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World FM Day celebrates the vital work that workplace and facilities managers contribute to business worldwide. While the perception of a team of men working in a basement no longer holds, there’s still work to be done to further elevate the profile of the facilities profession – both to the users of the built environment as well as new recruits.  The average age of a facilities manager is 49, according the FMA (Facilities Management Association), so light must be shone on what happens behind the scenes in order to attract and inspire the next generation.

Modern FM is fast-paced and varied, and the perfect career for values-driven millennials looking to make a difference.


The operation of built environment is believed to be responsible for 30% of all global emissions, and a recent study suggested that if the global healthcare sector alone were a country, it would rank as the fifth largest carbon emitter. With this in mind, it’s understandable how the facilities management profession is so well-placed to help combat climate change. Automating heating and lighting to reduce energy waste, managing maintenance schedules to improve asset performance and limit travel for call outs, introducing plastic-free utensils and crockery, using occupancy sensors to inform cleaning schedules so chemicals and resources aren’t wasted, and focussing on reducing and reusing in addition to recycling are just a few of the ways FMs can have an enormous impact on sustainability.


For those with an eye for detail and a caring nature, compliance is an ideal pathway within FM. The regulatory environment is becoming increasingly robust, and while once viewed as a tedious box-ticking exercise, compliance measures are the first line of defence against workplace injury, stoppages, fines and legal proceedings. More positively, compliance with regulations like ISO or best practice maintenance schedules improves FM and asset efficiency, freeing up time and saving money.  CAFM software can help greatly with compliance by integrating with health and safety or maintenance standards databases, meaning updates are instantly available without having to check various sources for changes.


As an FM, it’s within your power to help people achieve more within their working day. Research by California University found that it takes on average 23 minutes to recover focus after an interruption, so the subtle art of wellness initiatives can have a real impact on the workforce. This could be related to comfortable heating and lighting, noise reduction, or could take the form of providing healthy snacks to fuel the body, implementing greenery for stress reduction or workplace design to provide different types of spaces to meet different needs. In fact, people-centric buildings have recorded greater productivity and engagement, lower employee turnover and reduced staff illness; and several studies have found that access to green space improves cognitive function.

Space Planning

Space planning has taken on a new dimension within FM; it’s an integral part of workplace wellness and has jumped up the agenda since the pandemic due to the global increase in flexible working. FMs face the task of investigating occupancy to see how the space is being used and what improvements can be made. This could be a small layout change, a department move, repurposing (for example, replacing administration offices with waiting areas), or identifying unused space that could be let out or downsized. And of course, a good FM needs to be able to balance the demands of different stakeholders to ensure the space works for everyone.

Not everyone can easily visualise how a new layout could work, but space management software allows users to plan any number of variations and even create the move plans once finalised.

The Latest Technology

CAFM software is pivotal for FM, but there’s even more exciting tech out there. Why not create a full digital twin or replica of your estate with live data feeds to really understand the impacts of FM? How would a building’s cooling system cope with a 10 per cent increase in occupants? What impact would changing a planned maintenance schedule have on downtime and disruption? AI can also revolutionise FM, from AI-powered chatbots to improve communication, to face recognition for security, this technology can be used in myriad ways. And those process-driven recruits can investigate integration between different systems to automate actions and improve service – for example the patient system in a hospital informing the CAFM so the room can be cleaned and ready for the next patient more quickly, or a sensor identifying rainfall and adjusting outdoor sprinkler frequency.

For more information about how SWG’s workplace and facilities management software can assist with all of these aspects of FM and more, contact us here or request a demo.