With one of the fastest growing and most developed technology sectors in Europe, the UK is well placed to take advantage of the significant opportunities offered by artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data, blockchain and other new technologies.
Indeed, Government has placed technology at the heart of its Industrial Strategy, recognising its potential to boost productivity - where the UK lags well behind our G7 rivals – and to drive innovation for the benefit of business, workers and consumers alike.
However, accelerating automation also poses significant challenges, and concerns - perhaps overstated - have been raised by some sources that up to 30% of UK jobs are at high risk of automation by 2030. Many jobs will be enhanced by technology and many will disappear; however, many new, as yet unknown, jobs will be created, particularly within SMEs and the gig economy. Therefore, businesses and Government need to ensure that workers are reskilled and able to enjoy the benefits of automation such as better-quality jobs and improved job satisfaction.
Technology will be one of the most significant influences on the workplace and facilities management profession in the future. FM professionals hold the key to unlocking the potential and value of new tech, not only in automating more mundane tasks, but also in making people more efficient in roles that will still require human skills. Specific applications will enable FMs to make better, data-driven decisions on safety, efficiency and compliance, helping the profession to deliver more effective and productive workplaces for UK plc and to retain its status as one the world’s most advanced FM markets.