue to evolve to meet tomorrow’s trends.
In essence, outsourcing of FM services will continue to grow in all areas of activity and in all industries. The only area of uncertainty is the list of priorities for outsourcing these services, as each industry has a particular way in which facility management adds value to their activity.
Of course, cost will always be one of the main deciding factors, as this is the one that determines, first of all, the companies to outsource their services. However, companies will also invest in premium FM services, as they see the competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent – and studies provide more and more evidence that workplace experience has an impact on health, well-being and employee productivity.