Key FM themes for 2014

FM World shares the results of its Think Tank question: Which of four key themes do facilities managers expect to benefit from in 2014?

From the word go, the categories as presented were questioned. “Growing acceptance should surely be replaced with ‘demonstrated proof and improvement’,” suggested one correspondent. “The hot topic for me will be smarter ways of working that will deliver real estate benefits and more satisfied and productive staff,” they continued.

Another complained that while they were “currently engaging with the strategic organisational development team to offer the services of FM and changes to the environment as one of the symbolic changes to aid culture change,” if they said it had come from the FM team “it would not be as successful”.


It wasn’t all bad news, said one respondent voting for the ‘risk management’ category. “FMs have always managed risk on a day to day basis. However, their particular skills are being recognised more as infrastructure investment decisions are increasingly based on risk and the consequences of not acting.”


“I’m not entirely sure that your list does the FM profession justice,” said another correspondent. “Most if not all FMs are delivering against the first three items in your list. If they are succeeding, then there is a high chance that it isn’t immediately apparent to the outside spectator. Somewhat like a duck in the water, all may appear calm on the surface, but underneath there is a huge amount of coordinated activity and effort to make the duck stay afloat.


“And as for being a Cinderella profession, like the fairy tale character, we are all destined to get our Prince Charming in the end; despite the efforts of the Ugly Sisters. Keeping in the panto spirit, it’s worthwhile remembering that oft shouted phrase “Look behind you!” – FM has come a long way. Let’s look behind us to see how far we’ve come and build upon this progress to create a stronger, more effective industry that is a cornerstone of the workplace of tomorrow.”


Another correspondent thought 2014 would offer a shift from the previous five years as the improving economic outlook accelerates and businesses ramp up their investment and growth. Thus, they suggested, we can expect “more opportunity to ‘get under the skin’ of new property design/usage through conventional techniques, but crucially using BIM.


“Also, a marked shift from ‘cost cutting’ requirements to a requirement to improve customer service and support growing organisations, not perhaps seen since the mid-2000s.”

Finally, two correspondents were adamant that 2014 had to be the year in which FM truly embraced building information modelling (BIM).


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