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17 December 2015

Flexibility, mobility and the Internet of Things will dominate the workplace in 2016

~ Five trends Real Estate and Facilities Managers should adopt in 2016 ~

As businesses plan for workplace changes that will impact them in 2016, five trends seem to be dominating the conversation, according to a research conducted by the software company Planon.

According to Planon’s research, here are the top five real estate and facilities management trends that are expected to have an extensive influence on the workplace in 2016:

  1. The Internet of Things will become the norm:  Going well beyond consumer functionalities, the Internet of Things will help companies to improve their bottom line. More affordable sensors are now available, that can measure the occupancy of a workplace or meeting room in real time, providing Big Data that can be analysed within the right software. Employees will be able to find free workspaces via screens showing availability on the building’s floor plan. Additional functionalities and apps can help users check the availability of workspaces simply by scanning a QR code on a desk and seeing if it has already been booked or is free to use.
  2. Mobility will become a culture: One of the most significant drivers for change is the rise of mobility. Nowadays people work from anywhere – at the office, at home and whilst commuting.  The average workplace occupancy rate is dropping fast and a large portion of the workforce have personal commitments that require flexible working. Organisations that recognise the need for mobility have better chances to attract the right talents.  Businesses are striving to become creative, providing flexible working environments where people blossom and succeed.
  3. The alternative workplace will be embraced: Work today is more about the output rather than the space itself.  Organisations are embracing new ways of working to create more efficient collaboration, knowledge-sharing, flexibility, speed, innovation and productivity.  Within Planon’s research, more than 90% of respondents agreed that today’s new workplace concepts will help improve employee productivity.
  4. BIM adoption will increase: BIM (Building Information Modelling) holds great promises for facilities management and real estate. Applying BIM and BIM methodologies to manage and operate buildings over their life cycle, can deliver tangible value and enable efficiencies for facility managers. They are not purely producing a model of a building. They also provide a platform for real-time collaboration, logistics, and quality management.
  5. Cloud delivery models will continue to transform the workplace: Sophisticated cloud services have become firmly established in business-to-consumer markets with millions using them on a daily basis. Cloud provisioning not only simplifies the management of applications and their infrastructure, it also enables significant IT related cost savings. Cloud adoption in the workplace space management is still making baby steps. As momentum builds, we will see more projects using cloud services in the years to come.

“Many of these trends already exist today, however their significance is expected to grow even more in 2016” said Richard Fisher, General Manager at Planon UK. “Today’s facilities and real estate managers face an increasing need to respond to the evolution of technology and sustainability, to ensure compliance, and to improve cost efficiency.” 

Access to smart assets and connected facilities will transform offices, hospitals, and universities in ways never seen before, creating better user experience and improving efficiencies at the same time. Facilities managers and real estate managers have to start planning now to be able to handle those ongoing changes. Using an IWMS can help bringing together all the relevant data linked to systems and spaces, creating that next step towards professional space management and workplace innovation.