Economy is slowly reopening and with it, facility management needs to adapt to totally new needs! People are back commuting to work, schools, shopping malls and entertainment are coming back to life but, the pandemic, still far from being completely defeated, has forced humankind to dramatic changes of what we knew as “normal” life.
The new normal, which has been taking shape throughout recurrent Movement Control Orders, total lockdowns, social distancing SOPs and more, is very much different from what we were used to.
Workwise terms as remote working, work from home and hybrid working have become part of our daily experience while, only 2 years ago were, for the great part of us, totally unknown or meaningless.
With most businesses adopting, even now that the “Pandemic’s bite” start softening, these new ways of running their daily duties in a mobile and fast-switching mode, facility management trends and practice had to adapt through a raise of efficiency and flexibility.
Most building managers had to learn the full meaning of being innovative and highly creative in their “solution finding processes” to all the daily challenges that movement restrictions and social distancing were throwing to them!
Authorities are today talking about a slow release of all the anti-pandemic limitations and there is a palpable excitement in the FM industry to see how facility management will reshape itself through a continuous evolution while offering higher quality of the provided services, better efficiency and, above all, more controlled operational costs.
The following are 5 trends that we see shaping facility management of tomorrow, let’s go through one by one together!
Experience has become the “must offer – must have” feature of the past two years. From marketing to after sales services and of course, facility management, consultants have placed a great deal on new ways of offering unique and very personalised experiences.
From cloud call centres to chatbots and from contactless reception to virtual or hybrid meetings the daily life in office building has brough in a wide range of new experiences for tenants and visitors.
Facility management teams, have discovered that becoming more visible and present is part of these new experience creation process. While in the past housekeepers, engineers and security personnel were rarely visible within the building, in today’s reality they have become visible and approachable by employees, guests, tenants and other users.
The aim of this is to both raise their confidence that the facility manager has “got them covered” and improve a two ways communication with them.
While excellent customer service is nothing new to facilities workers, the pandemic and all the restrictions and new rules of engagement enforced because of it, have made it an even higher priority!
One of the 2022’s challenges for facility managers will be to improve the employee experience and how spaces will be reallocated and used in safer, more efficient ways. In other words, the need to determine how to deliver workplaces that people truly want to be in, especially as work-from-home employees begin to return to the office, has become the new “making the difference” challenge.
Security, social distancing within the office but also in the communal areas, general safety of the working environment are the new normal and where, facility managers will battle to be the best.
The new strategic approach to facility management excellence from today onward is to become more visible while accomplishing duties, to build a relationship with occupants and users with the aim to better understand what they really want! All this needs a communication platform allowing easy connectivity between FM and user and ServeDeck has developed new functions to help with QR Code features and more!
Recently, the government has proudly announced the achievement of herd community status for Malaysia and we all are getting ready for a celebration party where masks and hands disinfectants will be burned in a gigantic bonfire!
The questions here are: will the pandemic really be over soon and, how does the future-of-work look like or finally, as the Covid-19 pandemic is almost over will there be something else similar hitting the world anytime soon and how to prevent it?
As the old mantra has taught us, better be safe than sorry, prevention, as a cautious measure, should remain an inspiring theme while drafting facility management SOPs and protocols for the future. It’s safest to assume that COVID-19 protocols and procedures, even though in a softer and less restrictive manner, will need to be in place for all of 2022.
Even after the vaccine has been widely distributed, many of the processes that were implemented during the pandemic may remain permanently due to building users and tenants demands. Temperature scanning, visitors tracking checks, self-assessment health forms, and finally deep and frequent cleaning routines may become an important component of the new norm.
Facility managers shall dedicate time and effort to understand first and enforce right after, what their tenants, customers and visitors want and need going forward. Suggested ways to this are to send an online survey form, host virtual interviews with them, or hold a virtual town-hall meeting to create discussion.
