The pace of change in facilities management was already rapid before COVID; now it’s accelerating to light speed. This means staying ahead of the trends is more vital than ever. Here are five trends to watch out for in the coming year.
1. Focus on flexible workspaces
With many businesses transitioning permanently to flexible working, more and more companies want flexible workspaces. But this demands additional work from facilities managers.
Flexible workspaces are made up of activity-based workstations, hot desks, agile spaces, and separate co-working spaces outside the main office. They create economies of space at the cost of centralised management. Facilities managers are becoming workspace administrators and looking to modern IWMS platforms as key tools for success.
Beyond the actual workspace, facilities managers may find themselves overseeing phone booths, nap rooms, and other flexible areas – and this trend looks set to keep growing.
2. Emphasis on employee experience
Another positive impact of COVID is the increased focus on employee mental health. Combine that with the need to entice employees back to the office, and you get a trend for experiential workplaces that not only support but invigorate, inspire and even excite people.
Every part of the workplace has to benefit employees in some way, from workstations to collaborative, personal, and recreational spaces. Workers who feel accommodated and valued will give their best and develop loyalty to their employer, making it easier to attract and retain the top talent.
Recognising the value of employee experience will enable facilities managers to unlock new capabilities and purposes from their workplaces. Everything from the layout to the décor matters, and good facilities management can influence everything from productivity to morale.
3. The Internet of Things
Numbers of connected workplace devices are growing exponentially, and the Internet of Things (IoT) has unlimited potential in the office. Companies of all sizes are creating IoT infrastructure of every degree of sophistication, from a complete array of connected devices to a couple of basic smart outlets and an Amazon Echo unit.
These technologies are set to grow rapidly in importance. Before long, an office without an IoT will be an anomaly.
4. Data-driven decision-making
Data is behind most of the trends in facilities management. Software and IoT devices help to create a quantified workplace where facilities managers can understand employees’ needs better than ever. Insights from data are driving revolutionary changes, from optimising office space to changing how environments are managed, resulting in cost and space savings.
5. Integrated facilities management
Integrated Workplace Management Systems are leading to integrated facilities management. Facilities data is no longer being siloed as workplaces switch to managing everything as a whole.
Integrated facilities management means looking at how different aspects of work affect each other, such as how an open-plan office affects not only space utilisation but also productivity. Using various lenses to look at the workplace highlights how variables affect one another.
In today’s increasingly complex workplaces, integrated facilities management is becoming vital. More than a trend, it’s now the standard for the future.