The Impact of Megatrends on the Evolution of Facilities Management

David Green
World Facilities Management (FM) day will see the promotion of the ISO 41001:2018 series. Launched last year, this new standard afforded international recognition to the FM profession and the positive benefits organisations can gain towards maximum efficiency, health and safety, sustainability and considerable cost savings.

With the momentum of the FM profession growing, it truly feels that FM’s moment is now.

The role of FM is growing globally, in the Global FM Market 2018 Report, FM market was estimated to be worth around $1.15 trillion in 2017, and is forecasted to see a global predicted growth rate of 2.2% annually until 2051. Megatrends impacting the FM market include a key shift in demographics and technology. But how are these megatrends influencing more organisations to focus on this area of their business?

Corporate disruption and the role of FM

Businesses and industries are facing new forms of corporate disruption, which is having lasting impact on how, where and who is delivering the work. As you look at many of the major challenges facing the business world, be this the changing face and form of the workplace or the rapid emergence of technology, you will notice one common theme. That being the influence of FM and its importance to embracing these challenges and indeed leveraging these to deliver business benefit.

The evolving workplace

There has been a fast change in the nature and perception of the workplace, bringing with it varying expectations. One impact of the changing face of the workplace having an immediate impact is the rise of the 24-hour office. Whereby, for companies to remain competitive and attractive to global clients, traditional hours are being extended. While this has enabled organisations to make market gains, there are of course significant impacts and additional costs associated with managing such operations. Thus affects both the organisation’s bottom line as well as the people and assets required to support the working environment. In our upcoming article, “Open All Hours”, to be published in the RICS Journal, June edition, Sarah Cranke and David Green of Faithful+Gould’s Strategic Asset Management team identify the impact this will have and how FM is uniquely placed to respond to this challenge.

FM will play an integral part of both the workplace and employee experience

FM will play an integral part of both the workplace and employee experience, firstly as a custodian of the workplace, but uniquely they will also serve as the eyes and ears of the workplace. Whether it is improving employee wellness, attracting and retaining top talent, or mitigating against rising occupancy costs, the workplace, and in turn the role of FM, will play a fundamental element that business must leverage when responding to the increasing complexities and uncertainties of modern commerce. Organisations will increasingly look to FM, and their broad portfolio of capabilities, locking these in with business strategy to respond to market drivers and leverage business advantage. But what does this mean for the FM Profession?

Emerging skills

Due to the speed in change in technological advancement the use of smart technology has been trending, in a recent CBRE report it predicts up to 25 billion smart things to be in use by 2020 compared to 4.9 billion in 2015. The way in which FM will adopt technology will undoubtably evolve the way in which employees will interact with their workplace, and, we can begin to see that the future of work will be much different to that which we currently experience. Looking at the future of work more broadly, we are increasingly more aware that jobs and skills are emerging that traditionally would have been considered niche, but which are now fast becoming mainstream careers. FM is certainly not immune to this.

FM as a business enabler

The immediate challenge for the FM profession is to influence a change across business culture to focus on the positive benefits their expertise can provide towards long term commercial profitability. Increasingly with companies investing in sustainability, businesses are now realising the knock-on effects they can gain from efficiencies towards a reduction in costs and increase in profitability. This is useful as the first step for FM teams to collaborate with sustainability teams within an organisation, as we do within Faithful+Gould’s SAM team, to bring about further change.