The last year has been one of the most challenging for facility managers. Never has there been such a dramatic shift in the way people work. Throw supply chain issues and labor shortages into the mix, and you can see why things have been so tough. But what can you expect over the year ahead? 

These are the facility management trends and the challenges you can expect to encounter in 2022, as well as how to meet and overcome them. 

So, what are the major trends set to shape facility management this year? 

Growing demand for flexible workspaces 

Lots of businesses are seriously rethinking the amount of office space they need at the moment in response to the surge in remote and hybrid working. Seventy-four percent of Fortune 500 companies expect to reduce their office space over the next year. The desire to downsize is mirrored by smaller firms. They’re choosing not to renew leases and are taking other steps to slim down after giving employees more flexibility to work from home.  

But having smaller offices doesn’t mean fewer offices. A PWC survey found that 58% of business leaders plan to open more locations, such as satellite offices in the suburbs, so employees can connect in smaller groups and collaborate in person.  

What you need to do 

To accommodate this trend, you should be prepared to be more accessible and agile when it comes to working with your leaseholders. Think about how you can satisfy businesses that want to downsize or restructure their workspace. It’s all about going the extra mile to keep your leaseholders happy.   

Smaller, more widely distributed work crews 

The challenging circumstances over the last couple of years have pushed facility teams into the spotlight. This is going to continue in 2022, as your teams work to ensure the wellbeing of employees, residents, and anyone else who uses your spaces.    

With many businesses wanting to replace large hubs with lots of smaller workspaces, you’re going to have to work with smaller crews that are spread out over a wider area. Whether it’s organizing safe maintenance routes, keeping workplaces clean and disinfected, or reconfiguring space, your crews are going to be more visible than ever across all types of facilities.  

What you need to do 

Your techs can’t do their jobs from a desk at home or from a co-working space, so you’re going to need to get the most out of the workers that you have onsite. To overcome this challenge, think about how you can make your teams more mobile and collaborate effectively when they’re working in different locations.   

Less reliable, tighter supply chains 

As a facility manager, your ability to plan projects and even complete those that you started in 2021 may be hindered by supply chain issues. With high demand and historic labor shortages causing unprecedented disruption, supply chain delays are something you should start to build into your plans in 2022. 

There are long waiting lists for many construction and maintenance materials, which are increasing the lead times on many maintenance tasks and projects. Supply chain issues are also driving up the costs of many projects and that’s having a big impact on feasibility.  

What you need to do 

To overcome potential supply chain issues, you should control your inventory very carefully and think about what you have, what you’re going to need, and how you can complete your maintenance tasks within the desired timeframe. 

Smaller, more competitive hiring pools 

The “Great Resignation” is the term being used to describe the masses of people who have left their positions voluntarily over the last couple of years. They have left for a variety of reasons, including health concerns, a lack of adequate childcare, and the desire for better work opportunities. This has created a widening gap between labor demand and labor supply, which is making it increasingly difficult to find good engineers, tradespeople, and technicians.  

Throw in the fact a lot of Baby Boomers are now retiring early, with 3.3 million (7% more) retirees in the US as of October 2021 compared to January 2020, and it’s clear that facility managers are going to have to put a greater emphasis on hiring. There will also be more competition for workers, pushing employee retention further up your list of priorities.  

What you need to do 

Facility managers need to find ways to attract and train new techs. Given the high level of demand, you have to think carefully about the sort of employment package you offer and how you can make your business a more attractive place to work. You may also need to increase your pay and expand your benefits to retain the more experienced members of your team.  

Less predictable, more extreme weather events 

In facility management, the resiliency of buildings to extreme weather events is becoming a hot topic, with 20 weather disaster events (one drought, two floods, 11 severe storms, four tropical cyclones, one wildfire, and one winter storm) last year with losses that exceeded $1 billion each.  

While the rise of smart technology in buildings can make buildings more sustainable, sustainability does not help you deal with the impact of extreme weather events. That’s where building resilience comes in. As a facilities manager, your first concern should be that your buildings can withstand the effects of unpredictable weather such as storms and tropical cyclones. Although incorporating resiliency strategies can cost more initially, they can help you save in the long run by reducing your operating costs and helping you protect workflow continuity.  

What you need to do 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to building resilience into your day-to-day operations as the weather patterns are different in every location. So, the first step is to conduct a vulnerability assessment. You can then evaluate the readiness of your facility to cope with extreme weather conditions and address any areas where you’re lacking. 

You should also put more responsive systems in place to deal with everything from floods to blackouts. Having the capability to go off-grid with onsite water and electricity sources and making sure your backup gear can be switched on as soon as any lights go out can help to keep your employees safe, protect your reputation, and safeguard your business. 

Hippo CMMS can help

As a facility manager, you’ve got to have a lot on your plate in 2022, but the good news is that help is at hand. A good computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) such as Hippo CMMS® can help you manage maintenance efficiently and painlessly across multiple locations, whatever challenges you face. 

When it comes to supply chain issues, Hippo’s automated inventory control allows you to track your inventory levels in real time and sends alerts when you hit customizable minimum levels. Maintenance teams can’t work from behind a desk, so Hippo’s mobile app enables your teams to get more done while they’re on the move. Your techs can add comments to tasks and pictures to work orders so you can keep track of your teams across multiple locations.  

If you want more techs to join your team, a good CMMS shows that you invest in the latest technology and can help you attract the best young talent. And, when a senior tech does retire, Hippo enables easy knowledge transfer so you can easily capture and retain everything they know about your facility and share it across the department.  

Next steps

Want to find out how Hippo CMMS can help you keep up with the latest facility management trends and overcome the challenges they bring? Then book a live demo with one of our experts or get in touch so we can answer your questions. 

Executive summary 

The last year has been one of the most challenging for facility managers across the US, and 2022 promises more of the same. Nearly every aspect of facility management is shifting, and new trends are emerging to help keep businesses of every size on course. 

Over the next year, there’s going to be a growing demand for flexible workspaces, smaller and more distributed facilities teams, more supply chain issues, and a greater emphasis on hiring. You should also expect to see better planning for the extreme weather events that are becoming increasingly commonplace.  

Keeping up with these trends will present you with all sorts of new challenges, which is wher comes in. It can help you overcome the headwinds and manage your facilities efficiently and painlessly in 2022 and beyond. 

About The Author

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan has been covering asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions since joining Hippo CMMS. Prior to that, he wrote for textbooks and video games.
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