It is an exciting time for FM businesses and in this article, we run through some of the top trends in facilities management...
Facilities management is constantly evolving and has seen some of the most dramatic shifts in recent years perpetuated by COVID-19 and the introduction of social distancing. Before the pandemic, facilities management teams were largely operating on the ground with teams stationed at sites, many of whom operated through pen and paper. As the pandemic grew, FM teams had to pivot ways of working by introducing strict social distancing processes alongside technology to aid overall operations. With this, the FM sector saw an uptick in digital solutions to common, everyday problems plus a brand new outlook on how teams operate in the field.
A distributed team is one that can be based anywhere and is supported by technology such as video chats and messaging, digital systems and mobile phones. For FM teams specifically, this can be quite a challenge as many operatives are needed on-site to perform crucial checks and tasks. However, strict social distancing due to COVID-19 meant that FM teams needed a new way of working and fast so many opted for management systems.
Removing the need for team members to be in a shared space for most of the week meant that FM teams were now seeing cost benefits in energy, assets and fuel. Teams were more productive as digital systems provided accountability and a structured approach to maintenance and facilities.
Alongside benefits to businesses, a distributed or 'hybrid' way of working has shown to improve work/life balance and overall well-being. In fact:
Statistics from Office for National Statistics
Smart technology and sensors now offer FM teams and businesses unique insight into assets and facilities. Sensor technology has had significant development and can be used to aid almost all aspects of facilities and property management. Some of the areas FM teams opt for sensors are:
In the case of using sensors to monitor HVAC and leaks, teams can effectively monitor temperatures and humidity at every instant ensuring optimal temperature settings at all times. Some sensors can also be used to monitor leaks so that teams can ensure that any leak is dealt with quickly and efficiently.
Mobile phones have been a part of everyday life for many years and have become smarter with apps and automated systems. Using mobile phones to aid facilities management teams can help to support effective communication and with mobile apps, teams now have access to a range of systems that can help.
Mobile apps for FM teams help to increase productivity whilst reducing time and costs. Some examples of mobile apps for FM teams are:
One thing on many of our minds at the moment is climate change and this can be seen in the trends in facilities management. Most businesses are now seeking to implement drastic changes to help reduce carbon footprints whilst maintaining or in most cases improving profit margins. Founders and developers have been instrumental in creating digital solutions tackling climate change and facilities management teams are beginning to see its wide-ranging benefits.
Many FM businesses are looking to reduce their global footprint as well as improve fuel consumption and reduce costs. There are several ways businesses can begin to tackle this by implementing new systems and processes such as:
In light of recent heatwaves and subsequent droughts, businesses are beginning to look at new methods and techniques to help preserve water. Not only does saving water help the environment but it also helps to cut costs and reduce the risks of leaks. Innovative approaches to water preservation can be implemented such as:
Trends in facilities management are constantly changing and evolving and it is important for FM teams to be informed of any new developments in order to stay ahead of the curve. Although not every trend will fit into every team or business, it is always good to understand what is currently available on the market and what the future might bring.
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