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2022: The Year of Opportunities and Challenges for FM?

Author: Julie Jarvis

Published date: 2022/03

Prs Corp Blog Fm

Despite UK Covid-19 restrictions lifting, the pandemic’s far-reaching impact on how we work continues to be felt in the facilities management (FM) sector.

A recent survey from management consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates revealed that just 3% of white-collar workers want to return to the office five days a week. In a bid to retain talent, employers are increasingly exploring hybrid work set-ups that enable professionals to divide their workweek between the office and home.

As such, spaces are changing. Hot desking and team collaboration areas are on the rise, with FMs faced with unpredictable peaks and troughs in occupancy levels, making maintenance planning and overall building management even more challenging. It has highlighted the critical role that technology now plays, with FMs increasingly adopting advanced tech, including AI and connected devices, that track overall occupancy, desk and meeting room usage, and high traffic areas. Armed with this information, professionals can more effectively factor in essential maintenance, social distancing measures and cleaning schedules. 

The nature of the FM role is not the only thing set to evolve this year. Skills shortages and an increase in people resigning from their roles (a move dubbed the “Great Resignation”) means staff retention is high on the agenda for many businesses in 2022. Employers, keen to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees, are relying on FMs to ensure their spaces help them retain and attract talent. 

With the corporate spotlight shining brighter than ever on FM, senior professionals in this sector will be expected to work more closely with HR teams to make strategic decisions about healthy work environments, particularly where hybrid working has been adopted. There will be greater demand for FMs to possess commercial awareness, technological intelligence, have a firm grasp of data and analytics, and boast the soft skills needed to facilitate collaboration, such as communication, creativity, leadership, and conflict management. 

The good news is that salaries are set to rise in line with evolving expectations. Skills shortages across all areas of FM coupled with a lack of fresh talent entering the field means employers are prepared to pay a premium to secure the talent they need against a highly competitive hiring landscape. However, this approach isn’t sustainable, and organisations in FM are hard at work exploring ways to tackle these expansive skills shortages. Exploring untapped talent pools will continue to be a priority in 2022, with employers bolstering D&I strategies to move the sector beyond the white, male-dominated perception it has dubiously earned over the years. 

Of course, no look ahead at FM would be complete without mentioning sustainability. Following COP26 in 2021, more organisations are committing to public sustainability and net-zero pledges. Significant infrastructure changes will be required to deliver greener buildings, and FMs must be at the forefront. It requires a sector-wide adoption of new skills and practices, with investments in training and upskilling expected to continue at all levels in 2022. 

Looking to secure talented FM professionals? 

PRS partners with organisations in multiple sectors across the UK, helping them recruit talent for a broad range of roles in FM and building services. If you’re looking to add skilled FM professionals to your team, PRS can help. Drop our team of experts a line on 0207 553 5660 or email info@prsjobs.com.