Five facilities management challenges

Facilities Management Challenges

The pace of change in the Facilities Management (FM) sector shows no sign of slowing. The Covid-19 pandemic ushered in new ways of working but also triggered and accelerated several emergent trends. As a result, the FM sector now faces a series of structural challenges that will define its future. Here are five of the most significant: 


1. Sustainability and ESG 

The prominence of the built environment represents a great opportunity for the FM sector to look beyond the buildings themselves and lead the way in terms of environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. Given that the sector integrates people, place and process, it’s natural that issues such as biodiversity, renewable energy, the circular economy and community outreach are front and centre. 

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) outlines three ways in which ESG impacts FM: First, there’s the vital and unique role that facility management firms can play in promoting sustainable practices and reducing the environmental impact of buildings and facilities. Second, positive ESG performance can directly relate to financial performance. Finally, clients and stakeholders now demand ambitious and authentic sustainability practices when selecting who to partner with. ESG is centre stage and the move to net-zero seems non-negotiable. 


2. Future of physical workspace 

The role of the office was evolving before the pandemic but the sudden necessity for remote working radically changed the landscape – and it’s a model that’s constantly in flux. According to ITN Business, the mix of remote and office work is here to stay but with business practices, cultures and demands inevitably so varied, employers will have to be open-minded. The reality is a complex balancing act of risk, mitigation and pragmatism for facility managers. 

Our full guide to the impact of hybrid working on the FM sector can be found here. 


3. Technology 

As with any sector, the rapid development and rollout of technology is impacting systems and processes within Facilities Management at unprecedented speed. Robust and reliable data sits at the heart of strategies focusing on smart buildings, virtual modelling and maximising the efficiency of workspaces through proactive Internet of Things sensors. 

Writing in the Facilities Management Journal, the chair of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) Mark Whittaker highlights the “exponential rise of digital innovation” and the importance of upskilling and reskilling workforces to ensure technological systems are up to date and future-proofed.  


4. Economic climate 

Every UK business has become accustomed to coping with stubbornly high inflation and entrenched interest rates as the economy attempts to move on from a prolonged period of stagnation.  

In its most recent Briefing Note, The British Council for Offices underlines just how interlinked economic trends and cycles are with the UK office market. Their research identified several structural and cyclical challenges ranging from office space demand and geographical spread through to the future of offices as an investment asset. 

International events, extreme weather and supply chain disruption all add to levels of uncertainty for predicting where and when sustained growth will return. 


5. Investing in future leaders 

The responsibility to navigate the sector through these challenges clearly rests with today’s management, but tomorrow’s leaders are just as important. The FM sector faces stiff competition to attract and retain the best talent to drive the change that’s required. As JLL points out, forward-thinking facility management leaders are proactively recruiting technologically-minded millennials to augment their strategic offering. 

Jobseekers are more discerning than ever when it comes to scrutinising the credentials of a potential employer, but the benefits of hiring and training an ambitious, diverse and representative workforce will be felt across the industry for generations to come. 


Contego has worked with the FM sector for almost 30 years. In that time, we’ve seen the industry landscape change profoundly. Our friendly team is always on hand to discuss your evolving PPE and workwear requirements and provide the experienced consultancy you require.  


Contact us now on 0800 122 3323 

Published on 25 April 2024
Filed under  News 


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