7 top trends for facilities management in 2022
Explore the key trends and topics that FM teams across the globe should be focusing on in 2022, from the continued adoption of hybrid working, through to a greater adoption of the IoT and AI.
Every year the boundaries of the facilities management industry noticeably shift. As new technologies emerge, expectations change and working practices evolve, this industry must react to successfully meet these.
With the digital transformation of the sector showing no signs of slowing, facilities management software is steadily being accepted as a core business tool in organisations of all shapes and sizes. But this software is just one aspect of FM that has greatly changed over time – something that will continue for the foreseeable future.
How has facilities management evolved through the years?
It is remarkable to consider how far the facilities management industry and FM software has progressed just in the past few years.
Building managers are no longer bound to spreadsheets and T-Card systems to manually oversee operations. The power of a robust CAFM system can be held in the palm of engineers’ hands. Smart building technology is enabling teams to create the most comfortable environments possible for employees, residents and customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a noteworthy impact. Approaches to on-site working shifted dramatically, and the FM sector needed to adapt accordingly. Technology and techniques have needed to become increasingly mobile and flexible, and there is a heightened expectation from today’s workforces about their wellbeing at work.
As an industry, facilities management has always adjusted in response to changes in society, demographics and technology – 2022 will be no different. Below we discuss 7 of the standout trends that FM professionals should keep in mind for the year ahead.
1. FM teams consolidate their visibility
While it is hard to take away positives from the pandemic, this significant shift did place the efforts and duties of FM teams in the spotlight like never before. Previously working in the shadows, these professionals were pushed to the forefront to ensure the wellbeing of employees, residents and others was secured in these challenging circumstances.
Whether it was keeping workplaces clean and disinfected, organising safe maintenance routes, or reconfiguring space, FM professionals were more visible than ever across all types of facilities.
2022 will concentrate on FM teams consolidating this visibility, and not let things revert back to the way they once were. With more people aware of the role these teams play to keep everything in working order, we anticipate that they will be more frequently referred to for their insight when forging company-wide strategies.
As organisations increasingly rely on data-driven decisions, the expertise of FM professionals, and the information gathered by their software solutions, will be relied upon more than ever to guide companies forward.
2. Continued adoption of hybrid working
One trend spurred forward by the pandemic that will continue to gather steam in 2022 is hybrid working:
- 98% of people would choose to work remotely, at least part-time, for the rest of their careers (Buffer)
- One in three workers would be willing to quit their job if it didn’t offer flexible working (Robert Half)
- Over 70% of office workers want more flexible remote work options, while over 65% want more in-person time with colleagues (Microsoft)
As this approach to working becomes widespread, with the growing adoption of flexible hours and hot-desks, FM teams must be prepared to implement these without impacting on the quality of their output. This may include the facilitation of co-working and managed workspaces, or introducing mobile apps that enable teams to work effectively regardless of where they are.
If your company is not yet set up for hybrid working, this year is the time to start. Looking into smart building technology, enhanced space management and mobile solutions will put you in a strong position to reap the full benefits of hybrid working in your organisation.
3. Shrinking real estate footprints
Due in part to the shift towards hybrid and remote working, many organisations in 2022 will be seeking to reduce the scale of their real estate. Rather than pay over the odds for expensive office space that is no longer required due to a reduced number of employees on-site, steps will be taken to cut out these costs.
However, these actions will require FM teams to review how their buildings are configured to accommodate everyone on-site comfortably. Space and move management will be top of the agenda, so smaller layouts can serve larger groups of people when necessary, and create environments more suitable for hot-desking and collaborative working.
Companies will find themselves increasingly reliant on robust facilities management solutions to ensure that their organisations can adapt to a more compact environment, with no decrease in their employees’ quality of life or their day-to-day productivity.
4. Environmental and social responsibilities
2021 arguably brought environmental issues and climate challenges to the forefront more than any year prior. People are increasingly conscious of the need to turn the tide to protect the health of our planet, and regulations are being – and will continue to be – introduced in response to this.
