Watch out for these FM trends in 2020

It’s an exciting time for facilities managers. New technologies, sustainable energy solutions and the always-on economy are changing the way that facilities are used and managed. Managing modern buildings requires an array of skills including forecasting, budgeting, maintenance and security allied with the ability to stay on top of new ways of thinking about the way we use the spaces for entertainment, commerce and work.

If you’re looking forward to the New Year with one eye on the new trends in FM, here are three key directions that facilities management is heading in.

Sustainable energy solutions

Seeking out sustainable energy solutions is a win-win. You can achieve your carbon reduction goals while attracting new consumers and occupants with the promise of greener energy and significantly reduced energy bills.

Analysing energy management systems and researching more sustainable replacements will become a key FM skill in the future. Managers who can propose solutions that cut waste and improve the green credentials of their building such as smart lighting, rainwater reuse systems, new style solar roofs and thermal energy storage will be best placed to implement carbon neutral solutions.

The consumer experience

This is a concept derived from retail but is applicable to the way you manage your facility. Employees and tenants have come to expect more from the spaces they work and live in and that delivers both challenges and opportunities for FM.

Your facilities management skills may have to meet the needs of tenants who live an always-on lifestyle or offer mixed use destinations that offer consumers, tenants and employees the diverse experiences they demand without disturbing the other users of the facility.

Your relationship with your clients is undergoing a radical and profound shift away from the purely transactional. Your diverse mix of tenants means you’ll enjoy a higher footfall and a broader catchment which, in turn, is great for asset value. As a facilities manager, you’ll require more cleaning operatives, stronger security, increased monitoring of technical solutions and of course a mix of energy solutions that meet the needs of all tenants.

A diversified workforce

The New Year is always a good time to audit your skillset and look anew at your approach to recruitment.

– Facilities managers need to know about a tenant’s business and their preferred ways of working as well as knowing how a building is run and managed
– The ability to install and implement new technologies and confidence around automated systems is paramount
– Managers need to have the flexibility to react to problem situations quickly and effectively
– The ability to analyse data, draw out effective insights and change strategies accordingly will be a critical skill for the next generation of facilities managers

In order to attract and retain the next generation of talent, companies need to change the way they advertise FM job vacancies. They need to offer a wide range of benefits including strong salaries, ongoing support and professional development opportunities to demonstrate that they’re a great place to work. Combined with a commitment to diversity and dedication to environmental sustainability, facilities management is most definitely an attractive career for the next generation.