Current Trends in Facilities Management Practices

Two decades ago, when someone spoke about facilities management, it usually meant menial tasks like deciding what light bulb to use or what colors of the floor tiles to choose but now so much has changed. With the evolution of the work place, the definition of facilities management continues to expand. It now encompasses not only the office space but also the overall productivity of employees. Studies have proven that an effective workplace results directly in measurable ROI (return on investment) of employees and results in their retention and happiness at the workplace, therefore more and more facility managers are recognising the need to be innovative and to keep up with the latest workplace trends. Here we will discuss the top trends in facilities management practices that are sure to reshape the year 2018.

  • Sustainability

Sustainability refers to the built in environment of the workplace. It covers everything from ventilation and lighting of the place to nourishment and materiality with the end goal being the well being of workers. Industry giants suggest that now more than ever today’s market demands green attributes. Making buildings more environmental friendly and efficient are the goals of facilities manager in 2018. With this in mind, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification has become extremely popular in 2018. Some are already working on it for example Pfizer; the pharmaceutical giant has built the world’s first LEED-NC platinum certified company in China. Hence we believe that this trend has gained more momentum in 2018.

  • Technological Advancement

You can already see a lot of technological advancement in the facilities maintenance industry. Use of holograms in elevators maintenances, drones in security and microchip implants in employees for accessibility has gain more prominence this year. 2018 has seen more focus on merging on building automation systems and IT. Facility managers are looking towards smart security surveillance systems, intelligent building control systems and advanced robotics. Vendors who are looking to upscale their operations are quickly moving towards IoT (Internet of things). IoT is a major trend of 2018 that enables a multitude of devices and systems to communicate wirelessly via the internet by using only IP addresses. IoT is thus able to link all the processes within the building improving operational efficiency.

  • Procurement

For facilities managers in 2018 procurement refers to finding products and services that are more compatible and friendly with the environment. This includes everything from water management, waste management, recycling activities in the building as well as cleaning methods. There is a growing trend in dealing with ethically based suppliers and you will see a high demand for accountability about the origins and contents of a product. Sustainable procurement offers a host of advantage with it directly impacting the productivity of the employees and providing a positive effect on the organization’s profits.

  • Thermal comfort

Thermal comfort is all about maintaining the optimal air and temperature of the workplace. With California and other states requiring low energy design of the buildings, facilities managers are looking into constructions that are based on “no energy” or “low energy” consumption models. In 2018 more companies are shifting towards BMS (Building Management Systems) to manage the day to day operations of a facility. It provides analytics that can be used to optimize the energy performance of a building. It also provides indirect benefits like extension of the life of the equipments as well as improving the comfort of the employees.

Besides these major trends, some other areas facilities managers are looking on are space utilization and quality as more and more people are opting for remote working.

As worldwide Facility Management market is expected to grow to $1.3 trillion in 2018, it has become important for companies to focus on these trends in order to emerge successful and carve a niche for themselves in today’s competitive world.