Corporate Real Estate Management (CREM) and Facility Management (FM) has for decades provided the physical cornerstone for businesses of all kinds. But with the emergence of New Ways of Working where organizations focus on work efficiency and the workplace as an experience, Workplace Management is providing a new business opportunity for the sector in integrating the businesses of CREM and FM – together with HR and IT.
As businesses are beginning to realize the strategic importance of Workplace Management, it is expected that FM/CREM outsourcing will move towards transformation services that redefine and shape business outcomes, drive cultural change, and help to attract new talents and skills. This is in sharp contrast to the traditional focus on cost reductions, which has blinded senior business executives to FM’s true strategic potential.
Facility Management as the driver of resource strategy
Towards 2020, Facility Management will act as a key to attracting and retaining employees, optimizing people utility and in some cases even become a key component of human resource strategy. As a better understanding of behavioral science will be the key to push people towards desired behaviors, Facility Managers will play an active role in facilitating these micro-behavioral changes among employees in the workplace.
Facilities will also to higher extend play an important role in attracting, integrating and retaining employees. When it comes to attracting talents with unique workplace amenities, technology companies have been the first movers. In these companies, the workplace is moving towards a living office, where different areas of space increasingly are dedicated to a variety of “life-asserting” activities.
Advanced workplace strategies will match new employee demands
Life-asserting amenities, also known as “worktivity” amenities, include areas that fulfill employee needs, such as health, play, consumption and social interaction. These will be used to keep people on the premises, tied closer to the workplace. These amenities will be supported by companies’ technology and ICT portfolios, which among others will include interactive walls, real-time translators and hologram tables and so on.
The emphasis on “life-asserting amenities, represents an opportunity for FM providers to add value and strive towards transformative business innovation for client organizations.
Work mobilization and growing sharing economy are also trends that will challenge Facility Management providers in the future. Expertise on how to create offices that support a virtual workforce and deliver dynamic Facility Services that can accommodate a range of infrastructure and other business support needs will be in high demand by client organizations.
Data and automation will be the cornerstones of personalized FM services
To support the workplace, the success of FM outsourcing will increasingly be defined by the ability to make workplace more engaging, fun, rewarding and collaborative, while simultaneously improving productivity and efficiency metrics.
The ability to do so, will depend on the Internet of Everything and data analytics. In this era, more and more data are being gathered about people whenever they work, shop, travel or use the internet.
With billions of sensors being connected to the internet over the next years, the amount of data related to the workforce and workplace is expected to grow exponentially.
With the availability of these new technologies, Facility Management providers will look into developing smarter ways to integrate and create agile, precise workflow platforms to make service deliveries less resource intrusive.
Also, access to precise and personal data will allow service providers to achieve greater scale through more efficient work processes and enable them to on the one hand offer mass customized utility services and on the other hand, offer highly personalized relationship driven solutions.
Outsourcing towards 2020
All in all, towards 2020 and beyond there is no doubt that FM outsourcing will work with more advanced, elaborate and collective outsourcing strategies. In close partnerships with client organizations and through the further development of Workplace Management, these arrangements will enable facility providers to reach more strategic business outcomes. As the technology and data necessary to drive this change already is out there – it is in the hands of Facility Managers to take their clients to a level, where CREM and FM no longer is considered as a supporting activity only but is seen an indispensable part of the core and the strategic development of organizations.
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