How increasing individualization and workforce diversity will impact FM

Organizations will have to balance the needs of more diverse and individual-oriented workforces. There will be more mobile workers, older employees, educated woman, and more globally oriented and sourced personnel. In this blog we look into, how individualization and workforce diversity will impact FM.

One of the most important tasks of Facility Managers in the near future will be to develop intelligent strategies, designs and practices that reflect an increasing number of workers' needs.


Well, a central goal of modern life is to distinguish oneself from others and promote individual over collective goals. We see this in the way customers increasingly expect tailored products and services but also in the way workers increasingly demand customized and personalized workplaces.

Ironically, alongside with increasing individualization - workplaces become more and more diverse. Employees and customers from different cultures, who possess different values and needs will require workplaces, services and products that are customized to their individual demands.

Managing workplaces across generations

Organizations and future offices will have to balance the needs and requirements of four generations. Generation Y (Millennials) will represent the largest new talent pool that companies will recruit from. These will work side by side with new workers over the age of 45 and baby boomers, of which 40% expect to work until they die.

FM providers and workplace strategies will have to make strategic choices in workplace design, as young and older workers tend to be attracted to different working environments. Older workers often demand flexible working arrangements, part-time employments and office designs that complement their increasing acoustic, heat, cold and light sensitiveness. The Generation Y on the other hand, will expect workplaces to be technologically up-to-date, emphasize healthy work-life balance and create a sense of belonging that offer long-term relationship and a professional development opportunity.

All in all, identifying and implementing the right workplace amenities strategy will challenge FM providers and workplace strategies, as different generations bring different values, needs, degrees of familiarity with technology, and expectations to the workplace.

The workforce will become even more global

Globalization of markets has caused global mobility and this in return has resulted in the emergence of new talent pools from low and middle income countries. Global companies are increasingly focusing to attract local employees in foreign markets to gain a better understanding of local customs and to better serve the customers needs. Growth of virtual work, global nomads, and one-way relocations will challenge organizations on how to attract, motivate and communicate to their employees with different cultural backgrounds and expectations.

To create a motivating and engaging workplace for more globally connected, but still culturally diverse employees, FM providers will be called upon to help facilitate the creation of customized workplaces that balance the individual needs of the worker and local workplace behaviors, while supporting core business strategies and maintaining a common corporate identity.

Opportunity for FM providers

The increasing workforce diversity and focus on individualization, puts organizations and facility managers in a challenging situation. In the nearest future, both parties need to put efforts in developing processes, designs and strategies where individualized mass customization will be more a norm than exception.

There is an opportunity for FM providers, to help organizations attract, retain and motivate a more diverse employee base in organizations as well as create, adapt and implement workplace strategies to different local needs and cultural requirements. In order to assist core organisations in aligning workplace strategies, FM providers can:

  • Monitor a company’s performance requirements, employee profile, and organizational culture in order to select the most relevant amenities for employees
  • Amplify companies’ strategic agility by differentiating between office in-house amenities and the ones provided by external partners and the local community
  • Differentiate office amenities depending on local context and infrastructure needs. For example, office-provided daycare is important in Germany, but not important across the border in Denmark, where government provided daycare is the norm.

Learn more about, which megatrends will influence our workplaces towards 2020 here or expand your insights even more by downloading the ISS New Ways of Working whitebook.

To what extent does increasing individualization and workforce diversity influence your everyday worklife? Join our discussion below.