Professional organizations exist as beacons of information—resources where practitioners can find information, insight, data, news, and advice. For facilities managers, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is the gold standard. IFMA sponsors events, offers credentialing, hosts community forums, and publishes a well-voiced facility management magazine.

IFMA’s magazine is of particular importance to facility managers. When they’re unable to attend IFMA events or participate in professional development opportunities, IFMA’s FMJ magazine serves as a way to stay up-to-date and informed. Here’s a look at why every facility manager and space planning professional should subscribe to FMJ or a similar facility management magazine.

Up-to-date information on best practices

The most important role of a professional organization is maintaining the highest caliber of reputability within the industry. Often, the feature of a facility management journal focuses on best practices and evolving standards. Exemplifying these practices through features is the best way to align followers, ensuring they’re up-to-speed and acting accordingly.

Take a look at the January/February 2020 feature in FMJ magazine, titled Focus on FM Technology. It focuses on teaching facility professionals about the office Internet of Things (IoT) and the ways they can leverage it into better facilities management. Without features and articles like this, facility managers might fall behind on current industry trends.

News and highlights from case studies

Case studies help FM professionals immerse themselves in a different modality of facilities management. Innovation in one area of practice might not translate directly to another, but it could springboard new ideas and innovations. Cross-exposure to other facility concepts helps professionals further their own skills and understanding.

Check out the museum-specific case study about facility management from the May/June 2019 issue of FMJ magazine, titled Preserving Ancient Artifacts: How museums use advanced technologies to protect collections, staff, and visitors. It’s a niche look at facility management, highlighting successful strategies that others might adopt or use to better their own practices.

New research and data about workplace governance

Research provides backing for trends and informs decision-making within the industry. Contextualizing data in a magazine article helps readers to understand how it might affect them. Do they need to change the way they manage certain aspects of the workplace? Re-tool their approach to management? Brace for a new trend? Staying up-to-date through a magazine helps keep facility managers ahead of the curve, instead of behind it.

The March/April 2019 issue of FMJ magazine has a great example of this, in an article titled Is FM Prepared for a Technical Labor Shortage. It’s an insightful look at industry trends and how they impact the workplace. Backed by thorough research and factual data, it’s an educational piece facility managers can take heed of.

Educational tips and insights

Facility management is a rising profession, growing more in-demand by the day. Like any area of professional practice, education is key in training and maintaining a capable workforce. Even facility managers who’ve completed IFMA certifications or other formal education can benefit from education tips and insights laid out in an FM magazine. Think of it as a forum for professionals to share their secrets, so everyone can improve.

The standards section in the November/December 2019 issue of FMJ magazine offers a great example. Is Your Facility Passing its Annual Performance Review? focuses on learning how to set, monitor, and report KPIs to stakeholders and executives in a meaningful way.

Products and solutions

What type of motion sensor will work best with automated lighting in hallways? What standing desk features does X Brand offer that Y Brand doesn’t? What are other people saying about XYZ floor planning software? Facility managers look for answers like these in magazines and it often saves them the time and trouble of trialing products and solutions themselves.

Any magazine is going to attract advertisers. It’s worth paying attention to the ones in trade journals, since they tend to offer solutions specific to an entire industry’s needs. For example, look at the Innovative Products and Services section of the September/October 2019 issue of FMJ magazine. It’s a veritable showcase of solutions meant to improve facilities.

Upcoming event information and past event recap

There are facility planning events across the country throughout the year, and it behooves serious professionals to attend them. But not every person can attend every event, which makes facility management magazines an important resource. For events you can’t attend, recaps and coverages often surface as feature stories and spotlight articles in industry publications.

Take a look at the July/August 2019 issue of FMJ magazine, at the section about IgniteFM!, a hackathon-style event hosted by IFMA. It does a great job of recapping the event, delivering key takeaways and concepts to readers who couldn’t attend in-person.

Don’t forget, while IFMA’s FMJ magazine might be the gold standard for facility management periodicals, it’s not the only one. Facility Executive Magazine, Facilities Manager Magazine, and Buildings Magazine are all great reads. These publications tend to spotlight specific industries, products, and companies. Add one or all of these to your monthly reading list to stay in the loop.

Keep reading: How to Select Facility Management Software.

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Jonathan writes about asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions in his role as a digital content creator at Eptura. He covers trends across industries, including fleet, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality, with a focus on delivering thought leadership with actionable insights. Earlier in his career, he wrote textbooks, edited NPC dialogue for video games, and taught English as a foreign language. He hold a master's degree in journalism.