[Skip to content]

FM World logo
Text Size: A A A
18 June 2018
View the latest issue of FM
Sign up to FM World Daily >
FM World daily e-newsletter logo


Finland - pekka Matvejeff

FM’s shift from physical maintenance to people and performance - and the need for better skilled workers - dominate the continent’s FM development themes in 2017.

Finland Pekka Matvejeff

15 May 2017 | Martin Read and Jamie Harris

As the current chair of EuroFM, Pekka Matvejeff is in a good position to compare and contrast how FM is perceived and practised across the continent.

“The Dutch culture is similar to Finland, and partly to Sweden, while German speaking countries approach FM from architecture and engineering thinking - it’s about the buildings - while Eastern European countries are generally in the development phase in FM in terms of education and business. They’re on a different stage.”

As for Finland, it’s slowly shifting from physical maintenance to more of a people and service business. The way FM is perceived in Finland is in a similar mould to the Netherlands and the rest of Scandinavia.

“If Finland wants to keep high levels of service, our labour force just isn’t enough, so more immigration is required,” says Matvejeff. “Germany has a similar issue, but on a bigger scale. We are in constant in need of new people. Students who graduate are employed immediately.”

The service sector is strong, with bigger players such as ISS and indigenous Finnish firms taking increasing amounts of market share. However, less than fifty per cent of public sector services are outsourced, suggesting significant opportunity. The country is restructuring its health and social care services, the new legislation allowing more room for private service providers.

The Finnish FM market benefits from the country’s advanced start up environment, with FM service providers in a position to introduce new technological innovations with apps and the IoT to the fore.

Geographically, Finland is large enough for the Netherlands to fit inside it eight times. But its population is relatively small - just 5.5 million. Around one third of Finland’s population lives in the metropolitan area of the capital Helsinki, and Finland’s size affects how FM operates across the country.

“It’s a struggle to outsource FM services in the more remote areas - sometimes they don’t get anyone bidding for the work.”

But the country is developed enough that keeping FM in-house in these areas is a good thing, says Matvejeff.


“You get people living in those areas with steady jobs in facilities management - they are perhaps more motivated."

The service business is in a strong position, with bigger players such as ISS and large Finnish firms getting bigger markets shares. 

There is currently a restructuring of health and social care services in Finland. The new legislation effectively means there is more room for private service providers.

“The outsourced percentage in the public sector is less than 50 per cent – there’s a big opportunity there.”

We're broadcasting live at 12 noon BST on World FM Day, Wednesday 17 May. You'll be able to hear audio interviews with some of the international correspondents mentioned above, as we capture a snapshot of FM across the globe in 2017, as well as live discussion on the issues and themes that have arisen. Tune in here.

Emma Potter
Facilities Management Worldwide