As I’ve written over the past two weeks, facilities managers handle the work orders that flow in from their coworkers. Is it frigidly cold on your floor? The FM will adjust the temperature. Something wrong with the fax machine? The FM will send someone to fix it. These issues can have a negative impact on employees and affect the quality of their work. Facilities can deal with distractions both large and small, so that workers can knock the tasks off their to-do list with ease.
FMs also keep track of industry best practices to help produce a happier, healthier workforce. Besides dealing with logistical issues, like uncomfortable temperatures and broken equipment, facilities managers also learn about more subtle things affecting employee morale, like ergonomics and physical surroundings. Findings on comfortable office furniture are just as important to them as research on the latest innovations in facilities technology.
By giving workers resources like wayfinding software, FMs can cut down on the time workers would normally spend looking for empty conference rooms and copy machines. This can be a great help for newer employees who don’t know their way around yet, or for seasoned veterans who have to venture up to a floor they’ve never been to before. It can even be a benefit for office visitors: With a computerized map to help them, any employee can direct guests to exactly where they need to be, even if they’ve never been there themselves.
When it’s time for the company to pack up and move to a larger space, FMs are responsible for coordinating the move. Their duties can range from polling workers to learn about the issues in the current space, to finding a space that meets employee and CEO criteria as well as their own, to giving workers a tour of the new building and guiding them through the moving process. They do all this under a certain timeframe, knowing that any hours lost on the move translates to dollars removed from the company’s bottom line.
Facilities managers can also handle smaller moves, like when an employee is promoted and moves from one floor to the next. This may not sound like much, but it can be a complex process that involves working with IT, HR, the move team, and of course, facilities. The FM is the person who facilitates this move, ensuring that it’s as smooth as possible so that everyone involved can spend more time on other projects.
Facilities managers aim to improve the company’s bottom line. They may do this by analyzing a building’s energy usage and suggesting improvements to cut down on utility bills, or by experimenting with different office layouts to see what works best for employees. Whatever the means, facilities managers seek the best ways for the company to remain profitable, and therefore productive.
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