How would you define facilities management? It’s one of those terms that many people are familiar with but then struggle to explain very precisely. And, as it’s a profession that actually covers many different disciplines, that’s very understandable!
At its heart though is the need to ensure the effective, efficient and safe functionality of all types of built environments. But when you think about what it takes to achieve that, given all the complex interactions needed between people, places, processes and technology, you can appreciate why it’s not a function that can be summed up in just a few words. And its diverse nature means something that many people don’t immediately realise. Facilities management isn’t just about ‘maintaining the status quo’; it has the potential to offer some substantial benefits to businesses too.
How does facilities management help businesses?
Let’s start off with probably the most obvious benefit of all – compliance. Clearly there are essential requirements in terms of your building complying with regulations and legislation. And that’s something facilities management is involved with. Keeping people safe from fire, ensuring your water systems are safe, managing asbestos issues, keeping the building clean and hygienic – the list goes on. But the impact of good facilities management goes further than that.
1. Increased wellbeing
For instance, think about the impact of providing your employees (or other building users) with a building designed to give them the best environment they can have. It’s inevitable that budgets and the building itself create constraints to work within, but the role of facilities management is to help you achieve the best possible environment within those limits. And providing employees with a good working environment can have an impact on all kinds of factors – happiness, better productivity, even retention.
It doesn’t have to be a state of the art refurbishment. Simply maintaining and working with what you already have still sends out the message that you want to give your employees the best environment you can. Just a few simple ergonomic alterations can transform a workplace – even adding some plants can be a start!
2. Improved use of space
Every business needs to make sure its building is being used as efficiently as possible and facilities management professionals are experts in advising you how you can do that. In many instances it isn’t possible to physically increase the amount of floor space available so instead you need to consider ways to utilise space better. Quite often people end up living with inadequate arrangements when all it would take are some simple cost-effective changes to improve the use of space.
3. Better environmental performance
Finding ways to improve your building’s energy efficiency is a vital contribution towards making your business more sustainable while also reducing costs. Are windows and doors poorly insulated and is heat escaping the building as a result? Are you on top of your maintenance? Leaks and worn parts in compressors, pumps, fans and HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) systems can all cause inefficiencies and lead to energy waste.
4. A good first impression
Consider the impact of your building on a visitor. A potential new recruit perhaps, or a customer or client. You want to give them the best impression possible and if your facilities are clean and welcoming that can be a very good start.
A well maintained building may not feel like your top business priority but there are many reasons why it matters – all of which ultimately can affect your bottom line. If you’d like some support with managing your facilities, EIS offers you a completely flexible approach to help ensure compliance while achieving all the other benefits effective FM management has to offer too.