How technology is impacting FM jobs

Technology will automate several jobs in the future, but it’s important to keep staff engaged

Ana Stanojevic.
Ana Stanojevic.

As much as 90% of an FM company’s spend is on its staff, making it one of the most people-intensive financial models, according to JLL associate director - workplace strategy, Ana Stanojevic.

“Hence, employee engagement is not only a check box exercise but can help shape and drive efficiency, which is what C-level suites are looking for more than ever. From an FM point of view we are looking at a high demand of changing the working environment to suit those employees,” she said.

Stanojevic suggested simple activities such as town-hall appreciation meetings, lunch and learn, and training sessions, “go on to become the heart and soul of the business”.

She said: “You don't want to be walking through your office corridors and seeing no heartbeat among your employees. This is very relevant with FM thanks to the sheer number of people the sector employs.

The JLL expert also said FM will mainly evolve in three avenues. “Technology will enable you to have full independence and live data will play a big part. This will put FM companies in a strategic position because you will have full overview of how the real estate is optimised and you will have live data to back up and support that. We are going to see a continued push towards outsourcing [from in-house teams to outsourcing to FM companies].

FM will become more important to drive agility at the work place. Although there isn't as much pressure in the region, it will eventually make a key aspect,” she said.

Over the next few years; new technology-focused management styles, customer requirements and value change approaches will have an enormous impact on the FM environment. “Intelligent automation will lead to a large percentage of FM tasks being automated over the next few years. Inevitably that will change the profile of FM managers,” Stanojevic said.

There are several trends driving corporate real estate and the FM industry, the most important of all is human experience.

“There is disruption through technology and that is here to stay - multi generational workforce and clients means there is a constant new development for service delivery in our industry.

“Now, facilities managers are tasked with creating corporate needs - helping to maximise productivity, for example. FM companies are tasked with managing a facility that will bring work to life for the employees of that company,” she added.

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