As businesses plan for workplace changes in 2016, five trends seem to be dominating the conversation, according to research conducted by Boston-based software company Planon, the global leader in Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS).

According to Planon’s research, here are the top five real estate and facility management trends that are expected to have far-reaching effects in 2016:

  • The Internet of Things will be applied: Going well beyond consumer functionality, the Internet of Things will help companies improve their bottom line. Affordable sensors are now available that can measure the occupancy of a workplace or meeting room minute-by-minute, providing Big Data for analysis with the right software. Employees will find workspaces via screens with availability on the buildings’ floor plan. Additional functionality in apps can help users to check the availability of workspaces by scanning a QR code on a desk or swiping an RFID tag.
  • The need to create a mobile culture: One of the most significant drivers of change is the rise of mobility. Work today is being done everywhere – at the office, at home and on the road. The average workplace occupancy rate is dropping and a large portion of the workforce have private commitments that require flexibility. Organizations that recognize the need for mobility are better placed to attract the right talent. Businesses are striving to become creative, flexible environments where people thrive.
  • Embracing the alternative workplace: Work today is more about the output than the space. Organizations are embracing new ways of working to foster more efficient collaboration, knowledge-sharing, flexibility, speed, innovation and productivity. More than 90% of respondents in Planon’s research agreed that new workplace concepts will improve employee productivity.
  • BIM adoption increases: BIM (Building Information Modeling) holds great promise for facilities management and real estate. Applying BIM and BIM methodologies to manage and operate buildings over their life cycle can deliver tangible value and enable efficiencies for facility managers. They are not merely producing a model of a building. They provide a platform for real-time collaboration, logistics, and quality management.
  • Cloud delivery models continue to transform the workplace: Cloud services have become firmly established primarily in business-to-consumer markets with millions using sophisticated cloud services. Cloud provisioning not only simplifies the management of applications and their infrastructure, it also enables significant IT related cost savings. Cloud adoption in the workplace management space is still in its early stage. As momentum builds, we will see more projects using cloud services in years to come.

“Many of the trends that will come into focus in 2016 already exist today, but their significance is expected to grow and become mainstream in the near future,” said David Karpook, Strategic Business Consultant at Planon. “Today’s facilities management and real estate managers face an increasing need to respond to the evolution of technology and sustainability, ensure compliance, and increase cost efficiency.”

Access to smart assets and facilities will remake offices, hospitals, and universities in ways never seen before, creating better user experiences and improved efficiencies at the same time. Today’s facility managers and real estate managers have to plan for ongoing changes. Using an IWMS can help in bringing all relevant data on systems and spaces together, creating a next step towards professional space management and workplace innovation.

About Planon

With over 30 years of experience, Planon is the leading global provider of software that supports organizations that aim to optimize workplaces, services and assets. Planon delivers innovative software, proven best practices and professional services that increase workplace productivity and cost efficiency. Planon’s software has been completely designed in-house and is fully integrated to deliver reliable management information. Gartner—the leading independent technology research organization—has consistently rated Planon as a global leader in their Magic Quadrant for Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS). Planon has implemented its comprehensive solutions for over 2,000 clients, supported by offices around the world. To learn more about Planon’s IWMS and CAFM software, visit