Facility Manager at night
By Brian Prendergast

What’s keeping facility managers up at night in 2023?

A JLL Technologies survey reveals that facility managers are worried. Their concerns cover potential bad news originating in the wider economy and filtering down to the facilities management (FM) industry and to the workplace itself.

The image below from The State of Facilities Management 2023 report breaks down the concerns troubling the FM survey respondents.

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According to 51.9% of respondents, parts and equipment shortages are their number one concern. Supply chain disruptions, a persistent macroeconomic problem since the pandemic, have forced FM teams to adapt and improvise. Yet, creativity is limited when replace equipment is difficult to source and/or when delivery times approach 12 months, as reported recently by a Corrigo customer in the restaurant vertical. Another facility manager uses the term “bandaid maintenance” to describe how he’s continually repairing aging equipment that should be replaced instead.

More late-night worries

The specter of decreasing budgets (48.1%) is also contributing to FM insomnia, which could explain current FM hiring freezes and continued understaffing. If budgets are shrinking because of inflation or belt-tightening, an unwanted side effect is that preventive maintenance (PM) starts looking optional. In that case, expect to see more reactive repairs, which, in a strange twist of fate, are more expensive than PM over the long term, take longer to complete, and are more hazardous, according to the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals.

Concerns of a slowing U.S. economy could also be influencing budgets and limiting investment in FM software. Conserving cash may be seen as the best defense against economic uncertainty. Lastly, FM labor shortages will persist in the years ahead due to the generational shift of aging FMs taking retirement, a legacy of pandemic-related layoffs, and the small number of new entrants to the FM industry.

Get the full story

Respondents to the JLLT survey had a lot to say. Discover how your fellow FM practitioners are reacting to change and what they’re prioritizing in 2023 as work order volumes increase while economic uncertainty looms and shortages of skilled FM labor persist. Download your free copy of The State of Facilities Management 2023.