A survey of 750 European facility management professionals by MRI Software, a global leader in real estate software solutions, reveals that mental health is the biggest challenge they face, with 39 per cent pinpointing it as a critical issue.
This feedback is unsurprising given that heavy workloads and increased job demands have likewise emerged as a major concern in MRI’s Voice of the Facility Manager report. The research shows that 70 per cent of the respondents work beyond their contracted time, with nearly a third (30 per cent) working at least 10 additional hours each week – and over one in 10 (12 per cent) putting in more than 20 extra hours weekly.
On the positive side, 54 per cent affirm that they still enjoy their work to varying degrees and 60 per cent feel they have a good work-life balance, according to the findings.
In looking at tech trends in the industry, the report reveals that 30 per cent of FM professionals see new technology and digital disruption as an opportunity and 20 per cent see developments in these areas as “essential to embrace”. Similarly, the same proportions view advanced data analysis and cloud-based data collection as an opportunity (30 per cent) or essential to embrace (20 per cent).
The report reveals that two-thirds (67 per cent) of the FM professionals surveyed are considering changing or adopting new FM software, with 38 per cent saying their aim is to boost efficiency and productivity. All respondents report using technology in some form, and 31 per cent say they are employing multiple systems. These include FM software (56 per cent), contractor management software (40 per cent), visitor management software (37 per cent), incident reporting software (37 per cent) and leasing software (33 per cent).
Other key findings in the report include:
- 54 per cent believe FM will involve tech-enabled tools over the next five years, with 50 per cent also seeing more responsibilities being outsourced
- 35 per cent have invested in artificial intelligence (AI) or automation software in the last 18 months
- 44 per cent like or love creating a sustainable workplace as part of their job
- 46 per cent of FM budgets have increased over the last three years while 24 per cent have stayed the same
- 52 per cent of FM professionals are to some degree satisfied with the flexibility of their role, with 12 per cent always working remotely and 68 per cent working remotely some of the time
James Massey, Managing Director of Facilities Management at MRI Software commented: “Facility managers shoulder the stresses and responsibilities of their daily duties while also ensuring accurate maintenance records and other property data, and it’s taking a toll on their mental wellbeing. The good news is the majority still have a positive outlook, and over half say they would recommend facilities management as a career. That said, technology offers a lifeline, giving them the digital tools they need to boost efficiency, utilise data, monitor buildings, manage energy usage, and predict maintenance hotspots.”
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