By Shahar Alster
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

Data-backed analytics are the best way to see how the workplace is evolving. Facilities management industry statistics illuminate trends, concepts, pitfalls, and opportunities workplace professionals face in an economy more diverse and dynamic than ever before.

Take a look at some insightful FM industry stats across four important workplace management areas:

Workplace design

  • Open plan floor plans (33%) now outrank private, individual offices (23%) in prevalence among corporations. (Steelcase Global, 2016)
  • 45% of surveyed companies anticipate moving to an activity-based workspace curated to improve employee effectiveness. (CBRE, 2018)
  • By 2020, available office space will decrease by 17%, with 15% fewer desks per employee. (Frost & Sullivan, 2016)

From the stats, it’s evident the physical evolution of the workplace is in full swing. Traditional workplace hallmarks still exist, but the future is all about cooperative workspaces. Individual offices don’t offer the flexibility the modern workforce needs.

Mixed in with these stats for facilities managers is an underlying macro trend: The workplace is shrinking. Multipurpose spaces and flexible desk arrangements are a more efficient use of space. Why pay for double the square footage when you can optimize half that? There’s an active shift in the mindset of facility managers’ and executives’ from more to better space.

Worker habits and trends

  • 4.3 million employees (3.2% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time. (Global Workplace Analytics, 2018)
  • Researchers estimate as many as 30% to 40% of all U.S. workers today are contingent or affiliated with the gig economy in some way. (Jennifer Buchanan, 2018)
  • 14% of employees at large companies use coworking spaces and 40% of flexible workspace demand is forecast to come from these companies. (Instant Offices, 2019)

The most important facility management stats focus on employees. The workplace exists to support workers, so their needs, wants, and habits are central in shaping it.

Data shows employees no longer need a centralized workplace, but who appreciate one that accommodates their unique needs. As more time is spent outside a centralized workplace, workers gravitate to places they can comfortably work in. Namely, their own homes and coworking spaces. It’s a trend contributing both to the shrinking footprint of traditional office space and the growing acceptance of cloud computing technologies.

Culture and engagement

  • 88% of workers characterized themselves as “highly engaged” when given the ability to choose their workstation based on their current task. (Steelcase Global, 2016)
  • Job turnover at companies with positive culture averages 14%; job turnover in low company cultures is 48%. (Growth Everywhere, 2017)
  • 88% of employees say that a distinct workplace culture rooted in defined core beliefs is important to business success. (Deloitte, 2012)

It’s easy to say happy employees are more productive. But what makes them happy and keeps them that way? Positive company culture, for starters. From there, a well-managed workplace fuels engagement, which helps retain great talent. In simpler terms, employees want to feel valued and supported, and in return, they’ll do their best work.

These statistics are an important reflection of today’s social revolutions. Equality, respect, tolerance, and transparency aren’t just demands of socially conscious individuals—they’re benchmarks for success. Good culture is key in attracting, retaining, and maximizing top talent in an increasingly competitive globalized economy.

Technology and the IoT

  • 59% of surveyed companies intend to introduce mobile apps to their workforce to improve connectivity and navigation. (CBRE, 2018)
  • Investment in corporate real estate IoT sensor technology is expected to grow 79% by 2020. (Mahajan, 2015)
  • 48% of senior corporate real estate (CRE) executives now use office IoT devices to capture data in support of business objectives. (McKinsey Global Institute, 2015)

Some of the most insightful FM industry stats involve the Internet of Things (IoT). This rapidly growing workplace segment is powering many modern trends, including better space utilization, flexible workspaces, and integrated facilities management. The abundance of IoT data powers smarter workplace decision-making.

As ongoing statistical assessments mark trends and changes in the workforce, facilities managers should apply insights where it makes sense. Their firsthand experience in managing facilities and accommodating workers puts facilities managers at the crossroads of adapting their workplaces to modern demands.

Keep reading: how to select the best facility management software for your organization.


Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash

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