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Facilities Management: A Career Guide to Become a Facilities Manager

It is 2021, and there is no shortage of buildings and factories. Employers run the business in the buildings, and employees work in various positions. But who looks after the physical well-being of the building or the facilities? Facilities managers are responsible for facilities management, and it is an evolving career.

Before, office managers would call on a service provider whenever they needed help. Now, there is a whole profession dedicated to ensuring building maintenance. It is known as Facilities Management (FM). The person who manages the well-being of a building is the Facility manager.

According to the British Institute of Facilities Management report, 10% of the country’s population is in the FM sector. As a result, the FM industry has the capacity to become a £139 billion industry by 2021.

This article will give you a clear guide on facilities management and its career path.

Table of Contents

What is Facilities Management?

Facilities Managers at work

Facilities Management (FM) is a multidisciplinary profession. It consists of planning and upgrading, maintenance, and establishing comfortable accommodation. Moreover, FM ensures the safety and efficiency of a building or workplace. All this is done by putting in the right services, people, place, process and technology. It is necessary for every modern complex, hospitals, multi-storied offices or condos.

In fact, facilities management ensures the building is in good health. As a result, it takes care of the building’s problems and system defects and looking after other factors. There are also companies now that outsource all kinds of FM services.

Based on the need for a building and the work done in it, FM services can differ:

  • Real estate and property management
  • Buildings maintenance 
  • Technical infrastructure
  • Lighting
  • Transportation and communication
  • Emergency management
  • IT-services 
  • Furniture
  • Custodial  
  • Grounds maintenance 
  • Other user-specific equipment and appliances

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 specifies a healthy workplace atmosphere. So having an in-house FM team is important for offices. Hiring a third party team will also help to ensure workplace wellbeing and follow laws.

International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) says that FM contributes to business strategy. They do so in the following ways:

  • Impact on operational efficiencies
  • Supporting the productivity of facilities and personnel
  • Managing risks to facilities and personnel
  • Mitigating environmental impacts
  • Promoting sustainable tactics for long-term cost management
  • Leveraging technological solutions
  • Reducing or overcoming effects of natural disasters
  • Guarantee compliance with health and safety law
  • Leveraging security

There are two main areas of Facilities management. Hard Facilities Management and Soft Facilities Management. A facility must go through various services to run efficiently. Furthermore, they must follow laws by including hard and soft facilities management services. 

Hard Facilities Management 

Hard facilities management includes all the physical structures that a building should have. This focuses on space and infrastructure. Most importantly, hard FM helps the workspace to ensure health and safety. By doing so they also maintain the workplace health law. So FM team must abide by the rules and provide for the following:

  • Planning and designing space
  • Construction
  • Gas, plumbing and temperature
  • HVAC systems
  • Lighting, electrical, and mechanical
  • Fire safety systems
  • Building maintenance work

Soft Facilities Management 

Soft facilities management makes a building more welcoming, secure and modern. But soft FM services are not so essential all the time and do not have any necessary law to ensure them. It mainly depends on the business and occupants of the building what soft FM service is required.  Soft FM services are:

  • Catering
  • Cleaning
  • Decoration
  • Ground maintenance 
  • ICT
  • Security service
  • Human resource
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Hospitality

Significantly, facilities management also deals with the Internet of Things (IoT). Buildings that use automated sensors, meters, gauges and smart devices or, in short, IoT. IoT also creates lots of data. FM works with IoT to manage this data and also ensure the IoT system is running smoothly.

What is the Function of Facilities Management?

A well maintained workplace

To know the entire scopes and duty of a facility manager, you have to understand the significance of the job. Facilities management plays a significant role in maintaining any kind of workplace. So here are four main functions of facilities management.

Supporting and Accommodating People

Firstly, FM’s primary focus is on shaping and accommodating a comfortable workplace. Depending on this, FM focuses on managing the people working in the workplace. Additionally, they hire and keep the top talents. They also enhance productivity and establish a positive workplace culture. To ensure this facilities management includes:

  • First, making and coordinating desk arrangements.
  • Second, make the workplace spacious to move freely.
  • Thirdly, they keep records and maintain employee directories.
  • Fourth, cultivating and executing proper emergency plans and procedures.
  • Fifth, ensure a procedure for discipline, relieving stress and grievance. 

