2020 has been a whirlwind for businesses, families, and most individuals across the country. The COVID-19 pandemic put many industries to a halt, and has forever changed the way businesses will operate. Luckily, the maintenance industry has been able to thrive, as it does through most recessions. However, the novelty of the coronavirus has impacted operations and employee protocols for many of us.
Below are some of the trends we expect to see in 2021 in reaction to the changes in the maintenance industry this year:
Significant cost-cutting in business operations.
2020 has hit many businesses hard financially. With months of closures and some businesses not being able to reopen at full capacity, they will be looking for ways to cut costs without cutting employees. In the facility maintenance industry, it is predicted that most companies will cut costs by switching to automated work order management and other operational systems. By reducing costs through automation, there will be more room to bring back core staffing.
Growth in smart buildings.
Technologies such as smart HVAC systems, alternative energy, and efficient lighting will become even more popular in 2021. With luck, the nation’s economy will bounce back with an emphasis on long-term cost savings. Creating a “smart” facility is one of the best ways for businesses to cut costs-long term, so there will likely be an increase in these investments as the economic climate improves.
In addition to advancements in energy-efficiency, many maintenance teams predict the implementation of self-cleaning and repairing appliances. Self-cleaning windows, self-performing vacuums, or self-performing maintenance monitoring installations will aid maintenance teams in cutting costs and saving resources for more delicate maintenance work.
Increase in workforce talent pool.
As the country faced a recession, millions of Ameicans lost their jobs. This has changed the focus of the workforce from long-term to short-term, and will change the views of high school and college students entering the workforce. They will likely be looking for recession-proof careers, as many also faced the 2008 recession in early childhood. This could lead to an increased interest in trade school, and therefore a greater pool of talent in fields such as plumbing, electrical work, and HVAC repair.
2021 will bring many exciting changes to the facility maintenance industry. If facilities want to be prepared, they must adopt the latest technology and find innovative ways to recruit a new type of maintenance workforce. These changes will be difficult for some, but will launch others to new levels of innovation and success.
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