On the horizon: commercial cleaning trends for 2022
What would a new year be without a look at upcoming facilities management trends? Here at Clean-Tech, we’re looking at new ideas, solutions to ongoing challenges, and the trends commercial spaces are likely to see in 2022.
Read on for a glimpse into our crystal ball – and let us know what you think! Are these the facilities trends you’re most likely to encounter over the next 12 months, or do you see others ahead?
1. Changes in the way we use commercial spaces
Fluctuating space usage was one of the more challenging trends coming out of the pandemic. To comply with (often fast-changing) rules regarding the number of workers or customers in commercial spaces, hybrid schedules – which split time between in-person and remote work – became a common occurrence during 2021.
While we believe we’re close to the end of COVID-related restrictions in commercial spaces, the rise of the Omicron variant suggests we’re not there yet. For at least part of the coming year, facilities teams should be prepared to shift priorities for clients on short notice, whether in labs, offices, or public spaces. This might mean more intensified cleaning or a quick button-up of spaces – conference or event rooms, for instance – that won’t be used for a while.
As this approach becomes the norm, and client expectations for flexibility increase, the ability to manage these quick turnarounds will require more experienced facilities management teams.
2. Greater emphasis on environmental responsibility
Floods, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes; environmental issues like severe weather were a big deal in 2021. We don’t see this changing – in fact, if anything, these challenges will be even more front-and-center in the future.
This goes beyond the obvious impact on facilities management teams, who will be tasked with maintaining safer, more secure physical spaces for customers.
It also creates an ongoing emphasis on facilities maintenance in your next round of budget talks, to reduce or eliminate the number of deferred maintenance projects in commercial spaces. A maintenance project that could be put off in the past could become too great a liability for property owners and managers facing increased weather events.
Then there are public expectations, too. Steadily increasing numbers of Americans are expressing concern about environmental issues. They want to know what businesses are doing to help. In response, we expect to see a growing emphasis on renovations and retrofits of commercial properties, to better manage energy consumption, increase energy efficiency, and reduce carbon footprints.
3. Focus on planned preventative maintenance
We mentioned above that reducing deferred maintenance projects will be a key aspect of facilities management in 2022. Relatedly, we see planned preventative maintenance (PPM) in the spotlight this year.
Commercial properties certainly face budget constraints, but property owners and managers today truly understand the value of PPM. Gone are the days of saving money in the short term by “kicking it down the road,” hoping buildings and equipment hold together. To take advantage of the benefits of PPM, work with a facilities management team that will:
- Use data to manage and monitor the physical assets of your commercial space
- Predict optimal maintenance times to prevent breakdowns
- Extend the lifespan of expensive equipment through carefully timed maintenance
- Contribute to a stable budget by avoiding emergency repairs
That first bullet point is particularly important. Specialized software allows your facilities management team to track the performance of your assets. Over time, this data, unique to your facilities, helps refine your PPM schedule and improve your program each year.
4. Stronger partnership between property owners/managers and facilities management teams
There’s a funny truth to facilities management: Do it right, and most people will never know you’re there. By that, we mean that when workspaces are clean, bathrooms are sparkling, landscaping is beautiful, and the physical environment is comfortable, most employees and customers never give facilities management a second thought. That’s just how it should be.
But when we’re confronted with a crisis like COVID-19, suddenly everyone wants to know how, and how often, your space is cleaned. Since March 2020, property owners have fielded countless questions from their communities about cleaning, disinfecting, reconfiguring spaces, and managing emergency protocols. It brought attention to the frontline workers who maintain commercial facilities – and we see this trend continuing.
For property managers with tried and trusted facilities teams, this is great news. They’ve learned to rely on these custodial, grounds, and operations professionals for experienced problem-solving, and are ready to continue in 2022.
For some, however, the past year may have revealed hidden “stress cracks” in facilities programs. If you’re looking for a collaborative relationship with an experienced team, 2022 could be a great time to consider a new facilities provider. Contracting with the right provider not only frees up your time and energy to focus on business priorities, it can also realign and invigorate longtime team members, instead of sticking with “This is how we’ve always done it.”
Work with the right facilities management team
Want to know more about building a better facilities program for your commercial space in 2022? Contact us at [email protected].
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