Like everything else seen through the COVID-19 lens, the evolving workplace and its expectations are fraught with ambiguity.
Fremont, CA: There are concerns about the future of site management when a significant section of the workforce is working from home. Is a facilities manager still required in businesses? Will facility management get more or less challenging over time? What are the current trends in facilities management, and how will they affect the future? Like everything else seen through the COVID-19 lens, the evolving workplace and its expectations are fraught with ambiguity.
Aside from informed guessing and speculation, predicting the future of facilities management is challenging. After all, few could have imagined a pandemic-induced work-from-home migration. Looking at today's business demands and how they're affecting tomorrow is the greatest method to gain insights into the future of facility management.
Here's a look at the current scenario and how it may affect the future of facilities management following COVID-19.
- Flex work and distributed teams as the new norm
For facility managers, the future is digital. In-house, a burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) will assist them in managing hot desks, flex spaces, and other flexible office aspects. It, in turn, will accommodate more erratic schedules among the groups above. Outside of the physical workplace, the digital one will rapidly come under the management of facility managers. Expect FM tasks to collide with HR and IT services in the future as organizations welcome new remote employees to a digital workplace.
- Growing reliance on workplace data
Governance must become more agile as workplaces become more dynamic. Most are all aware that the finest decision-making tools accessible are digital technology. In particular, facilities management software.
Facilities management will become synonymous with data interpretation, from hot desk management to deep dives into space usage metrics impacting commercial real estate (CRE) choices. But, don't worry; facilities managers will not be required to have a degree in data engineering. Instead, they will rely on machine learning and AI to collect, analyze, interpret, and utilize critical workplace data.
- Integrated facilities management
When it comes to achieving more with less, one trend that is likely to define the future is integrated facilities management. Facilities managers will need to discover synergies in how they manage support systems and personnel and coordinate overall workplace care and maintenance. Through integrated facilities management, FMs may anticipate combining expenses, increasing service area, and expediting vendor supervision. But, again, it will be a question of developing inclusive partnerships with reputable service providers and negotiating long-term SLAs for many businesses.