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10 Facility Management Trends You Need to Know

by James McDonald on February 4, 2019
The Next Generation of IWMS: iXMS

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global facility management market was valued at nearly $35 billion in 2018, with the expectation to grow to $59.3 billion by 2023. At a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.4 percent, this makes it one of the fastest growing industries in the world.

To help facilities professionals better understand how the world of work and commercial real estate are transforming, CBRE published its second Top Facilities Management Trends report in Q3 2018. The report identified 10 of the biggest facility management trends. 

Top Facility Management Trends

1. An Outsourcing Evolution

While enterprises are continuing to outsource their facilities management, the reasons for doing so have shifted away from reducing expenses. Instead, companies are choosing outsourcing in order to give in-house facilities teams the opportunity to focus more on strategic initiatives and enhancing the user experience.

2. Integrated Property and Facilities Management

Forward-thinking enterprises are ditching the traditional approach to property management, which involved several providers who were siloed by function and geography. Rather, these organizations are bringing together project management, facilities management and real estate management under one partner. As a result, they have greater visibility into the entire real estate portfolio and enjoy more consistent levels of service quality.

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3. A Greater Emphasis on Personalization and User Experience

Having grown accustomed to personalized experiences as consumers, employees now expect the same type of experience in the workplace. This attitude is in line with the increasing adaptation of the space-as-a-service model, made popular by coworking spaces like WeWork. Facility managers are in some sense becoming the “concierges” of the workplace, responsible for providing the technology, services and amenities that help employees be more productive.

Many workplaces are beginning to address this need with employee experience apps that allow people to stay connected to their workplace and find people, reserve spaces, request service and receive mail or visitors.

FACT: Fifty-nine percent of corporate executives say they plan to add mobile apps that help employees better navigate the workplace and collaborate with each other. (CBRE Americas Occupier Survey, 2018)

4. A Greater Emphasis on Employee Wellness Programs

Health and wellness programs are evolving from a “nice to have” perk to a required employee benefit. In its 2018 EMEA Occupier Survey, CBRE found that four out of five employers currently have or are planning to introduce wellness programs. These programs are generally a “balanced mix of physical and mental health awareness programs, exercise and nutrition, and some form of mindfulness or relaxation sessions.”

FACT: Employee wellness programs increase productivity by 10 percent on average and as much as 45 percent in some cases. (CBRE’s Healthy Offices research)

5. Flexible Space, Coworking and Collaboration

Startups and smaller enterprises continue to be the predominant users of flexible workspaces and coworking services. But larger organizations have been increasing their use of managed workspaces for “swing space” to accommodate a growing workforce and manage spend during times of transition. In addition to adopting flexible workspace arrangements, corporate real estate executives are prioritizing the ability to support employee flexibility.

FACT: Seventy-five percent of survey respondents said they expect companies to provide collaborative and social spaces. (CBRE Americas Occupier Survey, 2018)


6. Collaboration and Partnership

Collaboration is no longer just a priority for members of the workforce. Enterprises are looking for vendors with whom they can build a true partnership based on a shared mission and open communication. Organizations care not just about the capabilities and acumen of potential suppliers but also how easily they can establish and grow a relationship with them.

“With a more connected workforce, the proliferation of millennials, lower cost technology, the ‘always on’ economy and need for quicker turnarounds, there is a greater emphasis on collaboration.”

-Vince Connolly, Heat of Client Care, CBRE’s Global Workplace Solutions EMEA business

7. Long-Term Partnership

In addition to taking longer to vet potential partners, companies are increasing the average length of contracts for services like technology and training. This comes from the desire to drive the highest ROI from the partnership and the understanding that with longer relationships comes more trust and the ability to test new strategies with greater confidence.

“All relationships need time to mature. So do successful contracts. With that maturity, greater returns on initial investments can be realized for both parties.”

-Matthew Farrant, Managing Director for Critical Environments

8. The Smart Workplace

The use of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to increase, with Gartner predicting 20.4 billion connected devices will be in use by 2020. The application of this technology in the workplace allows employers to create more comfortable, energy-efficient workplaces that support a positive employee experience.

For instance, the global headquarters of Johnson Controls, a strategic partner for CBRE, integrates the control and optimization of building functions ranging from fire protection, security and asset tracking systems, as well as lighting management, HVAC maintenance and smart parking.

While IoT sensors and integrated workplace management systems can add a great deal of building intelligence, a full building automation system is much easier to implement if it’s incorporated into the early design stages.

9. Data-Driven Decision-Making

Building facility management systems connected to the IoT and smart technology enable organizations to not just collect data about the workplace and workforce but also make that data actionable. Facilities management teams and corporate real estate managers can use these technologies to better understand how existing space is used and whether they need to expand or consolidate their portfolio.

10. Artificial Intelligence

The sales of professional cleaning robots have steadily increased since 2015. This is due to the multiple advantages they offer, including decreased labor expenses, the ability to perform tasks outside of work hours, increased efficiency via automation and reduced safety risks. Some enterprises are also experimenting with using robots for security patrols as well as greeting visitors.


What These Facility Management Trends Mean For You

Nearly every aspect of facilities management is shifting to have a greater focus on connecting the people who work in the industry and those who are impacted by it. What these facility management trends demonstrate is both employers and service providers are transitioning from prioritizing the transactional to the experiential. 

As new partnerships, outsourcing, technology and other facility management trends continue to reshape the workforce, facility managers will be expected to take on more strategic roles. They will need to consider how these elements can be best utilized to bring the greatest value to the workplace. And they will need to find a balance between the seemingly conflicting priorities of managing costs while prioritizing the employee experience. 

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