Understanding the key trends in a fast-changing FM industry
As 2019 draws to a close, we take a closer look at the key trends you identified in our survey on the current FM market. We know that the industry is set for major transformation and that the role of the FM professional has changed forever.
What do you believe will have the most impact on the industry? And how will that practically play out for you? Here, we share our valuable insights so you can get to grips with where it’s headed over the next five years.
At the top of the list, four of out five respondents agreed that managing smart technology and smart/connected buildings would become the most important function of the FM role in the next five years. A huge 79 per cent of respondents agreed that smart technology would play a crucial role in FM over the next five years. As for specific technologies tipped to make the biggest impact:
- 65 per cent said Smart Building Technology
- 51 per cent said mobile devices
- 50 per cent said Smart Building Access
- 50 per cent said Energy Monitoring Apps.
For the future, the need to upgrade to Smart Building Technology scored 60 per cent, while 41 per cent of respondents recognised the need to stay up to date with new technologies. Of those, 51 per cent of businesses in the FM sector had plans to invest in some smart technology, while 26 per cent had plans for significant investment.
Employee wellness has become such an important factor in the FM role that three quarters of all respondents agreed on its significance. The most important products and services related to wellness in the industry were identified as work/life balance and education (26 per cent), energy supplies/air ventilation (24 per cent) and interior design/ergonomic furniture (20 per cent). Others included recycling and cleaning, tech solutions and communication.
- 78 per cent of respondents believe wellness programs help enhance culture and performance
- Most agreed that wellness considerations would continue to be heavily influenced by smart technology in the coming years;
- 74 per cent agreed that wellness has increasingly become a more important part of the FM function.
One respondent noted that if the industry didn’t maintain its wellness and environmental considerations, there would be no future for the facilities management role. Another mentioned that wellness implications were affecting business outcomes.
Half those surveyed identified that a lack of diversity and fresh talent was the biggest threat to the FM industry in terms of people. So, what can the industry do to make FM an attractive career choice for new recruits?
- 26 per cent nominated a competitive salary
- 22 per cent said a clear career path;
- 15 per cent noted a better understanding of the breadth of the job.
While breadth of expertise is increasing as technology is becoming more integrated, technological knowledge was reported to be least important skill according to nominated. Instead, people management skills were rated the most important trend by most respondents along with the need to promote the FM industry as one of value rather than cost.
In conclusion, our industry will perform more efficiently and proactively by coming together more regularly, at events like Total Facilities. By connecting face-to-face, we can continue to foster a wider sense of community, which will help all of us to navigate the fast–changing FM landscape.
Written by Annie Reid