What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Facilities Manager?
Despite leading critical functions, the role of Facilities managers (FM) is often overlooked. This is surprising, as an FM’s duty is to enhance the physical environment and the safety of its occupants.
Through various processes, a facilities manager helps to improve working spaces throughout a built environment. By doing so, they aim to drive workplace productivity and increase the efficiency of a building’s occupants. This can be so effective that, in a 2019 workplace survey, 73% of responders said their office space helped them perform better at work.
Being responsible for the success of a business’s facility operations, a high-performing facility manager should receive the support and recognition they deserve in order to perform at the highest standards.
In this article, we’ll provide you with a complete overview of the role of a facilities manager. Including FM duties and what a good facility manager looks like. As well as highlighting how Facilities Management Software (CAFM) can enhance the role. We’ll cover:
Why is the Role of a Facilities Manager So Important?
Without a facilities manager, most businesses would struggle to improve the efficiency of their properties. That includes running day-to-day operations, maintaining buildings and retaining a productive workforce.
A facility manager will work on a strategic level across a range of processes. That includes coordinating the demand and supply of facilities services. As well as handling matters relating to your property.
FM’s oversee the health and safety of your occupants too. As well as taking responsibility for any visitors on-site.
Without the right person to manage these tasks, any issues or emergencies may lead to negative outcomes. This impacts your company, the occupants, the assets you hold, and the security of third-party visitors.
In 2019, HSE reported that 1.4 million people were struggling with ill-health as a result of workplace-related incidents. In the same year, 4.7 million working days were also lost due to workplace injuries.
With the recruitment of a facility manager, you ensure that:
- Regular maintenance and building repairs are scheduled and delivered
- Legal or contractual matters are handled efficiently
- Your equipment and amenities are well managed
- Any risk of disruption to output is reduced
- You comply with health and safety regulations
- You support staff to work in a healthy, safe and secure way
- Energy costs are kept low
What Exactly Does a Facilities Manager Do?
The role of a facilities manager can vary depending on the facility and the business. However, there are various processes that most managers will be responsible for. Such as strategic planning, management of day-to-day operations, security and maintenance of buildings. As well as the health and safety of staff and any catering, vendor or cleaning requirements.
As head of a facilities management function, facility managers will work across a range of disciplines. The two main categories include “hard services” and “soft services”.
Hard facilities management tasks
Hard FM tasks relate to buildings, premises or the physical space. They include:
- Property strategy, design and planning
- On and off-site building management
- Implementing pro-active, reactive, or preventive maintenance approaches
- Contract management and report writing
- Business continuity
- Space management
Maintenance of buildings and workspaces
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
- Lighting and electrical inspections
- Mechanical systems such as lifts and escalators
- Fire safety systems
- Emergency responses
Soft facilities management tasks
Soft FM relates to the services that businesses depend on to provide a safe workspace or building. They cover:
Processes and procedures
- Health and safety management
- Building Security
- Waste management services
- Budget management
- Site visitors/checking in guests
- Contract management for third-party vendors or suppliers
- Supporting staff and supervising teams across departments
- Workspace management and office moves
- Consulting on cross-team facilities
- Interior design and décor
- Cleaning and washing facilities
What Does a Good Facility Manager Look Like?
Facilities managers take lead on managing a business’s property and buildings. They are responsible for facilities team members such as technicians and project managers.
To perform well, a facility manager needs to show a mix of experience, skill, knowledge and pro-activeness. Becoming an FM can take a variety of routes such as attending university and training courses. Some employers may prefer to see competency-based credentials, such as those provided by the IFMA.
The perfect facilities manager should have four key qualities. A facility manager must be:
Recruiting the right manager to your property will improve the efficiency of your core business activities. To enable this, a good FM should take a strategic approach for planning and management tasks. Through the contracts they arrange and KPI’s they devise, facilities managers will deliver value to your bottom line. While enhancing company culture, business reputation and the engagement with employees.
For staff to be productive, they need an appropriate space to work in. If there’s a problem with your building, you’ll need someone to fix it. It’s essential, then, that an FM has great communication skills. To deliver results, they need to understand the problems that arise and factor these in their decision-making.
Having the right people-skills is something that Jurrian Hommes considers one of the most important skills. The owner of the LinkedIn group ‘Integrated Facility Management‘, claims:
“It’s not just about the ‘desk’ job and all the processes. It’s about what your guests (and employees) experience every day when passing through your department.”
To enhance productivity, a strong FM should be able to translate workplace strategies into relatable, people-focused examples and provide people-focused solutions.
Continuous improvement should be at the forefront of your facility manager’s mind. As should knowledge of the latest trends, too. This can come from creating innovative approaches. As well as reviewing existing arrangements or contracts to find better cost-effective solutions.
They should also be comfortable implementing new processes or using technology to enhance systems.
Throughout their role, facilities managers will work with plenty of data. Such as financial planning, legal and regulatory issues, contract terms, building plans and workspace requirements. They need to know how to manage this information and how to use it to improve operations. As well as how to protect valuable information being accessed by the wrong personnel.
Handling valuable data is where a CAFM system can help.
How Can CAFM Software Enhance the Job of a Facilities Manager?
Computer-aided Facilities Management can drive efficiencies across all of your operations. As a tool, the software supports your facilities teams and improves overall business outcomes.
A CAFM system can store and manage data regarding business assets, equipment, workspace and maintenance history.
Using this tool enables users to plan strategically and manage resources in a cost-effective way. Some key benefits of using facilities management software include:
Increasing workplace efficiency
Storing and accessing real-time data allows users to review how the company uses its resources. This speeds up the move management process and reduces any potential interruption in the workplace.
Facilities management software also enables leaders and managers to be more effective when delegating tasks.
A CAFM tool will help improve your asset management, which can help reduce expenses. This is most effective through accurate inventory management and planned procurement. As well as effective maintenance to prolong asset life cycles.
Effectively reviewing and planning your space management can also help reduce operational costs. Eventually helping to prevent needless capital investment.
Improving strategic processes
Whether proactive, preventative or reactive, CAFM software can support the use of various maintenance strategies. Proactive maintenance can reduce maintenance bills by up to 70%, so it’s worth considering how CAFM software could improve your overall ROI.
Providing agility and accessibility
A cloud-based or SaaS CAFM enables users to manage data from remote locations using mobile devices. When you need to access important data such as contact details, contract terms or statistical analysis, a cloud-based solution provides agility while protecting your data.