For the past few years, Building Operating Management has surveyed facility managers about changes in capital budgets and staffing levels. Step by small step, those numbers have improved. While the changes from year to year have not been dramatic, the cumulative shift is noteworthy.
In 2012, the first year we asked about capital budgets, 30 percent of respondents reported increases in the previous year, and 30 percent noted cuts. Last year, 45 percent said that their capital budgets had risen, while only 12 percent indicated that capital budgets had fallen.
There was good news on the staffing front as well. We started gathering those numbers in 2009, in the depths of the Great Recession. That year, 45 percent of respondents reported job losses in the facility department, while only 18 percent said they had added jobs. The picture last year was much brighter, with 30 percent reporting staffing gains and 14 percent reporting cuts. (Click here for more from the survey.)
Those numbers suggest both an opportunity and a challenge for facility managers. A new building or a major renovation is a chance to improve on the status quo, whether that’s making more effective use of space, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, introducing health and wellness measures, improving controls, or taking better advantage of data. An additional staff member represents an opportunity to enhance operations. Of course, any sort of improvement takes time and hard work, but the most effective facility leaders understand the importance of seizing opportunities to achieve long term gains.
The spirit of improvement is behind the design changes in the January issue of Building Operating Management. The refreshed look of the magazine is part of a larger transformation of the way our editorial team provides information to facility managers. We now produce more online-exclusive content than in the past, and we highlight that on the Facilitiesnet.com page of each issue. To reflect our involvement in NFMT, we’ve added that logo to the cover and created a new Education page. While the individual changes are modest, together they reflect our commitment to keep fresh eyes on the industry and to provide you with a full range of choices for getting the information you want.