Moreover, the facilities manager connects the workplace and its employees. If there are issues about space, safety, and comfort, a facility manager solves them.

Establishing Simplified Process

Secondly, FM works to establish a simple process that will bring order to the workplace. The facilities management team makes the workplace more organised. They do so by creating systems that impact the workplace positively. Hence, here are some activities that facilities management works to simplify:

  • Creating and submitting work order requests
  • Reservation of office spaces
  • Making and enforcing emergency procedures
  • Managing guests and visitors
  • Directory management

Mostly, establishing a simplified work process in workplaces reduces cost and increases efficiency. It also helps the organisation to make progress.

Facilities Upgrade and Maintenance

Thirdly, the functions of FM include upgrading and maintaining the physical building property. So facilities managers have to look after the building, its assets and equipment. First, they ensure that the workplace has everything the particular business needs. Then FM ensures everything is in a stable state. The responsibilities for this function include:

  • Repairing, upgrading and routine maintenance of building infrastructure
  • Cleaning, decorating and maintaining things that are needed regularly in the workplace.
  • On and off-site property management.
  • Finding and maintaining service provider and vendors contract
  • Budgeting cost for all the maintenance and improvement

Chiefly, workplace maintenance and improvement is a large area of facilities management. Significantly, there are a lot of scopes in this area. It is just not about tending the facilities. But it is also about making lasting partnerships, future plans and managing assets.

Health and Safety Management

Fourth, different workplaces have different needs. A major role that FM plays in ensuring its health and safety of a workplace. Furthermore, FM helps to create an atmosphere in the workplace that is healthy for its staff. Besides, some workplaces have hazardous equipment that needs high maintenance. It is the duty of the FM team to maintain them. Some other responsibilities involve:

  • Knowing the latest health and safety rules imposed by the government for workplace
  • Ensuring proper safety precautions.
  • Understanding the equipment and taking necessary steps for maintenance.
  • Forming health and safety protocols

Especially, it is an essential part of FM to check the building’s health and safety. As a consequence, ignoring or failing to do the maintenance may cause a fine. It will also cause loss of staff and customers, and hamper company reputation.

Technology Management

Lastly, workplaces now run on technology and electronic gadgets. It is the role of FM to keep the workplace technologically updated and functioning. Identifying and installing the right tech for the business also falls under the radar of FM. With Technical FM:

  • Employers can get their instructions, work list, and essential related files.
  • The administrator can conduct training sessions, delegate tasks and track activities.
  • Research and understand IoT devices specific to the business.
  • Businesses can integrate IoT devices into everyday facilities processes
  • The workplace can estimate the cost, ROI, and advantage of smart technologies
  • Utilising gathered data to gain a better understanding of the workplace

Thus, FM also holds experts who can handle and use technology and use it to benefit the workplace.

Facilities Management Diploma
The course is designed to help you master the skills which are required to embark upon a successful and rewarding career as a facilities manager.
Facilities Management Diploma
The course is designed to help you master the skills which are required to embark upon a successful and rewarding career as a facilities manager.

What are the Different Types of Facilities Management Careers?

Facilities management careers

There is a wide range of jobs and services that facilities management covers. Firstly, there is variation in the positions of FM. So people can apply for them with low educational requirements. Secondly, some roles oversee and coordinate activity. For this role, you need a college degree. Furthermore, FM certifications or have previous experience in the field is also important. The following are the major types of facilities management:

Cleaning 

Groundskeeping and cleaning is a daily necessity of all kinds of facilities. For schools, hospitals, offices, these roles are essential to keep care of the property. They also help to preserve the property’s value. Besides, maintaining clean surroundings and proper plumbing contribute to a healthy environment.

Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS)

This profession includes the design and upkeep of environmentally friendly, sustainable workplaces. They also promote a safe and healthy work environment. So, professionals in this field must keep up to date with changing workplace laws. Hence, their duty is to ensure that their facility complies with the EHS law. Most importantly, organisations need EHS professionals for avoiding lawsuits, insurance claims, public scandals.

Hardware Inspection & Maintenance

Workplaces need a stable inspector who works to check technical or electric issues. FM ensure fixing the lights to regular maintenance check-ups on elevators. The employee of this discipline does all the routine checks of the thing used in the office space.

