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Brave New FM World

10 June 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

Research by RICS and Sodexo shows FMs are increasingly focused on improving quality of life in the workplace.

The survey of international FM professionals from among Sodexo and RICS’ contacts, sought to uncover attitudes of those working in the field, revealing how FM is increasingly becoming a strategic management discipline crucial in helping increase organisations’ productivity and wellbeing.

The research, published on World FM Day, also found that FMs are looking to integrated services to achieve their outsourcing needs.

The majority of those questioned (61%) said that improving the workplace environment and employee wellbeing would have a ‘high impact’ on their organisation over the next two years.

According to those surveyed, improving the workplace environment can have a beneficial effect on social interactions among colleagues (cited by 30% of respondents). It cal improve ease and efficiency in daily tasks (22%) and promote a positive impact on health and wellbeing (22%). These are three of the six ‘dimensions’ of quality of life identified by Sodexo as to where its services can have the greatest benefit.

The survey also sought to understand FM professionals’ strategy with regards to outsourcing of services. Currently 94% of FM professionals outsource some or all of their services with 37% using single service outsourcing, 34% bundled services and 23% integrated.


Integrated services

When asked about future intentions, nearly a third (30%) said they were planning to integrate their service outsourcing in future, against 28% for bundled services and 25% for single services which suggested a trend towards integrated services.

When asked about the biggest advantages of integrated or bundled outsourcing, those questioned cited cost efficiencies (75%) and the creation of a single point of contact for customers (68%) which can eliminate complex supply chain administration and helps to avoid the duplication of management systems.

The trend is fairly consistent across demographics, though planning to use integrated services in the future is particularly prevalent among respondents in the corporate sector, favoured by two fifths (41%), compared with a quarter of FM professionals in the industrial sector (26%) and other organisations (24%).

Some of the other key findings of the survey included:

  • Outsourcing – The most popular services that are currently outsourced are cleaning (97%), maintenance (91%) and security (89%) services.

  • Internal workspace planning – The research shows that FM professionals are also keen for more consistency to assist them with internal workspace planning. In fact, nine in ten (89%) FM professionals say that an international standard of property measurement would benefit their organisation, by helping to provide a unified set of guidelines that could be translated across different areas of the workplace.

“This research presents some really interesting findings for us, particularly for the future of FM and its relevance on a global scale,” said Paul Bagust, Director, FM Professional Group, RICS. “As the findings show, businesses planning their outsourcing – an integral area of FM – are increasingly placing the importance on the quality of the services they procure over cost reduction. The research also shows that staff wellbeing is also an important factor for many FM professionals as a way of improving overall productivity in their organisation.” 

 Picture: Published on World FM Day, research by RICS and Sodexo finds that the majority of FMs are focused on achieving a better workplace and more increasingly, the greater use of integrated services.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 10 June 2015


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