New technologies, demographic shifts, and sustainable building solutions will continue to shape the FM field. This is according to a report by Eric Jouane, Vice President of Facilities Management with Sodexo, who believes the year ahead will bring new and evolving ways to grow the FM talent pool and improve living and working environments.
“The combination of talented people and technological advances are creating smarter, safer, more inclusive and sustainable environments that are responsive to the needs of people,” he writes.
Augmented reality (via glasses or other devices) are taking the FM sector to a new level by enabling engineers and technicians to communicate in real time with experts, share instant live video, and get the guidance they need to solve a problem.
Chatbot programs are the newest way to ask and receive information. Driven by artificial intelligence, they offer an alternative to live customer support by continually learning from the questions asked by users.
Ultraviolet lights are the latest innovation in the fight against superbugs, viruses, mould, pathogens, and bacteria. New research has shown that shorter wave UV lights can be a safe and effective way to slow viruses, pathogens, mould, and bacteria in public places like hospitals, schools, and nursing homes.
Attracting talent in the FM field is one of the industry’s most pressing challenges. Moving forward, FM organizations will need to build stronger connections to up-and-coming talent by partnering with schools, providing apprenticeships for high school students, giving access to the latest technology are two options to engage younger hires
Retaining talent is another challenge in a tight labor market, and one that will require FM organizations to providing a path for career growth and leadership opportunities. One example includes creating a think tank within companies to allow employees, both front line and management, to innovate.
Integrated facility services will continue as a viable strategy as facility managers take advantage of new technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) to streamline operations, generate stronger insights, and eliminate redundancies that result with multiple service providers.
Building Analytics is one of the fastest-growing trends in FM. The most popular systems are fully customizable and can monitor and measure all major manufacturers’ building controls equipment. They can also analyze data from a variety of systems allowing data collection on benchmark performance, output, and energy savings.
Remote monitoring of critical assets, such as mechanical, life safety, or lighting equipment, provides a 24/7/365 presence for clients will remain popular. Remote monitoring call centres can identify failures, respond to alarms, and resolve the issues remotely, providing support to the on-site teams. Having the ability to remotely resolve system failures often eliminates the need to dispatch a service technician, saving clients a tremendous amount of time and money.
The Living Building is becoming an affordable reality. In the coming months and years, buildings will make their own energy, whether through solar panels, which are smaller and easier to install; wind energy in areas where air flow can be harnessed for the buildings’ benefit; or other types of renewable energy.
Taking the Living Building a step further are Waste-free Buildings, which not only produce their own electricity but create minimal waste. This includes paper, food, and trash. The building, its occupants and FM teams recycle and reuse the building’s system components to achieve their sustainable goal.
Wellbeing (WELL) Buildings that are good for the body are one of the hottest trends in facilities management. These “Well Buildings” utilize low VOC paints; furnishings and carpeting made from natural, non-toxic materials; whole-building air and water filtration systems; the maximum amount natural light; and spaces that are ergonomically designed. WELL Buildings can be new-builds or retrofits.