How to Future Proof Your Facility Management Career

Someday your facility’s cooling tower may be queued up to follow an automatic preventive maintenance program and actually self-clean in an effort to boost efficiencies and decrease unplanned repair costs. Cool, right? Well, there’s a growing concern within many industries that “automation” is synonymous with “job loss.”

According to a recent McKinsey & Co. analysis of 2,000 different work activities across 800 occupations, automation will change virtually every job in every occupation. Specifically, McKinsey found that in about 60% of occupations, 30% of tasks could be handed over to robots and bots. Bad news for your career, right? … Think again.

The report concludes less than 5% of global occupations will be fully automated using current technology. The remaining 95% will simply change to account for advancements in technology, connectivity and automation.

Here’s a handful of facility manager skills that’ll be in high demand due, for the most part, by these advancements.

preventive maintenance to reactive maintenance ratio

Facilities with a 50% or greater preventive maintenance to reactive maintenance ratio saved the most.

  • Maintenance Management – A preventive maintenance report collected data from 1,000 facility maintenance professionals in the spring of 2017. The report strongly suggested that facilities that manage preventive maintenance (PM) schedules via computerized systems can expect to see the highest ROI. In addition, facilities that had a 50% or greater preventive maintenance to reactive maintenance ratio saved tens of thousands to millions of dollars in addition to experiencing less operational downtime and improved labor efficiency.
  • Environmental Management – A recent study measuring the impact of working in a green certified building on cognitive function and health indicates an increase in cognitive test scores (26.4%) and a decrease in health-related symptoms (30%) in high-performing, green certified buildings. However, it’s not easy to gauge employee well-being, performance and productivity. This has led to a new approach known as Buildingomics that examines all the factors in a building that influence human health, well-being and productivity.
  • Energy Management – Unlike other disciplines that require learning new skills or technologies, a new report concludes that energy management requires a better understanding and application of existing tools. The report suggests US commercial building energy use can drop by 29 percent if already-installed equipment simply worked more efficiently. Facility managers need to better understand and utilize the energy control tools at their disposal.
  • Data Security Management Smart buildings promise significant benefits to owners and operators in terms of efficiency, safety, comfort and functionality. But these systems also carry potential costs. Without the right levels of protection, a facility’s network infrastructure can be tempting targets for would-be hackers from outside or inside a company.
  • Workplace Management – The era of the desk-bound, tethered employee are over. Studies reveal that the average office uses between 30%-45% of its space on a daily basis due in large part to a mobile workforce. Growing costs and tighter budgets drive organizations to uncover underutilized facilities, and dramatically reduce occupancy costs by rationalizing and consolidating real estate portfolios. This puts workplace management among the hottest areas for facility managers.
  • Interdisciplinary Management – In a recent article, entitled “The Future of Work: Death of the Single Skill Set In The Age Of Automation,” Forbes said that the key to assuring your job security is to combine your uniquely “human” skills (executive presence, empathy and communication) with your technical skills. This means you’ll be expected to collaborate, for example, with an office manager to implement a water safety program or work with a patron’s IT or security management teams to buy, install and use building access and security technologies.

Bottom line? To stay one step ahead of the competition, be it human or humanoid, master the most in-demand facility management skills. This means increase key technical knowhow for the “facility of the future” and polish those interpersonal skills to prep for the “facility manager of the future” .

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