For the fifth time, the Houston-based Intl. Facility Management Association has issued a forecasting report offering insight on industry trends predicted to shape the future of the profession. The report, Facility Management Forecast | 2007: Exploring the Current Trends and Future Outlook for Facility Management Professionals, is the result of a panel discussion held on Feb. 16 and 17, 2007, with eight representatives from various industry sectors and constituencies of the FM profession. The session was held in Houston and highlighted the many challenges that await the facility management professional in the coming years.
Among the key topics discussed were some of the same challenges noted on previous forecasts (rapid pace of change, changing technology, building automation, security issues, and sustainability). Additional issues that were noted include the impact of rapid population growth and a limited energy supply on facility operations, the greater amount of attention demanded by an aging building stock, and an increasingly diverse workforce. The latter of these concerns, reflects the rising population of individuals over 60 years of age and the younger generations who are now entering the profession. Accommodating ergonomic requests and distinctive work styles were noted as impacts.
It was recommended that facilities professionals evaluate their competencies relating to the following eight issues:
- Linking facility management to strategy.
- Emergency preparedness.
- Change management.
- Emerging technology.
- Broadening diversity in the workforce.
- Aging buildings.
These top trends and decision drivers are explained in greater detail in the report, accessible on IFMA’s website free of charge (http://www.ifma.org/tools/research/forecast_rpts/2007.pdf).