IFM Knowledge series - Emerging trends in IFM

"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today"

Trying to identify what the future holds is akin to looking at a mythical crystal ball, in today's times; let alone trying to create an arsenal to take on the future.

If there is anything we have learnt in the preceding 10 months, is that the future is uncertain. This shouldn't however dissuade us from planning based on data that we have access to. We have continuously been talking to our various stakeholders to try to understand the future of FM - our clients spread across the entire country, FM professionals and subject matter experts, policy makers, FM ecosystem partners (Legal, HR, Suppliers) & more.

Based on our conversations, the following key trends are emerging:

1. Office spaces are no longer fixed spaces - organisations are open to the idea of a fluid "workspace" that may "occur" at the traditional office or homes or even third party co-working spaces - any space that an employee may desire to transform into. The fluid workspace will need to be equipped with physical infra, intellectual infra, collaborative infra, emotional infra for an employee to function productively.

2. "Not on your face presence" - the erstwhile FM focussed on visibility of personnel to create the notion of a well oiled functioning FM machine, this however is being ignored by many to create a more "behind the scenes" FM. FM assets & infra are merging into the physical spaces with more DIY orientation and digitalisation. FM service providers here have an opportunity to backward integrate into facility design and construction considering their huge advantage of in-depth understanding of workspace functional dynamics.

3. An omni-present FM - IFM took on the role of saviours, heroes, essential workers; no longer confined to silos of maintenance or cleaning or security. The end to end gamut of planning to holistic operations for entire physical assets has come under the scope of IFM.

4. Finally migrating into a "real" SLA based evaluation matrix - As FM becomes omni present without being on your face, SLA based evaluation of services are being the norm. This works out best for all stakeholders as the focus shifts to outcomes rather than headcount.

As key stakeholders, it is advisable to be cognisant of these trends and plan businesses accordingly.

(Authored by Team Kaarya)