By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
The landscape of facilities management is in flux. “Normal” workplaces are disappearing. The trends is a workplace tailored specifically to the people using it and the work they’re doing within it. With this level of customization and agile flexibility, facilities management needs to keep pace and stay ahead of demand. That might be why so many innovative ideas for facility management end up shaping the workplace.
Check out eight modern, innovative facilities management ideas and how they’re impacting workplaces and professionals across industries:
- Embracing eco-friendly practices. Millennials and Gen Z care about the environment and demand workplaces with some semblance of eco-friendly practices. Energy conservation, recycling, biophilic design, and environmentally conscious office products all play a role in shaping greener, more sustainable offices. Caring for the environment should extend to all aspects of facilities management and run deeper than just a good effort. Employees want meaningful action, starting with a focus on the environment where they work.
- Elevating self-care. It’s one thing to care about the mental wellbeing of employees—it’s another to make it a workplace priority. Quiet rooms, yoga studios, nap areas, and therapeutic services emphasize self-care. Employees who feel welcome, accepted, and cared for develop an appreciation for their workplace and a bond with their peers and employer. They do better work because they feel better. They stay because they know they’re appreciated.
- Making health and wellness part of work. On the back of self-care and mental health, facilities management best practices have also shifted to include physical health and wellness. Standing desks, mobile environments, and ergonomic furniture are big, alongside in-house exercise facilities, healthy kitchens, and break rooms. Reminding employees of the importance of physical health starts by providing an environment conducive to it.
- Digitizing the workplace. From digital twins to smart sensors, digitization is among the most popular initiatives in facilities management. Companies are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and the sensors, beacons, and programming that come with it. Facilities managers not only are gleaning data to improve workplace design and layout, they’re also cutting utility costs and improving building efficiency.
- Automating the everyday. Digitization inevitably leads to automation. In the case of facilities management technology trends, digitization is broad. Motion-sensor lights, automated support ticketing, and dynamic updates to an evolving employee directory are critical to successful automation. Linking the many digital elements of the workplace and automating essential tasks are simplifying facilities management and making it easier to cut costs.
- Decentralizing the workplace. In many ways, facility management is simplifying while becoming more complex. Take decentralization. Employees can work wherever and whenever they want thanks to cloud computing. To accommodate this, facility management itself has become digitized. Cloud-based insights about varying workplaces and the people laboring in them put facilities management on the same plane as the evolving workplace. It’s not just about managing facilities anymore—it’s about deciding if you even need facilities and, if you do, what they’re worth to your operation.
- Integrated facilities management. Cost control has been and always will be a major pillar of facilities management. Today’s solution to cost cutting without stripping out value is a shift to integrated facilities management. Consolidating vendors, seeking competitive rates, and having a strong relationship with fewer service providers is a smart way to simplify facility management, while also trimming the fat. The more eggs facility managers can put in one basket, the easier it is to manage the numerous needs of the workplace and its many assets.
- Value creation over cost savings. In years past, optimization was synonymous with cost cutting. Today, it means something else: value creation. Instead of automatically cutting costs, facility managers aim to find value in what they’re already using. Repurposing space may not affect the cost of a lease, but it can enhance the value of the area you’re already paying for. Creating value adds to the workplace (and the balance sheet) without taking away from it.
These eight concepts are at the forefront of workplace modernization. They’re shaping everything from how we use space, define company culture, and physically do work. What’s even more amazing is the impact they’ve had in such a short time. It’s not outlandish to think that the next big workplace ideas are already taking shape in the minds of attentive workplace professionals.