Facility Management’s Chances and Challenges According to a recent survey by management firm Advanced Workplace Associates, only 3% of white-collar workers want to return to work five days a week. Employers are increasingly experimenting with hybrid work setups that allow professionals to divide their workweek between the office and home in order to retain talent.
As a result, spaces are shifting. Hot desking and team collaboration rooms are becoming more popular, presenting Facility Management’s with unpredictable peaks and troughs in occupancy levels, complicating maintenance planning and overall building management. It has underlined the crucial role that technology currently plays, with Facility Managements increasingly employing advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and linked devices, to track general occupancy, desk and meeting room utilization, and high-traffic areas. Professionals can more efficiently factor in required maintenance, social distancing measures, and cleaning schedules using this information.
This year, the nature of the Facility Management function isn’t the only thing that will change. Staff retention is high on many firms’ agendas in 2022, thanks to skills shortages and an upsurge in employees departing from their jobs (called the “Great Resignation”). Employers rely on Facility Managements to ensure that their spaces help them retain and recruit talent since they want to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees.
With the focus on Facility Management shining brighter than ever, senior executives in the industry will be required to collaborate more closely with HR teams to make strategic decisions on healthy work environments, especially when hybrid working is used. FMs with commercial awareness, technological intelligence, a firm grasp of data and analytics, and the soft skills required to foster collaboration, such as communication, creativity, leadership, and conflict management, will be in higher demand.
The good news is that wages will continue to rise in accordance with rising expectations. Employers are willing to pay a premium to obtain the expertise they need in a highly competitive employment environment due to skills shortages across all areas of Facility Management and a dearth of fresh talent entering the profession. This method, however, isn’t sustainable, and Facility Management organizations are hard at work figuring out how to address these massive skills shortages. Exploring untapped talent sources will remain a priority in 2022, with firms increasing diversity and inclusion policies to move the sector beyond the dubious reputation it has acquired over the years.
Naturally, no discussion of Facility Management’s future would be complete without considering sustainability. More organizations are committing to public sustainability and net-zero pledges following COP26 in 2021.
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