Building Controls, Human Resources, Maintenance and Operations

Facilities Managers Cite Mental Health as Top Challenge in Survey

As a facilities manager in the U.S., are you facing the same major problems as your colleagues across the pond?

A new survey of 750 European FM professionals reveals that mental health is the biggest challenge they face, with 39% pinpointing it as a critical issue. According to the Voice of the Facility Manager report from real estate tech company MRI Software, this feedback is unsurprising given that heavy workloads and increased job demands have likewise emerged as a major concern.

The research shows that 70% of the respondents work beyond their contracted time, with nearly a third (30%) working at least 10 additional hours each week—and over one in 10 (12%) putting in more than 20 extra hours weekly. On the positive side, 54% affirm that they still enjoy their work to varying degrees and 60% feel they have a good work-life balance, according to the findings.

“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 well-being,” said James Massey, managing director of facilities management at MRI Software. “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, utilize data, monitor buildings, manage energy usage, and predict maintenance hotspots.”

In looking at tech trends in the industry, the report reveals that 30% of respondents see new technology and digital disruption as an opportunity and 20% 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%) or essential to embrace (20%).

The report reveals that two-thirds (67%) of the FM professionals surveyed are considering changing or adopting new FM software, with 38% saying their aim is to boost efficiency and productivity. All respondents report using technology in some form, and 31% say they are employing multiple systems. These include FM software (56%), contractor management software (40%), visitor management software (37%), incident reporting software (37%), and leasing software (33%).

Other key findings in the report include:

  • 54% believe FM will involve tech-enabled tools over the next five years, with 50% also seeing more responsibilities being outsourced.
  • 35% have invested in artificial intelligence (AI) or automation software in the last 18 months.
  • 44% like or love creating a sustainable workplace as part of their job.
  • 46% of FM budgets have increased over the last three years while 24% have stayed the same.
  • 52% of FM professionals are to some degree satisfied with the flexibility of their role, with 12% always working remotely and 68% working remotely some of the time.

Download the full report here.

ALSO READ: 7 Ways to Make Facilities Better for Mental Health

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