BPO Bulletin

Key Facility Management Trends in 2018: Working Virtually

by Ken Neal
March 26, 2018

In a presentation based on our recent survey report (Facilities Management Challenges and Opportunities), Canon executives highlighted several key trends that may alter the business landscape for facilities management during the next few years. I will highlight three of these trends in this and my next few blog posts. The overall point is that these trends are driving organizations to consider consolidating space and/or relocating in order to realize such advantages as lowering operational costs, attracting a new generation of employees and supporting these employees with the highest levels of facilities services.

The first trend to consider is that fewer employees are traveling to an office location every day. Many workers today prefer to operate virtually, a practice that is increasingly becoming acceptable to enterprises across all major industries. Canon describes this new environment as an agile workplace in which seating and desk space are unassigned, provided as needed when employees are in the office. Many companies are encouraging this trend because, with fewer people coming to the office, there are business benefits to be gained. These include considerably reducing the amount of office space required to run the business and the ability to attract and retain top talent. In our experience based on working with many different clients, a company can potentially reduce office space by 20 to 30 percent by migrating from a traditional to agile work environment.

While there are potential benefits, there are also facility management challenges connected with overseeing an agile workplace. One is the basic but necessary task of accurately determining the amount of office space required for operations, based on how many people will be in a given office on any particular day. Facility managers also need to be able to determine where employees will be located and how they are going to bring work to them. Other important questions that also must be addressed include: How does the company support a collaborative work environment while ensuring a level of privacy? How does the business address security in this kind of flexible work situation?

In my next post I’ll spotlight how migrating to an agile workspace can be a massive change for a company. I’ll also provide a high level view of some potential solutions that facilities managers can consider in order to effectively manage this change. In the meantime, feel free to visit the Facilities and Logistics Management Services page of our website. There you will find additional insights on industry trends and best practices include case histories, whitepapers and more.

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