The International Facility Management Association (IMFA) defines facility management as:
“A profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure [the] functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process, and technology.”
- Set the criteria for the space
- Research a potential properties and landlords
- Ensure the space fits your needs.
- Create a capital budget (allow for the replacement of office equipment (trash cans, coffee makers, etc…) and furniture)
- Create a system to organize supplies, collect refuse, and handle recycling.
- Have as few break rooms as possible. This will help facilitate interactions between staff.
- Hold company events (a monthly birthday lunch, departmental, brown bags, etc.) at the office to help increase morale.
The term “facility” refers to spaces such as office, warehouse, retail space, and factories.
A facility is not solely the office space or building itself but everything included inside from your employees and customers/clients to the equipment inside the space. A Facilities department is responsible for making sure everything is in working order and properly maintained. Just like your personal car, your space will need regular upkeep from regular cleaning, to a periodic deep cleaning of the floors, areas that need repainting, and furniture, floor, and wall coverings that need to be replaced.
The IFMA has identified eleven core competencies of facility management that include the following:
- Communication (this can be handled by your IT department)
- Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity
- Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
- Finance and Business
- Human Factors
- Leadership and Strategy
- Operations and Maintenance
- Project Management
- Real Estate and Property Management
When looking for a new facility a few things to consider
- Do clients visit your office on a regular basis?
- The size of your reception area
- The cost of parking and is it easy for clients and employees to use?
- The overall design of your space: Open, cubes, offices, or some sort of hybrid?
- Remember to take into account if your industry or departments require privacy (such as HR) while and open design might work for a team of web developers.
- The cost of CAM (Common Area Maintenance) costs, such as the cost of the building lobby, elevator, restrooms, and hallways.
- Building security
- Upkeep of the office building and the surrounding area
- Suite number, suite 300 sounds more impressive than suite 305.
What are the responsibilities of a Facility Manager?
Beyond the scope of just building/office space maintenance management a facilities manager has other responsibilities such as:
- Finding the best way to allocate workspace and general oversight of the facility.
- Make sure the company remains compliant with government regulations such as ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) in the US or in the EU the European accessibility act that assist people with disabilities
Facility managers are also responsible for complying with OSHA regarding dealing with hazardous materials (HazMat), and maintaining a general overall safe working environment.
- In the US ensuring the facility is up to date with the latest BOMA standards
There is software available to better manage a facility to keep track of spaces, physical assets, and maintenance records.
The Objectives of a Facility Manager
The facilities manager has a range of responsibilities some of these include:
- Overseeing that the facility runs efficiently as possible.
- Ensuring the safety of workers and customers.
- Making sure building codes and government regulations are met.
- Saving money whenever possible.
- Finding ways to boost productivity.
- Creating an environment that is pleasing to both clients and customers.