Moreover, they ensure that immediate repair is done to damaged objects. Besides, they contact and bargain with service providers to do specific technical work. The employee also regulates and works on increasing each equipment’s lifeline. They also have to know how to reduce costs related to technical issues. Significantly, the people working for this maintenance needs to know FM planning software.

Space Management and Migration

Workplaces transform from time to time. Whether it is the increase of space or staff numbers due to busy seasons or shifting to a new workspace. Without careful planning, this would all be a costly disaster for business. Those in this field can make staffing and space changes run smoothly. The manager also adheres to regulations and plans for all uncertainties. Most importantly, the position has a high value to an organisation.

Transportation and Security Services

In extensive facilities or businesses, they need vehicles for movement. The facilities manager plans and makes transportation solutions too. They also hire drivers and arrange transports according to the needs of the company. To ensure that they plan, track, schedule and execute necessary steps. As a result, the company transportation is done smoothly and efficiently.

Moreover, security services also fall under FM in many establishments. The professionals in this area:

  • Inspect of central alarm systems, 
  • Preventing malfunctioning door triggers, 
  • Monitor and fixing key cards, 
  • Maintain security camera operation and capturing video, 
  • Sets standards for employees are all areas of security service.

Fire Safety

FM also has to see fire safety; the worker must plan prevention and checking things that may cause a fire. The fire safety team contains and puts out if any fire incident occurs. They also plan and ensure safe emergency fire exits for people to move. It significantly includes proper and strategic planning of escape routes. Additionally, they look after the instalment of equipment to use during a fire, just like providing working smoke detectors and looking for adequate fire extinguishers. 

Operational

The operational manager ensures there is organisation and coordination in the workplace. They also look if everything is working smoothly. Firstly, they are in charge of booking the conference room and checking if everything is in its place. Second, they maintain a support desk that is also present to receive and queue. 

Subsequently, they address problems with various necessary office requirements. The operational team handles software that needs IT  assistance. In addition, they take over mechanical issues such as jammed copy machines. They also help to coordinate and provide all this support promptly. As a result, they guarantee not only a healthy workforce but also boosts morale.

Business Continuity

Essentially, one of the disciplines of FM is preparing for disaster management. The facility manager ensures that there is minimal loss and avoids the loss of hours. A business’s performance can be seriously harmed by:

  • A power outage
  • Lack of server access
  • Relocation to new systems
  • Serious emergencies such as earthquakes. 

Therefore, managing these issues requires a professional FM team. They also ally with other units to develop strategies. Then they implement and educate employees according to the plan.

Who are the Employers?

Employers hiring Facilities Managers

Companies are hiring facilities managers, and there is a huge need for them at the current time. All sorts of business sector public, private and non-profit needs facilities managers. This is because workplace health and hospitality is becoming an important aspect.

Employers who are likely to hire facilities managers include:

  • Facilities management providers
  • Industrial facilities and factories
  • Big public buildings, museums and libraries
  • Offices
  • Prison
  • Business consultancies
  • Private or Public Hospitals
  • Local councils
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Research institutes and scientific laboratories 
  • Shop, Malls and business parks and Stadiums

What does the Facilities Manager Do?

what facilities managers do A workplace can run on one facilities manager or a team of FM depending on its size. A team has a facilities manager who organises the team. They also ensure that everything under their umbrella is working smoothly. 

Facilities managers have many kinds of titles. You can be addressed as an:

  • Operations manager, 
  • Estates manager, 
  • Technical services manager, 
  • Asset, or property manager. 

The main task of a facilities manager is taking care of the commercial buildings. Your duty will be to maintain all the valuable assets, and equipment, inventory that is important for the business to grow. Below you can see the day-to-day task of a facility manager:

  • Organise and plan the office interior and infrastructure to accommodate staff and business.
  • Checking and recording every part of the business facilities that need attention.
  • Contacting and hiring services that are necessary for maintenance. Like repairing, plumbing, cleaning, landscaping, parking, security and other needs.
  • You also have to keep records of all the third-party services and their payments.
  • Budgeting and planning services so that maintenance is cost-effective.
  • Ensuring the building is following all the health and safety standards. So they put in place new safety and health protocols.
  • Organise and also arrange renovation entry-level full-time and new installations for projects.
  • Watching over, giving instruction and ensuring all kinds of maintenance. For example, repairing, cleaning, grounds keeping, construction and other related activities.
  • Managing possible risks to facilities.
  • Lastly, planning sustainable long term strategy to reduce possible expenses.

