The FM Professional

Why Change Doesn’t Scare Facilities Managers

David Spence
March 25th, 2014

Facilities Managers are “Agents of Change”

1. They Handle Office Moves

In Burton’s article, Pinsent Masons senior facilities manager Dave Ash points out that moves are one of the biggest changes a business can make. He’s absolutely right, and the FM is responsible for every step in the process. From identifying prospective buildings to presiding over the actual move-in day activities, an FM handles all of the different changes required of relocation. Without someone to lead the move, organizations would have a difficult time maintaining their regular operations without any missteps.

 

2. They Make Spaces More Efficient

Part of an FM’s job is to keep track of who’s sitting where and what spaces are empty. To keep costs low, they must know how much or how little of the office is being used at any given time. Armed with this information, they might make changes in the distribution of space. For example, they may consolidate workers on one floor instead of letting them use the one that gets very little traffic otherwise, thus saving the business energy costs.

 

3. They’re the Go-Between for Staff and Executives

Most companies have some sort of system for employees to suggest ideas and voice their opinions to the executive board: surveys, suggestion boxes, online submission forms, etc. However, the FM is often the one with the hard data that can convince the C-suite that something like instituting a flexible work policy would indeed be a good idea. FMs can be agents of change by listening to their coworkers’ opinions, gathering data on the topic and then presenting their case to executives.

 

4. They Shape the Office Culture

An office environment can be a major defining influence on an office. Workers who sit under dim lighting in a gray cubicle farm? Probably not as engaged as those who sit in a colorful, smartly designed office. The facilities manager can make all the difference here. He or she decides things like whether the office could use more windows, more plants, different art, a new color scheme, etc. They have the ability to raise office morale, just by making a few changes here or there.

 

5. They Make Important Judgment Calls

In addition to making changes that their colleagues may easily recognize, FMs may also make changes that aren’t as visible. For operations to run smoothly, FMs must pay close attention to the facility’s assets, such as its HVAC system or power generators. They may decide that the cost of maintaining the old generator far outweighs the cost of upgrading. In these cases, making change may be necessary to keep the company’s budget in good shape.

 

As all of these points show, handling change is a large part of an FM’s job. Thankfully, many different tools are available to help them along the way. For tracking seating and making office moves, for example, they can use OfficeSpace software. Our reports on from-to moves and total occupancy for each branch location show you where and how your space is being used. Our office planning tool lets you visualize how the new office should be set up before the first moving van ever arrives. With OfficeSpace, any changes you make can be easy and painless.

photo credit: viZZZual.com via photopin cc

 

 

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