Town-hall meetups are becoming one of the common practices in facility management and a great way to listen, talk to and feel the final users of the facility. One thing the pandemic has taught us all is readiness to emergency, ServeDeck has developed a series of special featured allowing FM to deal with pandemic and post-pandemic SOPs, follow this link to know more how to protect yourselves, the building you manage and its users.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a recurrent and hot topic since last year and, as futuristic as it may sound, facilities managers definitely have been using IoT since long. As a matter of fact once your building has any equipment connected, through sensors, to a notification system in your computer, you’re already using IoT.
Still, connection only doesn’t do much, the strategic approach to IoT, which is nowadays becoming more relevant and requested, is the data provided and how, as a facility manager, you will use these information to “listen and talk” to your building in 2022 and beyond.
Equipment connected to a “building information network”, remote monitoring and control over a centralised dashboard have enabled facility mangers to avoid most physical contacts while increasing the efficiency of their operations and this, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has created a great advantage.
The future, 2022 and beyond, will see building management organisations that have not been or only partially adopting IoT being pushed towards it. IT departments will become more relevant in facility management and all other departments will need to closely collaborate with them to increase the efficiency of their operations.
Connecting people to building and equipment, this is only one of the multiple solutions that ServeDeck has developed to help FM in their daily functions. Visit our IoT features info-page and reach out to us for more information.
No doubt that 2020 and 2021 have certainly been two highly disruptive years for many industries and organizations. The pandemic has pushed all to re-look into their business models and re-engineer them to allow remote working while controlling budgets! Let’s not forget where the world GDP has dropped as a consequence of Covid-19!
Maintenance and operations budgets have been no exception to these changes and, both capex and opex, budget savings need has become a norm for all facility managers! You can read here what we have been writing about this previously.
Data on building and equipment performance are one of the strategic information which will help facility management teams making the right decisions about what and when to invest in to balance building efficiency and budget savings.
Furthermore, presenting requests for budget allocations supported by historical data-set will allow building managers to explain and, sometimes, convince CFOs about the proposed capital budget request.
We all know that data are the commodity of the future as their analysis allows to better understand what happened and predict when and how it might happen again. ServeDeck provides an extremely comprehensive dashboard allowing FM to have their managed building data at their fingertips. Check our complete solutions for facility management and reach out to us for a demo of our solutions.
CMMS, or Computerised Maintenance Management Systems, solutions have since long offered affordable solutions for managing maintenance activities within facilities. However, the past two years emergency has brought up the need to run CMMS on “state-of-the-art” networks and infrastructures! Too many CMMS providers are running their solutions on outdated software infrastructure, making it difficult to integrate them into other systems and efficiently communicate with IoT devices.
If facility managers want to efficiently deal with the pressures of the future, they need to get fit and ready with the right data to be successful. Finding the right facility management software solution will be vital to having successful years ahead with decisions that are backed by accurate and reliable data.
Change can be scary, but we’re excited to see the new developments and trends that are already appearing in the facility management industry. How has your organization adapted to COVID-19 concerns and others? What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
At ServeDeck we strive to keep updating our facility management digital solutions to the fast changing environment we have and are living in. The future challenges could be easily managed through our highly verticalized solutions allowing building management excellence while controlling capex and opex costing and satisfying the need of the managed communities. Reach out to our customer service team for a demo, help us to help you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The opinions expressed in this article are solely of the author, Dr Daniele Gambero.
Dr Gambero has been an expatriate to Malaysia from Italy, since 1998 and has more than 35 years of real estate experience. He is the co-founder and group CEO of REI Group of Companies, the Co-founder of Propenomy.com and the deputy president of the Malaysia Proptech Association.
In the past 10 years Daniele, as international and TEDX speaker, has engaged several hundreds thousand people talking about Property, Economy, Propenomy, Digital Marketing and Motivation. He is also a bestselling author and columnist on several magazines and main stream media. You can reach him directly through his LinkedIn page here