The FM Professional

4 Roles That Startup C-Suite Execs Should Expect to Take On

David Spence
January 19th, 2017
startup employees sitting around a table

Your startup may not have the resources or urgent need to hire an office manager just yet. However, there are certain office management–related tasks that need to be assigned, no matter the size of the company. As a C-Suite executive, it likely falls to you to take on these responsibilities in the interim—however long that may be.

We’ll take a look at four roles you should expect to assume so you can be equipped to handle any situation effectively.

Workplace safety

fire extinguisher and hose reel

A key issue for facility managers is maintaining workplace safety. There are many potential risks in an office, and without a dedicated FM, this task will fall to the executive team. Responsibilities include the following:

  • Ensure the workplace is up-to-code and in compliance with applicable state, federal and OSHA regulations.
  • Hold office safety training sessions. This can involve basic safety protocols (e.g. what to do in case an employee is injured or a break-in occurs) and equipment demonstrations.
  • Conduct emergency safety measures such as fire drills.

Office security

using a laptop

Protecting company data is critical. Besides a loss in clients and reputation, a data breach can have a major financial impact on a business, from legal review and forensics to identity theft protection services for affected individuals.

The average total cost of a hack is $4 million.

Facilities management can help keep confidential office data safe from physical theft or loss. A company without a FM will have to take care of the following tasks:

  • Perform regular security system tests.
  • Track computers, printers and other company assets. (A resource tracking tool can help simplify the process.)
  • Establish building management procedures such as visitor and vendor policies.
  • Strengthen internal systems by setting up firewalls and holding cybersecurity training sessions.

Office layout

open office layout

The design of an office is linked to productivity. That means facility managers are responsible for developing an effective layout that will keep employees comfortable and satisfied. In the absence of a FM, you may have to:



Contractor management

window washer on side of building

Working with a wide variety of vendors is central to facilities management, so this is another role that C-Suite execs can expect to oversee. Here are a few primary tasks:

  • Vet potential contractors. Doing some research beforehand and outlining your expectations will help you find contractors that meet your needs.
  • Prepare and track work agreements.
  • Review and approve invoices for services performed.
  • Maintain constant communication. You’ll need to develop a strong relationship with your contractors to ensure the best service possible.

As you can see, companies without facility managers aren’t exempt from handling FM-related tasks. While you can delegate some of these duties, it’s important that you become familiar with these roles so that your startup can run smoothly—and continue to grow.

Photos: Startup Stock Photos, Oluwaseun Duncan, Unsplash, Peshkova /, Adam Birkett