World Workplace Europe 2017

Where is modern facilities management heading? What’s hot and what’s not? And what are the global trends that will impact how we live and work tomorrow? MCS Solutions was on the ground in Stockholm, checking out new trends and participating in the World Workplace Europe Industry Leaders’ Debate. Here are our top five takeaways from the event:

1. Smart buildings are on the rise

Digitally connected intelligent buildings and data analytics will drive innovation in building performance, energy efficiency and workplace effectiveness. FM is largely a traditional sector, however, and technology adoption has been slow so far. The uptake of new technologies is growing but it is still running behind other sectors and industries. Many businesses have yet to fully embrace the technologies available to them and prepare themselves for advancements that are just around the corner.

2. Key new/emerging technologies in facilities management

  • Sensors and IoT driving innovation
  • (Micro)robotics for cleaning, but also in healthcare
  • Drones for inspection
  • Mixed/augmented/virtual reality (HoloLens technology, etc.)

3. Focus on the workplace

The war for talent is heating up. It’s one of the reasons why we are seeing a shift from managing buildings to managing the employee experience in the workplace. Businesses are keen to create a fluid working environment. Hence they are investing in interactive reservations systems and digital tools, activity-based design, and the right spaces and furniture (fitted-out with occupancy sensors). Demand for co-working spaces is growing too. With more project-based HR contracts, corporate occupiers are embracing the concept of shared workspaces and shared technology to optimize occupancy and cut down on real estate costs.

4. Generations in the workplace – facts versus hype

Contrary to popular belief, millennials are not the most demanding segment in terms of flexible and mobile working. In general, they feel well supported by the office environment, according to robust research (Leesman Index). It is the age group 35-55 who have higher demands on alternative space and technological sophistication because they also have more complex profiles and activities.

5. Vested outsourcing

There is a trend towards highly collaborative, win-win outsourced business relationships to fuel innovation, improve service and lower costs. We are also seeing a focus on continuous improvement including self-service tools (virtual reception, virtual human resources).

On the whole, there was a lot of attention at World Workplace Europe for shiny new technologies, but big data and analytics remained somewhat underexposed. Data science may appear less ‘cool’, but we believe it is the real value driver for workplace and facilities management.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to learn more.