As we move into 2023, and settle into the "new normal" of hybrid working environments, there are a number of trends in facilities management we think will be top of mind in the coming year.
- Sustainability: While this isn't a new concept in FM many organizations are refocusing on sustainability and implementing environmentally-friendly practices in their facilities management.
- Data and Analytics: The use of data analytics is becoming more common in facilities management, as organizations look to leverage the insights and information gathered from their systems and processes to make more informed decisions. This includes things like energy and resource usage data, as well as data on maintenance and asset management.
- Employee engagement: Facilities management is increasingly recognizing the importance of employee engagement and the role that the work environment plays in employee satisfaction and productivity. This includes initiatives such as open office layouts, collaboration spaces, and wellness programs.
These trends are all focused on improving efficiency, enhancing the employee experience, and reducing costs in the facilities management space. We unpack them further below:
The ever increasing role sustainability has in facilties management
Sustainability has been a central issue in facilites mangement for decades, and it isn't going to go away any time soon. Rather, it is becoming an evermore important, as organizations recognize the need to reduce their environmental impact and operate in a more responsible and sustainable way. Here are a few reasons why sustainability continues to matter in facilities management:
- Reducing physical workspace footprints: Implementing sustainable running practices in facilities management can help organizations to conserve natural resources such as energy, water, and materials. This can lead to cost savings as well as a reduction in the organization's environmental footprint. One of the simplest ways for large organisations to achieve this, is simply to use less space. Reduced physical spaces mean less lighting, less heating/cooling, and fewer embedded carbon costs. Companies can achieve this by consolidating their existing footprint (eg reducing the number of floors required in a building), or delaying an expansion as staff numbers increase.
Additionall, organisations that embrance hybrid working methodologies can also reduce their environment impact though lower transportation emissions from employees commuting.
- Improved employee satisfaction and retention: As has long been the case, employees today are looking for organizations that share similar value to their own personal values. More and more this has driven the need for organizations to incorportate environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility into their recruitment practices. Facilities managers have a central role to play here, as the built environment represents one of the largest opportunites to embrance or shun sustainability and corporate social responibility. By adopting sustainable practices, facilities managers can help to attract and retain top talent, as well as improve employee satisfaction and engagement.
- Positive public image: As sustainability has become more important to employees it has also become increasingly important to consumers. Over time this has meant that organizations that are perceived as environmentally responsible are often more attractive to customers. By demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, facilities managers can help to improve the public image of their organization and affect the demand for the organisations goods and services.
- Legal and regulatory compliance: In some cases, sustainability practices may be required by law or regulation. Facilities managers need to be aware of these requirements and ensure that their organization is in compliance.
The role data and analytics have in facilites management
The use of data and analytics is playing an increasingly important role in facilities management, as organizations look to leverage the insights and information gathered from their systems and processes to make more informed decisions. Here are a few reasons that data and analytics will play a central role for facilites managers in 2023:
- Improved efficiency: By analyzing data on things like energy usage, maintenance schedules, and asset performance, facilities managers can identify areas where efficiency can be improved. This could include things like optimizing HVAC systems, scheduling maintenance more effectively, or identifying underperforming assets that need to be replaced.
- Enhanced decision-making: Data and analytics can help facilities managers to make more informed and data-driven decisions. For example, by analyzing data on energy usage, facilities managers can identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption and save costs.
- Improved asset management: Data and analytics can help facilities managers to track and manage their assets more effectively. This includes things like identifying the location and condition of assets, as well as predicting when they may need to be repaired or replaced.
- Enhanced user experience: By analyzing data on things like traffic patterns and usage patterns, facilities managers can identify ways to improve the user experience within their facilities. This could include things like optimizing the layout of a campus to improve traffic flow, or identifying areas where additional amenities may be needed.
The role facilities managers play in employee engagement
As a facilities manager, you have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the satisfaction and well-being of your organization's employees. With many western nations struggling to find and retain staff, we think it's likely that this will make employee engagement a central part of company stratgies in the coming year. Here are some things facilities managers can do to assist in that regard:
- Create a comfortable and inviting work environment: The physical space in which employees work can have a big impact on their satisfaction and productivity. Make sure the temperature, lighting, and overall layout of your facility are conducive to a comfortable and productive work environment.
- Promote wellness: Employees who are physically and mentally well are more likely to be satisfied and productive. Consider implementing wellness programs and initiatives, such as fitness classes or stress-management resources, to support the well-being of your employees.
- Foster collaboration: Collaboration is key to the success of many organizations, and the facilities you manage can play a crucial role in fostering collaboration among employees. Design your space with collaboration in mind, and provide ample opportunities for employees to work together and share ideas.
- Foster a sense of community: A sense of community and connection to one's coworkers can contribute to employee satisfaction. Consider implementing programs or initiatives that encourage socialization and connection among employees, such as team-building events or employee appreciation activities.
- Respond to employee needs and concerns: It's important to listen to the needs and concerns of your employees and do what you can to address them. This could involve anything from providing more ergonomic or comfortable furniture to addressing issues with the airflow and ventiation. By showing that you value and prioritize the needs of your employees, you can improve their satisfaction and well-being.
By implementing these strategies, facilities managers can play a key role in enhancing employee satisfaction and supporting the overall success of their organization.
The facilities management field is constantly evolving and adapting to new trends and technologies. In 2023, we think it's prudent to expect to see a continued focus on sustainability, the integration of technology, and the importance of employee engagement. By staying up-to-date on these trends and finding ways to incorporate them into their facilities management strategies, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and better support the needs of their employees and customers. Whether it's through implementing green initiatives, leveraging the power of data analytics, or finding new ways to engage and support employees, facilities managers have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the success of their organization.
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