The Top Facilities Management Trends for 2014

David Spence
July 23rd, 2014

4 Trends That Will Shape the Future

This dynamic quality makes FM an interesting and ever-changing field.

But what are some of the trends that are driving FM at the moment? Here are four that are keeping facilities managers talking.

1. Millenial Recruiting

A recent report from JLL reports that the FM industry will soon see Baby Boomers retire. The need to replace these professionals with their younger, millennial counterparts is great.

However, the report also states that younger people aren’t familiar with the field and what it involves.

This is where outreach and education become crucial. Over the next few years, the industry must engage with millenials and publicize facilities management as a viable career option.

Luckily, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers are appealing to the Y generation, so accomplishing this task requires a stronger focus on publicity than anything else.

2. Total FM

According to FM Magazine, the coming years will also see a rise in Total FM contracts. In these business arrangements, single contractors offer a wide array of services, from building maintenance to sustainability tracking to space planning.

In order to succeed, contributor Bruce Minty argues, Total FM providers will need to offer a varied portfolio of services.

Facilities Society, however, is perhaps more realistic in saying that use of Total FM will require a clear conversation between owner and contractor about what is needed and what can be realistically provided: “The Total FM contractor cannot be good at everything and therefore expect to satisfy all-comers equally.”

Therefore, perhaps a better goal for Total FM contractors over the next few years is to specialize in key areas while also building relationships with other contractors who have other specialties. When a building owner needs something they can’t provide, the contractors can refer them to others who can fill that need.

3. Biometric Technology

Facial recognition technology will have several important uses for the future. With the increased protection provided by biometrics, there’s the obvious benefit that only certain personnel enter restricted areas, reducing the risk of unwanted break-ins and the loss of important data.

The need for key cards will be eliminated, making companies more sustainable.

And according to a report by Johnson Controls, other uses will also come into play in the day-to-day office, particularly in the form of lighting, air conditioning and desks that automatically adjust themselves based on the worker’s needs.

4. Skill Building

The field of FM changes so quickly, it’s no wonder that the IFMA requires professionals with the CFM credential to re-certify every three years.

Whether an FM is just entering the field or has been in the business for 30 years, learning about the newest developments and ideas is critical.

And of course, in addition to keeping up with industry-specific trends, FMs of all ages will benefit from also polishing softer skills, such as communication and customer service.

FM Magazine also lists what it calls “strategic FM,” the need for “aligning FM services with operational performance, to result in tangible cost savings, enhanced productivity and workforce efficiencies.”

But this is hardly a trend. As much as FM itself may change, its primary goals remains the same: keep the building safe and comfortable; occupants happy; productivity high and costs low.

All this is easier said than done, but if facilities managers keep on top of trends, educate themselves and seek out new ways to help their companies save and thrive, these objectives are easily within their reach.

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