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Change in UK FM market charted by RICS study

24 September 2020

Headline results from the latest UK FM market study by RICS shows that demand for healthcare services has increased considerably, with the opposite effect emerging from the retail sector.

These results are, of course, “heavily influenced by the ongoing pandemic”, according to the RICS statement.

When questioned about readiness of facilities to comply with the latest government guidance, 51% of respondents said their buildings were fully prepared to operate with social distancing guidelines in place.

A scale of one to six was used, with six representing facilities that were completely prepared, resulting in an average rating of 5.4.

This showed an increase of .7 from the May study, which showed a rating of 4.7.

Over the next 12 months, workplace and relocation management is expected to see the highest levels of growth.

High demand for cleaning, strategic planning and project management is also expected over the year ahead.

Concerns continue to be expressed for catering services, in addition to those required by the retail sector.

With concerns for employment being heard around the UK as the government’s furlough scheme is wound down, 11% of respondents reported an increase in their FM staff numbers.

This was reduced from figures of 28% and 47% in the two previous RICS FM sector studies, however.

Respondents further reported that -19% expected their staff numbers to reduce in the year ahead.

Although workloads are expected to increase over the next 12 months, profit margins are predicted to reduce and this is also expected to impact on investment in apprenticeships and training.

The study also looked at trends within client requirements and sustainability was shown to be an important requirement for 63% of respondents, rising from 56% in the previous two surveys.

Other areas showing strong demand included energy management, health and wellbeing.

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