What does the new year have in store for us? What should we be expecting? While no one can forecast the future with absolute certainty, we thought we’d offer some educated guesses based on what we witnessed in 2021. We’ve dusted up our crystal ball and are ready to reveal our top four facilities management predictions for the year 2022. Let’s get started!
Workplace Management Will Get Smarter and More Integrated
The great Return To Work will be gradual and steady, but occupancy will remain lower than it was before to COVID. We’ve already seen how this is leading to smaller office footprints and more flex space for employees. This continuous emphasis on smart space utilization necessitates intelligent space management as well.
Intelligent, IoT, AI-powered technologies will be used by building owners and facility managers to help increase energy efficiency, gauge occupancy, maintain security, track repair needs, and more. Integrated solutions that connect numerous tools and data sources, allowing them to be managed from a single pane of glass, will be in more demand than 7 individual tools to manage 7 different functions.
When no one is in space, occupancy sensors, for example, can detect it and instruct the lights to switch off and the HVAC to raise or drop the temperature. Work orders can be booked to fix issues like a burned-out light bulb or an air filter that needs to be replaced. This data may be recorded over time to see how much a specific room is actually used and how much it costs to maintain that space, which can assist estimate future needs.
Condition Assessments Will be Conducted More Frequently
When buildings are utilized, they perform better. When they aren’t, problems arise. Many facilities are still operating with skeleton workers, which can result in two issues.
First, with fewer people available to spot problems, they may go unnoticed and grow into much bigger concerns. If a small leak is not repaired quickly, it can cause a lot of harm. Second, when a structure isn’t fully occupied, the delayed repair is frequently put off even longer. You can only put off maintenance for so long before it becomes unavoidable.
Facility Condition Assessments (FCAs) give you an up-to-date snapshot of your facilities’ condition. Is it possible to postpone that bit of maintenance a little longer? What should be the top priorities? Where are the prospective issues that could arise in the coming months or years and for which you should prepare now? These are the kinds of questions that an FCA may assist you with.
Because there are only a few employees in the building at any given time, an FCA serves as your eyes and ears on the ground. You’ll probably need to conduct condition assessments more frequently than usual. And if there was ever a time to switch from paper to digital exams, it’s now. Every time you conduct a new evaluation, a digital FCA may be instantly updated, and the results can be accessed from anywhere.
Higher Ed Facilities Will Start to Transform
The epidemic altered our perceptions of numerous “norms” from the past, including how we went to school. In the field of higher education, students’ preferences are pushing for change. What is their most important preference? Learning in a virtual environment.
The ancient 300-seat auditorium is on its way out, where basics like hearing clearly and seeing what’s going on aren’t guaranteed. It has been replaced with high-definition audio and visuals, ensuring that everyone has the greatest seat in the house (and you can no longer risk sleeping through your Friday lecture after a long Thursday night).
These changes will have a significant impact on the future of higher education. Institutions should conduct polls and collect data from their students in order to begin answering questions such as:
- Is a four-year residential experience truly necessary for students?
- What does the future classroom look like in order to accommodate hybrid and remote learning?
- What enhancements to the IT infrastructure are required for online education and services?
- Is it necessary for your students to have access to counseling, financial assistance, and other services via the internet?
Colleges and universities will confront some big decisions in the coming year, ranging from space utilization to infrastructure investment.
Healthcare Institutions Will Have to Get Creative to Conduct Maintenance
Wave after wave of COVID cases is putting healthcare institutions under pressure. The facilities, as well as the front-line staff, are under duress. Healthcare facilities, in contrast to many other buildings, are bursting at the seams. There are frequently insufficient rooms in hospitals and emergency rooms to meet demand.
Due to the historically high demand, scheduling and completing routine maintenance, much alone much-needed major upgrades, has become practically impossible. However, in order to provide good care, healthcare facilities must be in top shape. That’s what it’s like to be caught between a rock and a hard place.
Healthcare organizations will have to reconsider at least some parts of their facility management. That necessitates good data, such as the kind gathered during a Facility Condition Assessment (FCA). Healthcare facilities will undertake more assessments in order to keep a closer check on everything and pinpoint the most critical areas that require improvement.
Hospitals and clinics that use FCA data will be better able to:
- Concentrate on the most important systems, such as HVAC, fire suppression, security, and building automation.
- Determine whether more personnel are required to fill any maintenance gaps.
- Determine which items can be managed remotely (alarm resets, equipment restarts)
- Make the switch to a condition-based maintenance strategy.
Because these types of changes are much easier to handle with a hospital facilities management system, we may see an increase in healthcare providers purchasing and adopting one.