The past two years have greatly shifted people’s daily routines and activities, leading people to adopt technologies and to make changes in their routines in light of this disruption, resulting in hybrid activities such as working from home. Given this change, many industries and businesses have been affected and one such is facility management.
What is the future of facilities management moving forward in a post-Covid world? It can be difficult to predict what will happen to facilities management services given the many uncertainties that the pandemic has brought on, but it is possible to gain an understanding through the demands of today’s businesses.
Emergence of the digital workplaces
These days, work is no longer synonymous with being in the office, given that remote work has become the norm for many companies. Some businesses fully operate remotely while others do hybrid work – with some days spent in the office and some days spent working from home. This means that facility managers need to embrace the physical workplace and the digital one as part of the norm. Part of this digital transformation involves managing a more agile office that makes use of flexible spaces and even intersecting with HR when it comes to accommodating new hires to a digital workplace.
Embracing new technologies
When the workplace goes digital, there must also be proper digital governance. There are many organizations digitizing their processes and operations, such as shifting to cloud-hosted technologies in helping them make important decisions.
This gives many benefits for facility managers to make use of the efficiency and convenience that technology can provide such as real-time data which cannot be done in a non-paperless setting. This shift highlights the increasing importance of data and making use of technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning which can help break down data for faster analysis and interpretation.
Prioritizing wellness, health and safety
The pandemic has led to habits that promote good hygiene standards which will likely continue to exist long after the pandemic. Such practices include the installation of hand sanitizers throughout common areas, the improvement of ventilation in the office, and routine sanitation checks in areas with high touchpoints. Measures like social distancing, a one-way system, and face mask zones are also part of these safety practices. Facility managers will be expected to continue upholding these practices and ensuring that all measures will be in place moving forward. [Please add links to the SKF blog article about wellness
Emphasis on green
Environment and sustainability are not new agendas for companies however, the pandemic has shaped how the industry sees the green agenda, with now a firmer resolve to see things through. Now more than ever there is a greater interest in Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) as it can give companies a competitive advantage and give them financial benefits. Topping the ESG agenda is energy efficiency, which Asia Pacific investors surveyed by the Urban Land Institute identified as the No. 1 ESG consideration in 2022 . Designing or redeveloping buildings with sustainability in mind is something that companies can do to support their carbon targets.
Growing importance of Integrated Facilities Management (IFM)
Keeping all facility management under one roof through Integrated Facilities Management is one ongoing trend to look out for. IFM is consolidating all facility management efforts through a unified team which encompasses functions from real estate planning, space management, partnerships with vendors, and dealing with contracts.
In a digital workplace that is constantly looking to make processes more efficient, IFM is the answer that allows facility managers to work in harmony in their support, communication, coordination, and maintenance. Companies would turn to create meaningful partnerships with the right IFM service providers that can help them.
From simply being an operational task, facility management has started to encompass more strategies with the digitalization and importance of data. Regardless of the work setup whether it be digital or physical, there is always that emphasis on collaboration and efficiency in most processes that IFM can provide. Santos Knight Frank is a renowned real estate agency that offers Integrated Facilities Management services. Learn more about Santos Knight Frank and IFM here https://santosknightfrank.com/.