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In 2018, the global facility management service market was valued at approximately USD 1,314 billion and is expected to generate around USD 2,127 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate of around 5.5%!
The fourth industrial revolution, with the advent of cyber-physical systems is dawning and facility management organizations are devising multi-generational and smart workplaces that would accommodate every single need of the company’s diligent worker. Presently, this highly professional industry accounts for 3.2% of the total GDP of India and is valued at INR 5- lakh crores in India, which is expected to swell at a rate of 20-25%, annually!
Indian market in facility management is poised for an impressive growth and has been a common approach over the past few decades to cope-up with the unprecedented changes in the corporate world, without business disruption or forfeiting autonomy. As buildings are getting smarter and technologies are getting more convoluted, the need for an effective management, that can deliver adaptability, flexibility and sustainability for the organization is becoming incumbent!
The International Organization for standardization (ISO) delineates facility management as the “organizational function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life people and the productivity of the core business.”
Facility management organizations and professionals are responsible for maintaining the business’ most valuable assets, be it property, paraphernalia or even productivity of the workers. They ensure if everything related to the physical infrastructure is orchestrating as it should and discern areas of greater efficiency and cost saving. These professionals are tasked to develop, deliver and maintain a number of services ranging from property, asset, space, and risk management, communications, testing and inspection to business continuity planning, building maintenance, transportation, cleaning, environment, health and safety of organization and much more.
Effectual and efficient management is essential to the performance of an organization, irrespective of the size and scope as it “synchronizes people, place, process and technology” (IFMA). From risk management to administering the hydration solutions to the employees, these professionals work towards reshaping and strengthening the work culture. They’re like the foreman of a construction crew, who carry out tasks with high proficiency and on-the-ground knowledge in their specific vertical to keep the employees convivial and contented.
Facility management is as much about service delivery as it is about experience and expectation management. There are innumerable managerial responsibilities that transcend ensuring a smooth function within the organization and management of the physical assets eventually impacting the happiness quotient of the employees. These professionals have developed a unique strategic and tactical understanding of the need to coalesce aesthetics with ergonomics and develop innovations at office spaces that would work for a dynamic work environment!
To cope up with the evolving corporate world and concurrently, perpetuate the holistic employee experience, facility managers must tackle finicky matters every day in face of a host of obstacles. As new technologies and styles of working have come into play, these professionals must stay abreast with the leading industry changes and the fluxing demands of the corporate world, rope them into the workplace, and ensure that the employees are attuned with it.
Well, not just this, their challenges are further mounted by restrained budgets, ageing inventory systems, the pressure of maximum output with minimum resources to name a few. Majority of Facility Management professionals are expected to do more with less, without lowering the performance and quality expectations of the operations. Between all the pressure to perform at high echelons, they must chalk out effective ways to perform with limited resources.
As technological innovation is transforming and revolutionizing the corporate world in leaps and bounds, the need for an effective and efficient management and maintenance within the organization is becoming cardinal. The facility management industry is gearing up for a historic shift towards automated services, with considerable investment of manpower and resources toward creating technology driven service platforms.
Apart from efficiency, with the growing recognition of the negative impacts of businesses on the environment, more and more organizations are making sustainability a part of their vision, values and branding. In the face of soaring energy costs and growing concerns about the environmental impact, facility managers are increasingly tasked to find ways to shrink their companies’ carbon and water footprint and to adhere to the company’s Green guidelines.
Choosing the source of hydration is a critical aspect to achieve sustainability but is often flouted by businesses. While workplaces are becoming increasingly modish, tech savvy and ergonomically balanced, when it comes to the hydration needs, most organizations are unfortunately backpedaling. Bottled water has successfully hoodwinked organizations, institutions and individuals into believing that their water is sanitary, safe and salubrious. And so, with its efficacious marketing, packaged water remains the premium choice of hydration till date. What organizations fail to comprehend is that choosing this source of hydration will only drive them away from achieving their sustainability goals.
Bottled water, the eco-villain, takes around 7 to 8 liters of water to package one bottle of water. Not just this, bottling plants create massive water scarcity in the area of manufacturing. Reports have said that 17 million barrels of oil is consumed every year to manufacture bottled water and this amount of energy used in manufacturing can power up to 190,000 homes!! As if this isn’t enough, water bottling processes release around 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, annually!
Apart from having high carbon footprints, bottled water is unhealthy. Not long ago, a study led by a US based journalism organization found that almost 93% of the bottled water samples from world’s most famous brands contained microplastics that have seeped into the water during the packaging process! The plastic debris including polypropylene, bisphenol A, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) have posited a risk to human health!
While bottled water is available ubiquitously, it needs to be replaced in order to have a plastic-free work environment. New sustainable alternatives that balance ergonomics with aesthetics have become the ideal choice for organizations that strive to be greener!
These sustainable yet stylish hydration solutions including bottle filling stations, drinking water fountains, drinking water stations, atmospheric water generators to name a few, further blend with the smart workplaces and coincide with the company’s eco-friendly policies.
Imagine the number of man-hours whacked in vendor management of plastic water jars and the physical space wasted for stacking the bottles to boot. Facility managers are supposed to abate the operational costs, in conjunction with space management of the office and even oversee the safety and health of the employees. A hydration solution like bottled water, would only tag on to the existing challenges faced by them, to say the least!
While workplaces should reflect the company’s vision and brand philosophy, a source of hydration like stacked water bottles would only look like a reminiscence of the past, disrupting the sustainable theme altogether.
The latest hydration technologies can be custom-made according to the needs to the organization. From touchless, sensor-based hassle-free hydration solutions to eco-conscious water vending stations reducing electricity wastage, these alternatives resonate sustainability with flair and flamboyance!
The latest hands-free hydration machines have become a critical part of the endeavor to scrap off the plastic water jars. New technologies have been considered that slash water rejection up to 20% and recycle 100% water that can be re-used for various purposes! These in-house sustainable hydration technologies lead to zero water footprint in themselves! To further curtail the footprint, companies can recycle and reuse almost 80 % of their water by installing in-house sewage treatment plants for treating their wastewater and further using it, enabling zero water footprints!
FM professionals need to strike a delicate balance between innovative technologies and sustainable strategies when it comes to redefining the future of workplace solutions. Keeping the planet and its people in focus, management needs to incorporate praxes and solutions in workplaces that are not only sustainable but add to the ambience at biophilic workplaces. Choosing sustainable hydration solution for organizations is a stepping stone towards greener office spaces.
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