Facilities management could change almost beyond recognition over the coming ten years, according to delegates at the Workplace Strategy Summit.
The event, which took place in Reading last week, saw FM professionals from across the industry muse on the direction the industry is headed. Some more nihilistic players in the industry foretold the ‘death of FM’, as changing workplaces bring about a revolution within the industry, bifm.org.uk notes.
Among those was Chris Kane of BBC Commercial Projects, who argued that the FM world “will shrink” as developments in robotics start to take hold. In addition, workplace design that has flexible working at its heart could also bring about the decline of traditional office space.
Not everyone shared Kane’s viewpoint entirely, though. Director of global workplace innovation at Johnson Controls, Marie Puybaraud, noted that a change could well be on the cards but the whole FM industry is unlikely to go down without a fight.
She was joined by others who agreed that whilst roles in building engineering may decline, a hospitality-style sector may rise up to take its place. The service offered then would be akin to that of the hotel or airline industries.
This was the viewpoint of strategy director at AECOM, Francesca Jack, who told fm-world.co.uk: “You will still need FMs, but their role will be more integrated and combined with other functions such as IT.”
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