The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly transformed the way we work. For decades, we’ve been taught to believe that the 9 to 5, office-centric approach, is the best thing for business. But with the hybrid working model becoming the norm, and companies having to embrace this, we’re experiencing a change in productivity and employee freedom.
The new model of working has created a noticeable shift to the boundaries of the facilities management industry. As new technologies emerge, expectations change and working practices evolve, and the industry must react to successfully meet these.
The latest facilities management trends reflect these changing priorities and the need to adopt new policies and technology to support them. In this article, we’ll explore some of the key trends that industries across the globe should be focusing on in 2022.
Growing Importance of Energy Efficient Solutions
Today, traditional energy sources cost much more than they did a year ago. Demand for energy, returned from the pandemic slump much faster than expected which sent prices skyrocketing. With smarter buildings leveraging data and analytics for safety and efficiency, businesses will leverage these same technologies to pay less for energy whilst keeping an eye on sustainability. The next phase for facilities management companies is therefore to make business’ entire operation greener, as well as cheaper.
For most of 2020 and well into 2021, people weren’t entering and using buildings the way they had pre-pandemic, resulting in a decrease in energy consumption. However, whilst energy usage lowered, only few buildings could truly optimise their costs based on reduced occupancy.
The future of facilities management services includes the ability to alter businesses’ consumption profiles. The ultimate goal will be to allocate energy usage proportionally to the capacity in use. To do this, planned maintenance programs will become crucial for improving efficiency. With such a service, facilities management companies like MSL will help businesses to become more energy efficient. This is due to the fact that regularly maintaining systems, for example air conditioning and central heating, will ensure that they continue to run effectively, meaning less energy used, and subsequently helping to reduce a business’s energy bills. At MSL, we also offer an ESOS assessment service to identify cost effective, energy saving measures for large undertakings.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can read further about how climate change is affecting buildings.
Each year brings with it a flood of new rules, regulations and standards that businesses must acclimatise to, and 2022 is no different. Managers are responsible for various aspects of their premises and must ensure that it always remains in full compliance with all relevant regulations.
For instance, in the UK, the Building Safety Bill has changed the health and safety processes surrounding high-rise residential buildings and hospitals. In response to the events of the Grenfell tragedy, this sets out new responsibilities for the ‘Accountable Persons’ to ensure all mandatory safety measures are in place in a built environment.
This is just one of the many updates that will be introduced throughout the year, and as ever building owners will need to stay informed of these to avoid compliance-related penalties. MSL’s compliance maintenance service can help companies avoid such sanctions – we do the hard work for you and keep on top of new regulations so you can focus on other areas of your business.
Continued Implementation of the Hybrid Working Model
With more companies implementing the hybrid working model, office routines have shifted significantly from pre-pandemic days. Rather than a steady stream of employees throughout the week, workplaces now face greater occupancy peaks and troughs.
Accurately knowing how many people are in the office on different days is more challenging than ever, making it more difficult to measure facility management needs from day-to-day. The ongoing return to the workplace is highlighting how vital tech and data are when managing buildings.
As a result, managers are increasingly turning to advanced tech tools that track both overall occupancy or desk and meeting room use. Real-time tracking of both space use and office occupancy allows facilities management teams to plan when best to carry out planned maintenance tasks and take advantage of off-peak times rather than working out-of-hours.
Using tech platforms to support admin burdens also frees up managers to focus more on how they support the new role of offices as social and collaborative spaces, that truly aid employees’ health and wellbeing. In particular, as JLL’s Regenerative Workplace research shows, today’s employees are now prioritising relaxation spaces and social areas in the office. Therefore, compliance maintenance services will become increasingly important in meeting their health and safety needs. Even though less people may be commuting into the office, complying with general health and safety law, like the Workplace (Health, Safety, Welfare) Regulations 1992, is still obligatory, and will help avoid falling back into the worst of the pandemic. For instance, under this regulation, the workplace must be kept sufficiently clean, and focus on this must be increased even more so since the pandemic. At MSL, our compliance maintenance program can ensure this with our range of hygiene services.
Again, under the Workplace (Health, Safety, Welfare) Regulations 1992, good ventilation in the workplace is mandatory, and this is even more crucial when the winter season comes around. Our planned maintenance program at MSL will ensure you receive expert service in proactively maintaining your business’s HVAC systems. Not only will this fulfil the requirements of this regulation, but it’ll also ensure the health and comfort of employees.
Move Towards Planned Maintenance
We anticipate 2022 to be another massive step towards the adoption of planned maintenance structures across a wealth of industries. Whilst reactive maintenance practices save the day should an unexpected problem arise, it’s incredibly important to plan maintenance jobs in advance, not only to keep your business running to its optimum efficiency but to lower costs too. Dealing with an issue head-on, instead of waiting for it to develop further, will mean any problems are identified and repaired before an escalation can occur.
For organisations who carry out intensive use of their assets in their operations, such as retailers, who rely heavily on everything from air conditioning to lighting. Therefore, a planned maintenance program is crucial, particularly when you consider how important having uninterrupted trading is for the industry. As a result, this proactive approach ensures a positive experience for customers.
Faced with these challenges, businesses are increasingly seeing the value of transitioning to more cost-effective planned maintenance strategies. A well-executed predictive approach ensures better procedures can be put in place to enable more efficient planning, as well as bringing with it a whole host of additional benefits:
- Extended asset lifespan
- Minimal risk of business interruption
- More organised workforces
- Better budget management
Efficiently managed workplaces are critical to the success of any business. Seamless and integrated management of facilities and infrastructure is the key to helping organisations achieve their objectives.
Ultimately, due to the dramatic shift in the way work is done now, it’s no surprise that many companies will continue to reassess their property portfolios in a way that accounts for new workforce demands. What these facility management trends demonstrate is that both employers and service providers are transitioning from prioritising the transactional to the experiential.
These actions will require businesses to review how their buildings are configured to accommodate everyone on-site comfortably. As technology and other facility management trends continue to reshape the workforce, our services will start to take on a more strategic role. And with a CBRE report revealing “By 2025 the global outsourced market in FM services will be worth $1 trillion,” this highlights how vital the role of facilities management companies like ours will become over the next years. Our planned, compliance and reactive maintenance services will be used to bring the greatest value to the workplace, finding a balance between the seemingly conflicting priorities of managing costs and efficiency, whilst prioritising the employee and customer experience. Not only that but the use of a facilities management company across businesses will allow in-house teams to focus more on core activities and deliver strategic value.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how our services can contribute to improving your business, get in touch with us on 0333 1234450.