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[box type=”shadow” ]Amol Shimpi, Associate Dean and Director, School of Real Estate, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, Mumbai talks about the changing trends in cities as well as in facility management.[/box]

Today a lot of people have the perception that facility management doesn’t go beyond cleaning services. But that is not the case. The focus has shifted from just the management of resources.

Facility management services include five tiers and are further divided into sections:

  1. Cleaning services – Include daily cleaning, periodical cleaning, special cleaning and segment cleaning.
  2. Support services – Front office, back office, welfare facilities and labour supply.
  3. Property services – Building maintenance, grounds maintenance, environment management, energy and damage control.
  4. Catering services – Contract catering, vending services, events catering, confectionery services.
  5. Security services – Physical security, surveillance, technical installations, workplace emergency management and consulting services.

Domain of FM

Managing the space and maximizing it contributes to productivity and people’s engagement with the organisation. A large number of people in India are in IT, BPO’s and KPO’s. Here the salary and other facilities don’t really count, but the experience that one gets at the workplace matters. People switch jobs because of bad experiences. The HR heads of IT organisations have been the biggest motivation to the FM services to give their best and keep on improving.

Drivers and Trends

  • Economic and regulatory developments
  • Increased demand for outsourcing and FM integration
  • Increase in International contracts
  • Market Demand for value added services


Project: There are immense opportunities for FM in project management. In todays time, FM managers are involved in the project beforehand and not at the end like the old days. FM managers are inducted before the project is handed over to them six months to one year prior.

People: FM is one of the largest employers in the industry.

Compliances: In India, as Rera has come into picture, real estate regulations are taking over. FM managers must take a note of that.

Risk: Risk management has become very important about these days. Fire riots all taken care of by FM.

FM has become a 24×7 by 365 kind of a business but at the same time it needs good quality systems and process in place where FM managers have to play a great role.

Trends in Facility Management

  1. HSE (Health Safety Environment) has become the focus in every organisation. Productivity enhancement, reducing sickness are important aspects which need to be taken care of. Because less number of employees does more amount of work.
  2. The efforts must be continued in terms of energy and water management to sustain the rating of the building.
  3. Policies and procedures are very challenging in India because real estate and operations are many a times under state subject. Hereby, state and central laws are to be taken care of.
  4. One of the large trends which is coming in is office space management. The concept of owning office space is getting less and renting office space is becoming more. Companies today are flexible about renting places. Quarterly arrangements, one-year arrangements or only 100 -200 seats are provided which are later moved to a different campus.
  5. Large corporations are downsizing.
  6. Everyone is becoming familiar with affordable housing. The somewhat similar term is coming called as affordable offices. Because many of the companies today belong to a start-up phase. In this phase rent can become a challenging part of their expenses. In this case, affordable office space is given to the start-ups so that they can use that environment more efficiently.
  7. Some companies have gone to an extent of providing competent facilities on clock basis. Not only they provide premises, but also hardware support is also provided along with servers.

Co-working spaces

Today co-working spaces are coming up with developers already started investing into it. New concept of co-working workspace is hotdesking. Looking at any international property consultant’s office these days, he has around 200-250 people working in the office, but the seating place is provided only for 100-150. Rest are sent to a coworking space.

But coworking comes with its own challenges. A smart workplaces and smart buildings must be created. Work place optimisation need to be done. Management of workspace, where space and amenities are provided by a third party, coworking will involve several different organizations, businesses and individuals sharing space.

Work from Home

One more aspect which is developing for FM managers is large amount of workforce is operating from home. The corporates at home should get access to all the facilities which an employee in the office would have got. Which is very challenging.

Infosys have over 2000 people working from home. An employee engagement programme is done for them, so they don’t get bored at home. Maybe a weekly visit to campus or some type of entertainment function can be arranged by FM managers to help maintain the link with the organisation.

Green Leasing

Green Leasing is a pact between landlord and a tenant where both work towards protection of the environment. Leases are often complicated and in negotiation part, but they offer benefits such as:

  • Promoting sustainability
  • Reduction in OPEX
  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Rentals achieved are higher as compared to normal buildings
  • Marketing-improved public image

Smart Cities

Everyone is talking about smart cities, smart buildings and smart workplaces.

Urban planners aim at developing entire urban eco-system, based on four pillars of comprehensive development which are

i. Institutional
ii. Physical
iii. Social
iv. Economic

Smart real estate plays the vital role of raising resources in a responsible manner. Smart infrastructure keeps the costs under control and conserves the environment.

Online Buildings

Such buildings will be able to manage their energy demand evermore precisely and linkup with other buildings to form microgrids.

Users will communicate more extensively with buildings in the future using smartphones or other devices and will also be able to define their own personal comfort profiles.

Technology is going to be the game changer.

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