2021 Industry Trends in Facility Management

2020 was a year that caused problems for the facility management industry. The major one being the covid-19 pandemic that caught the world unawares. The magnitude of the pandemic was so enormous that most managers were unprepared on how to confront it. With time, the pandemic has confirmed the awareness buildings play in health. 2021 is a hopeful year with many people getting the Coronavirus vaccine and most people learning to live with the disease’s harsh reality. Awareness and sensitization campaigns have been successful in educating the public on how to handle the pandemic positively. As the year progresses, here are some of the trends facility managers expect to see:

Monitoring through remote

2020 saw a lot of people working from home. Millions were either laid off or furloughed. The result is that first, managers had to create a more extensive system to handle the many people working remotely. To prepare for students returning to school, districts adopted software to improve tracking work orders to get their buildings ready. Secondly, investing in cybersecurity and realizing that remote technology is affordable, sustainable, and positively impacts public health. Sensors have been used to assist with security, inventory, ventilation, and equipment monitoring. IoT technology and remote monitoring continue to occupy facility management. Since the pandemic, many companies have invested in IoT to fight the pandemic. Manufacturers of the IoT are working relentlessly to improve the device’s accuracy and efficiency.

Maintenance using artificial intelligence

Preventive maintenance aims at reducing costs, but it is laborious and costly. With the emergence of AI-based predictive maintenance technology, managers can cut down costs and time by collecting data accurately, determining when worn-out parts need replacement. Some sophisticated algorithms analyze an asset’s working shelf-life behavior and give alerts when the investment needs to be repaired or maintained.

Green and sustainable buildings

Before the pandemic, most structures were designed and built to ensure that energy is sufficiently conserved. To do that, buildings were sealed tight and heavily insulated to prevent heating and cooling power. Fast forward in 2020, the structures now have to be well-ventilated by bringing fresh air from outside and, at the same time, ensure the energy bills don’t sky-rocket. Older buildings have to adopt remote monitoring technology like sensors to balance humidity, temperature, and fresh air. The sensors will be able to minimize the spread of Coronavirus and improve comfort in work environments.

Shifting from software to a user-friendly platform

Facility management software helps keep the managers updated on daily operations. Many managers are choosing remote sensors, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things over management software. With time it is expected that the managers will handle every task from within one digital interface. As the more senior managers retire, the new young managers are more conversant and eager to use the latest software. In 2021 we are seeing facility management platforms provide attractive user interfaces that can operate across devices. Interconnectivity translates that managers can cross data faster, giving an insight into the whole operation.

Security and more security

Apart from keeping unauthorized persons outside, managers also have to keep away people who have failed the mandatory health screening. With most people working remotely, the chances of cyber-attacks have increased. Therefore there is a need to invest in more robust cybersecurity. It is essential always to be ahead of potential threats to keep data, physical structures, people, and assets safe.

Financial Implications

It is no doubt all the trends mentioned above require a lot of money. From getting digital items, increasing security to healthier buildings, all these changes mean digging more profound in the pockets. Notwithstanding, facility managers have to deal with balance cost and efficiency, comfort, and operations. However,the efficiency that comes with the advancement is worth a try.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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