The pandemic we are living through will have a long-term impact on how we live and work, even as restrictions are lifted and things get ‘back to normal’. It has accelerated the trends towards remote working, flexibility in operations and online shopping. The current scenario has also made us examine closely how we use our environment, interact with others, and re-assess what is ‘safe’ and ‘clean’.
This is a huge opportunity for FM companies to showcase their solutions and emerge as a strategic partner for customers in different sectors. According to a study done by Research and Markets, the global facilities management industry will grow at a CAGR of 11.4 percent and is estimated to reach USD 59.33 billion by the year 2023.
Here is a roundup of the latest trends in the facilities management industry:
• Outsourcing of FM services –
With ongoing pressure to reduce operating costs, organizations today are evaluating their operating model. Their approach to outsourcing has broadened as they begin to view facilities management service providers as a strategic partner and maximise value creation.
Outsourcing is increasingly delivering more complex services. The facilities management model has come a long way and is now capable of providing value that is far beyond simple cost savings.
• Data-driven decision making -
Data from IoT devices and facility management software helps facilities managers under stand more about how their workplace functions and what employees need to do their best work. They are taking data and breaking it down to recognize trends, then using those insights to affect change.
Data is also used to manage labour costs on specific tasks and increase efficiency through automation. Data-driven decision-making is leading to revolutionary changes in facilities management – from optimizing available office space to changing the way a work environment is managed. The result is savings on overhead costs and smarter space utilization.
• Flexible workspace –
The current pandemic is changing the way organizations and people operate at the workplace. Employers are replacing
agile working spaces with dedicated desks that ensure proper social distancing. The HR department is now being given the tasks of carrying out dynamic resource planning, coming up with alternate week working patterns, WFH policies, and issuing employee passes to limit access to the work site.
Hot desks and activity-based workstations also make up the flexible workspace movement. Rotational shifts at the workplace now enables better utilization of facility square footage and gives tremendous opportunity for FM service providers to ensure safety at the office space. As the workplace continues to evolve in the ‘new normal’, facility managers are now constantly adapting to their new role as workspace administrators.
• Automation and digitization –
Automation and digitization is enhancing the daily working operations of organizations today. Facility managers are constantly finding the right combination of creative and technological tools that will best fit the needs of their facility. In the context of global pandemic, the responsibility of FM companies on keeping people and assets safe are now more than ever. FM companies are now using technology for ensuring social distancing at workplace using IoT.
Technology solutions are also customized to deliver efficient technical services like electrical (MEFP), testing, compliance, audits, housekeeping etc. It is no secret that the number of connected workplace devices is growing. Companies big and small are building out their automation ecosystems to varying degrees of sophistication. And, as more organizations go digital for FM solutions, facility managers are presented with a great opportunity to deliver hassle free services than ever before.
• Integrated facilities management –
There is a huge opportunity for FM companies to showcase their solutions and emerge as a strategic partner for customers in different sectors
Manoj Parekh, Managing Director, OCS Group India
Companies are exploring the integration of facilities management and related services to streamline management, reduce costs and improve performance. FM service providers are now seen as a strategic partner that help organizations to not only save overhead costs but also customize and personalize industry centric services offered to them.
FM providers can support businesses with all essential technical and engineering services, along with water treatment, electrical and HVAC filter testing, food hygiene compliance, pest control services, security, and assessments of life-safety systems such as fire alarms. This is beyond the traditional services of housekeeping, cleaning, sensitization, and disinfection.
As corporates have begun to understand the importance of frequent intensive cleaning along with regular maintenance of their premises, there is a tremendous response to the concept of integrated facilities management services across the country.
As the government has eased lock down restrictions, our clients and their end customers will want to be confident that it is safe to return to their respective offices, public venues, schools, and other places. The FM industry therefore has a crucial role to play in building this confidence and helping the world return to the ‘new normal’.