Evolving Aspects of Facilities Management

The FM industry is growing rapidly, and the role of a facility manager is evolving with it.  Therefore, you want to build a successful career as a facility manager. But you will also need to know about the current social trend and make yourself compatible with them. Given that, here are some evolving aspects of facilities management:

  • IT infrastructure
  • Real Estate Models
  • Sustainability and Environmental Impact
  • Building automation and monitoring
  • Employee Engagement
  • Health, Wellness and Well-being
  • The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT)

What is the Salary for a Facilities Manager?

Facilities managers usually need to work 40 hours per week. Moreover, they are occasionally expected to work overtime during long maintenance shifts and emergencies. 9 am to 5 pm are the typical work hours of facilities managers.

The salary range for different position of facilities manager:

Additionally, the salary varies depending on the sector, function and location of the company. Moreover, some organisations provide other benefits. These are pension schemes, healthcare, performance bonus, company car and allowance etc.

There are many scopes for facilities managers all over the UK in all sectors. As a full-time facilities manager, you might be expected:

  • Firstly, work overtime and sometimes overnight work might be necessary.
  • Secondly, long-term projects may need flexibility, travelling or relocation.
  • Thirdly, work can be stressful at a time, when working with a tight budget or when an emergency occurs.

What are the requirements for a Facilities Manager?

Facilities managers on duty

There are many ways you can become a facilities manager. You can get into a job with a university degree. Similarly, a course on FM will also help you get a job. You can also do an apprenticeship or work toward a goal and directly apply for an FM role. 

The facilities manager doesn’t need a formal degree or specific education qualifications. But employers looking to hire people who have relevant qualifications or experience of FM. While applying for a big organisation, any education and experience may come in handy. 

Education

You can apply for facilities manager with just your high school diploma or equal. But you need to have previous experience or understanding of building maintenance. A related degree will also help you to get the job.

As facilities management is an evolving career, there are specialised areas in it. The majority of the business wants employees who have a bachelor’s degree. A degree in business will help you to pursue a career as a facility manager. 

Some universities are offering bachelor’s degrees in Facilities Management. They will teach you all parts of FM like maintenance, repairing, security systems. The program also covers areas like project management, facility assessment. Space and building planning and all related areas FM is also a part of the degree. A degree or certification in the following site may help you too:

There are Master’s degrees available that are highly suitable for a great career in FM. Masters of Science in Technology or FM will make you qualified for the facilities manager.

Furthermore, if you are not interested in taking any university programs, you do not have to be upset. There are also many short training courses in Facilities Management in college or technical schools. You can complete them in three to four months. You can also easily learn a lot from the course for becoming a facilities manager.

Facilities Management Diploma
The course is designed to help you master the skills which are required to embark upon a successful and rewarding career as a facilities manager.
Facilities Management Diploma
The course is designed to help you master the skills which are required to embark upon a successful and rewarding career as a facilities manager.

Certification and Training

Businesses or organisations usually do not hold any extensive training. New facilities managers generally are given a proper tour of the whole facility and briefed on their duty.

Check in to the Facilities Management Diploma course. Here you will find everything you need to know and learn about facility management. It is for people who want to gain more insight into this industry and build an aspiring career. 

Skills and Competencies

A facilities manager has to deal with a diverse environment and responsibilities. Depending on this, a facilities manager must have the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Financial management

According to The International Facility Management Association, the core competencies of facility management as:

  • Emergency preparedness and business continuity
  • Environmental stewardship and sustainability
  • Finance and business
  • Hospitality management
  • Human factors
  • Leadership and strategy
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Project management
  • Quality
  • Real estate and property management
  • Technology

How to Become a Facilities Manager?

People come to become facilities managers through a variety of career paths. Here are the steps that can guide you to enter an entry-level position of facilities manager:

  • Reach a minimum educational level. 
  • Sharpen the skills that are required in this field.
  • Try to get the first-hand experience in leadership and maintenance.
  • Create a resume
  • Apply for facilities management jobs

Lastly!

To conclude, choosing facility FM as a career is a great opportunity in today’s date. Just like a human resource and hospitality career. Hope this guide has provided you with all the necessary things you need to know about Facilities Management.

August 23, 2021

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