These regulations will no doubt impact all forms of buildings and organisations, which will need to take strides to reduce their carbon footprint. So, we anticipate many FM teams to start moving in this direction in 2022, harnessing their software solutions to address energy consumption. This could include:
- Utilising smart building sensors to only switch on lighting, heating and other climate control systems when spaces are occupied
- Introducing energy management software to track energy usage in real-time and identify opportunities to reduce consumption
- Adopt asset management software to extend the lifecycle of components, reducing the need to manufacture and acquire replacements
5. Addressing new regulations
Each year brings with it a flood of new rules, regulations and standards that facilities management teams must get to grips with, and 2022 is no different.
For instance, in the UK the Building Safety Bill will change the health and safety processes surrounding high-rise residential buildings and hospitals. Responding to the events of the Grenfell tragedy, this sets new responsibilities for the ‘Accountable Persons’ to ensure all mandatory safety measures are in place in a built environment.
This is just one of numerous updates that will be introduced across the year, and as ever FM teams will need to stay informed of these in order to avoid compliance-related penalties.
This makes a solution like our distinct SFG20 module beneficial. Because it automatically performs updates to the latest SFG20 standards, companies can rest assured that facilities maintenance is being conducted compliantly.
6. Harnessing IoT, AI and connected devices
While the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) have been available to the facilities management industry for a while, every year this technology continues to evolve and become more readily accessible to organisations globally:
75.44 billion IoT devices are anticipated to be installed worldwide by 2025 (Statista)
Yet, while this technology is now more available than ever, relatively few businesses are reaping its benefits. We expect this balance to be addressed in 2022 as awareness of these devices and sensors continues to grow.
For example, AI-based facilities management systems can automatically generate maintenance schedules, repair reports, replacement requests and more without any human involvement. This can greatly improve efficiency and productivity, particularly when these tools can perform outside working hours.
IoT and connected devices will also empower FM teams to maintain quality, comfortable workplace environments remotely. Whether this is automatically adjusting climate control settings, or capturing data from entry points that can steer crucial operating decisions, this technology will be relied upon more heavily this year than any year before it.
7. Movement towards predictive maintenance
Finally, we anticipate 2022 to be another massive step towards the adoption of predictive maintenance or planned preventative maintenance (PPM).
It is still the case that too many organisations rely on reactive maintenance practices, which are more costly and less efficient than planning works in advance. By having FM software in place that understands the assets within a building, teams can predict when they need maintenance to keep performing optimally.
Planned preventative maintenance unlocks numerous benefits to any organisation, including:
- Extended asset lifespans
- Minimal risk of business interruption
- More organised workforces
- Better budget management
In addition, AI and IoT technology have a part to play here. By tracking the performance and behaviour of assets over time, this experiential data can inform PPM schedules based on real-life feedback, meaning that over time asset maintenance will only improve.
Future-proof your facilities with MRI Evolution
2022 will be an interesting year for the facilities management industry. Still not fully removed from the fallout of COVID-19, we anticipate this year to be an important one for:
- Consolidating the visibility and importance of FM teams within their companies
- Responding to the growing trend of hybrid working, and the ramifications this have on building layouts and space planning
- Ensuring companies fulfil even stricter environmental and social responsibilities
- Greater adoption of beneficial technologies such as the IoT, AI and predictive maintenance
To keep your own organisation on course to follow the trends that emerge this year and beyond, it is essential to have a reliable system at the heart of your FM operations.
MRI Evolution is the ultimate solution for total building management. Connect and control your entire facility through one central hub, responsible for managing every aspect of your organisation.
- Gain uninterrupted, end-to-end insight over your operations
- Benefit from complete asset management and smart maintenance planning
- View valuable business analytics through customisable dashboards
- Minimise costs with total oversight of your budgets
Get in touch with our team today to discover the long-term benefits that MRI Evolution can bring to your business.
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