ISS Facility Services

ISS Facility Services

As the 2020s begin, we look ahead to what trends lay before us. What global economic, societal and cultural forces are shaping the future of the facility management industry? And how may they improve the services delivered to local authorities and central government departments. Let’s look at what you need to consider to future-proof our businesses and secure our long-term success.

Outsourcing and rising employment costs

Despite strong opposition from some quarters, outsourcing of facilities management continues to increase in popularity. This trend is largely driven by the demand for both high-quality workplace experiences and reduced operating costs. This trend is further fuelled by the increased cost of employing in-house FM teams and the complex task of managing a large suite of services.

There is significant pressure on local authorities and central government departments to offer value to the taxpayer, forcing them to constantly innovate and explore ways of delivering their core services more efficiently. The consequence of this is often a reduction in their non-core FM budget, at the exact same time as employees and clients expect better workplaces experiences. Which is exactly what makes outsourcing such an attractive proposition, as businesses like ISS Facility Services invest in the future of the services they provide with constant development and innovation.

Revolutionising technology and digitisation

Adding to the previous point made about the rising cost of employment is the modern paradigm of technology, which is increasingly being used to improve efficiency and drive down costs. The first is Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, which are being adopted more and more in computing, internal building lighting and climate control. ISS Facility Services has invested heavily in a strong working partnership with IBM to fully understand and release the potential of IoT, which is manifesting itself in systems designed to make life easier for everyone involved, and helping to reduce costs and the environmental impact of business properties. This could be through the touch screens being used to requesting maintenance, or additional supplies or motion sensors controlling heating and lighting. Technology can also be used to pre-order meal requests from the staff cafeteria. When fully utilised IoT provides a powerful management tool allowing real time data to be seen by the manager and client at all times.

Another aspect of technology that is being employed by companies to reduce FM costs is that of robotics. Robotic automation is well-suited to both hazardous and repetitive tasks, with some FM executives choosing robots to fulfil cleaning in larger open areas and security roles, such as access to controlled and sensitive areas. The operational savings that technology offers will likely see widespread adoption of IoT and robotic hardware in the coming decade.

Workplace personalisation and wellbeing

Productivity and the wellbeing of employees have taken centre stage in recent years, with the value of happy, engaged staff being fully recognised. This has led to a trend in FM managers focusing on the creation of workplace strategies that actively promote the engagement, wellbeing and ultimately, the productivity of their staff.

These workplace strategies must adapt to an increasingly diverse workforce, personalising services to their distinct needs. A major part of the personalisation of the workspace is adapting to the priorities of a younger generation, with modern workers demanding climate-friendly food services, sustainable workplace designs and events that cater to a blurring of the home/work-life boundaries. What workers expect from their workplace has changed much in the past 20 years – and will continue to change rapidly. The facilities management sector will need to continue to evolve to meet tomorrow’s trends.

In summary

Essentially, outsourcing will continue to increase across all areas of local and central government, along with industry, including aviation, banking, life sciences, healthcare, manufacturing and the tech sector. The only point of uncertainty is where exactly the priorities of outsourcing customers will lie, as they seek to add value to their services.

Of course, cost is always going to be one of the main deciding factors, as this is usually what prompts companies and organisations to outsource their services in the first place. However, organisations will also seek to invest in premium services, as they see the competitive advantage of leading their industry or sector in talent attraction and retention – and as studies provide more and more evidence for workplace experience impacting health, wellbeing and productivity.

It is important that successful businesses like ISS stay at the forefront of these developments, never standing still and constantly looking to innovate.

Service Futures represents the most important visions, trends and insights for the future of service, facility management, the workplace as an experience, HRM and outsourcing. To find out more visit our website or contact ISS today.