Posted on 04/13/2015

By Lora Mays, Product Marketing Manager

With approximately 10,000 baby boomers retiring from the workforce each day, there’s a significant shift occurring in the workplace. More and more millennials, who were brought up with technology at their fingertips, are entering the workforce and impacting the way organizations do business and how they treat their employees.

Impact on facilities management

The average age of a facilities manager in the U.S. is 49 years old, according to IFMA. Considering the general working population is an average age of 43, this age gap continues to worry companies and those within the profession.

To add to it, millennials aren’t jumping into the career as fast as people are retiring out of it; recent reports show that less than 10 percent of those working in facilities management are under 34 years old.

It could be that millennials aren’t aware of the career – in a survey of recent college graduates, less than half had ever even heard about it. On top of that, less than 1 percent said they were planning careers in facilities management.

Because of this, there’s an increased focus on educating young professionals about the career, its benefits and what a day looks like in the profession. Focusing on building the interest of younger generations ensures that the profession will continue to grow and expand its reach within organizations. After all, the career has changed drastically over the past decade and it’s anticipated that it will continue to evolve as organizations emphasize the need for data analytics to make decisions and manage their facilities needs.

How it transforms the work environment

In addition to facing challenges within the career itself, the generational shift within the workplace has transformed the business culture. As curators of the company’s environment, facilities managers are challenged with the changing face of the workforce.

Younger generations, for instance, seek open floor plan designs. They’ve been brought up in environments that focus on teamwork and collaboration, with many schools adopting large tables for students to sit together rather than individual desks. When they enter the working world, they often seek a similar setup.

These floor plans have been met with lukewarm results from other generations, who aren’t as open to giving up their cubicles and offices for a more communal working environment. Balancing these differing generational demands only adds complexity to the role of facilities managers.

On top of that, technology solutions – like laptops and smart phones – have made it easier than ever for people to work outside the office at another location or even remotely from their home. As a result, companies must adapt workspaces for hoteling and quick reservation changes.

While the workplace evolves faster than before with the generational shift, facilities managers must adapt to these changes in their operations and as an employer. Within their department, there’s a need to excite younger generations to join the dynamic workforce. As a business, they must adapt to the cultural shift found in today’s corporate working environments.

Click here for our on-demand webinar, “Mastering space management with today’s mobile workforce.”

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