FM trends in 2017

July 13, 2017
Posted in Resources
July 13, 2017 GraemeH

In this paper, we’ll be highlighting wider trends in the industry and ways technology can help you meet any new challenge an opportunities head on.

I think it’s safe to say that 2016 was an interesting year, what with Trump, Leicester City, Pokémon Go and, Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning an Oscar. We could go on, but instead we’d rather look forward and focus on the key trends that are affecting facilities management in 2017 and beyond.

Preparing for Brexit

Regardless of whether you were in or out, the bottom line is that Brexit is definitely going to affect the FM industry, not just in 2017 but for years to come – and right now, no-one’s really sure how.

Despite promising that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March, we’re yet to be informed exactly what Brexit will mean for EU workers in the UK. This poses an obvious problem because FM businesses employ lots of non-UK nationals – the UK cleaning industry, for example, relies heavily on migrant labour, with 24% of workers having a non-UK nationality. 27% of non-UK workers will leave the UK before Brexit according to businesses

The latest data shows the number of EU workers in the UK has dropped sharply since the referendum, with 27% of businesses noticing that non-UK workers were planning on leaving the UK before Brexit comes into effect 2.

If that hints at a future skills shortage, the latest data from the government’s Office of National Statistics confirms that FM businesses are already be feeling the effects of Brexit, with low-skilled roles like cleaning and hospitality making up 45% of a record 748,000 job vacancies at the start of 2017.

The best way to ensure you’re not left facing a major skills shortage or workforce crisis in the wake of Brexit is to be prepared – worryingly, 27% of businesses employing non-UK workers don’t actually know how many EU nationals they currently have working for them. Integrating a Computerised Workforce Management System (CWMS) is a great way of making sure that you, and everybody else in your organisation, is working from accurate and up-to-date information. Timegate is the solution that’s been built specifically for the needs of FM businesses.

The professionalisation of facilities management

One sure-fire way to soften the blow of the potential loss of a large portion of your EU workforce is to simply employ a greater number of British employees, but that’s easier said than done – thanks to negative attitudes of the industry amongst the public.

Improving the attractiveness of FM roles would likely require a combination of increased pay, improved employment conditions and significant changes in job role – hinting towards a more professional FM industry.

FM employers are already beginning to take note and nearly 20% said they planned on investing more money in training and upskilling, recruiting more apprentices or trying to hire more UK-born graduates. 15% of FMs said trying to professionalise the industry is their biggest challenge

This transition of FM roles from job to career won’t be easy though and 15% of facility managers say that trying to professionalise the industry was the biggest challenge they faced.

One thing that is helping to legitimise careers in the FM industry is the increasing amount of technology being used, for example: Building Information Modelling (BIM), Customer Management Systems (CMS) and technologies used creatively together with the Internet of Things, such as security drones.

These things are becoming a significant draw for millennial workers, 59% of whom said that using state-of-the art technology was important to them when considering a job

As FM becomes more professional, providing high levels of training and employee monitoring will become more important. Utilising Work Management Systems (WMS) like Timegate will be essential in keeping track of what training employees are receiving, when their reviews are due and how they are performing against pre-defined (and contract aligned) KPIs.

We’ve talked before about how workforce retention is important for your bottom line, but the more you invest in training employees, the more important it becomes to reduce churn – so it’s no surprise that 82% of facilities managers rate staff retention as ‘highly important’. 16% of FMs say that energy management is the biggest challenge they face

The Green Agenda

One method for improving staff retention is to realign your brand values to match that of your younger, more environmentally-friendly employees. 75% of millennial employees surveyed said they’d take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company, and 56% said they’d leave a job if the company didn’t align with their values.

Being environmentally-friendly and developing sustainable business practices is no longer a luxury but a necessity, with the EU aiming to cut 40% of total greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.