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HOW IS THE MODERN WORKPLACE CHANGING THE ROLE OF FACILITIES MANAGER?

Author: Richard Snarey

Published date: 2019/12

Fm

​The role of a facilities manager is crucial across a broad range of industries. From ensuring they have a complete understanding of a company’s broader vision, through to mastering sector-specific requirements, the responsibilities of the role are far-reaching. 

Now, as we approach 2020, we’re seeing the role continue to be impacted by evolving technology and today’s laser focus on the environment and sustainability. 

In this blog post, we examine how modern working practices are driving the job spec of FMs, as well as some of the game-changing technology that’s helping to enrich the role. 

Back to Basics

Before we explore the evolution of the FM, let’s re-cap the essential skills and qualities these professionals need to possess to be successful

  • Attention to detail

  • Competent in using business IT

  • Expert trouble-shooter

  • Personable and approachable

  • Well-organised 

  • Understanding of business strategy and workplace culture 

  • Proactive problem solver 

In the past, the primary concern of an FM was managing the workplace by performing and supervising on-demand and preventative maintenance. Today, the scope of the position extends way beyond bricks-and-mortar to all of the components within it. Put simply, FMs make sure that buildings and their services meet the continually evolving needs of the business and the people that work within them. 

What’s Changing? 

Transitioning From Services To Experiences

The rise of co-working and open-plan office spaces means that today’s FMs are becoming more business-oriented professionals, specialising in: 

  • Analysing, building and developing network capabilities and expertise

  • Strengthening company culture, improving employee engagement and productivity through the workplace 

  • Being evidence-based leaders who embrace behavioural economics and testing

  • Crafting workplace experiences that communicate and reinforce the organisation’s value proposition.

The Future Is Digital 

Despite FMs being more focused on people and experiences than ever before, asset management is still a critical area. As we move into 2020, we’ll see a greater emergence and evolution of technologies that have been designed to make FM processes more effective and efficient. Such technologies can report on energy usage, space occupancy and workforce optimisation. 

As a result, future FMs will be more ingrained with data and have a greater understanding of what’s going on in the workplace compared to any other department in a business. It’s therefore imperative that today’s FMs work closely with other teams to read data and share insights. Such insights help when it comes to making cost savings, quality improvements and improved workplace experiences. 

Sustainability

Sustainability has been part of a core business strategy for several years now. That’s why FMs should be at the forefront of delivering sustainable practices at operational, tactical and strategic levels. 

Technology such as smart appliances and automatic heating controls have helped not only reduce the energy consumption of workplaces but also give FMs the data they need to effectively plan for a greener future.