Three Basics of Facilities Management
Published: 24 June 2019 - Sarah Mead
Small and mid-sized businesses rarely think about facilities management until the environment they are operating in is so bad that they cannot function. We often do not realise how much facilities managers do. In fact, we often give them tasks that really are not their purview, or they are asked to follow the latest trends instead of sticking to the fundamentalist that impact the entire organisation. Here are the three basics of facilities management.
Health and wellbeing
This takes a variety of forms. It includes a clean environment, though picking up trip hazards in the hall impacts safety as well. Providing adequate lighting and ventilation is necessary to health. Providing clean bathrooms and sufficient sanitation facilities affects both comfort and health. Giving people healthy choices in the break area and sufficient relaxation facilities improves their productivity and health.
On the flip side, stuffy rooms that are too hot or too cold will destroy productivity and contribute to absenteeism. Poor indoor air quality hurts employee comfort and productivity as well. You should have good air filters that remove outdoor air pollutants that make it indoors, as well as indoor pollutants like mold, cleaning chemicals and dust.
Water filtration can be another step facilities managers take to improve the health and wellbeing of their building’s occupants. There are many water filter types, and they can do everything from removing bacteria and parasites in the water to the metal and mineral particles that make the water taste bad. Retailers like The Discount Filter Store, for instance, offer filters that fit into refrigerator water dispensers, shower filters, and advanced reverse osmosis water filters that are the only system certified to remove arsenic.
A facility manager may not be able to meet everyone’s requirements, but you may be able to offer things like orthopedic chairs that dramatically improve worker morale. Take the time to ask employees what they would like to see done. A business may find that small changes done to improve the overall comfort of the environment improve productivity and morale for everyone.
Safety includes things like walkways without trip hazards and well-marked steps so that people do not fall down them. It includes fire extinguishers and sprinklers that protect people from fires. Facilities managers should implement processes and procedures to ensure the safety of residents. This includes inspecting elevators, holding fire drills and fixing electrical issues as soon as they are reported. Have a system in place to accept reports of hazards so that they can be fixed. Health and safety risk assessments should be done regularly so that you can identify and mitigate any risk to employees and visitors.
Security incorporates processes, procedures and facility design elements that make people feel safe. It can include proximity cards so that only those with permission to enter the building can do so. It can include security guards and a staffed reception desk to prevent unauthorized access as well as handle minor tasks like receiving packages for those working or living in the building. You could implement policies such as ensuring that occupants are never alone in the building; then there is always assistance or a witness available should something happen. You can choose to escort people to their cars at night or have security patrol the parking lot.
Facilities management is the backbone of any business’s operations. You cannot afford to neglect the environment people work in and expect them to do good work or want to work for you for very long.