Facility Managers are without doubt the backbone of any organization. Over the last few years, their significance in an organization has increased. As masters of many disciplines, facility managers strive to maintain a company’s assets and run its operations smoothly. With most organizations realizing the need for facility managers, this is the right time to establish a career in facility management.
Before we talk about a career in facility management, we need to understand what it means.
Earlier, any physical asset in an organization was referred to as ‘facility.’ However, over time, facilities have come to include everything from hardware equipment to non-equipment resources like security services, staff management, and grounds maintenance.
It is a facility Manager’s job to manage and optimize the usage of these resources and ensure smooth operations at all times.
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As per the International facility Management Association (IFMA), a Facility Manager has to “coordinate people, process and technology” in the organization. Based on this definition, there are two types of facility management- Hard and Soft.
Hard Facility Management includes services that ensure the proper functioning of physical systems like fire safety, plumbing, and other structural maintenance. In comparison, Soft Facility Management has services that extend along with property management - pest control, security, cleaning, etc.
As we mentioned earlier, facility Management includes a broad spectrum of service types. In each of these service types, a career in facility management has two entry points -
Field Level: This level requires a comparatively low educational qualification and is focused more on an individual’s technical knowledge.
Management Level: Also known as the ‘bird’s eye’ role that involves coordinating company resources, this level requires a particular educational qualification like a college degree and certification with considerable experience in the field.
Cleaning: This discipline involves the maintenance of the office premises. Facility Managers in this discipline ensure the aesthetic quality of the facility. They need to maintain the property value and build a healthy work environment that boosts people’s morale working in the space or visiting it.
Hardware Maintenance: Facility Managers in this discipline ensure that any hardware in the office space is working correctly through routine inspections and prompt maintenance. By doing so, facility Managers are responsible for maximizing the functionality of equipment and reducing operation costs.
Environment, Health, and Safety: Facility Managers in this discipline are in charge of creating and maintaining eco-friendly, sustainable workplaces to develop a safe and healthy work environment in the office.
Space Management and Migration: This may be one of the most vital disciplines of facility management. Those in this discipline are responsible for effectively making staffing and space changes while being in line with regulations and keeping in mind the future possibilities.
Transportation: Facility Managers of this discipline oversee the planning and implementation of transportation solutions and equipment for the employees as required.
Security Services: Maintenance of the security infrastructure is vital for an organization, especially for retail. Facility Managers in this discipline look after the various security infrastructure and security protocols to be followed by the organization’s employees. This may include interfacing with third-party vendors like contracting security agencies.
Fire Safety: This involves the maintenance of fire safety supplies, formulating fire safety protocols, training other staff and employees for emergencies, and being ready for emergencies.
Operational: As the discipline suggests, Facility Managers who specialize in this area are responsible for the company’s smooth operation. They help resolve any issue that employees of the organization may face. Issues can range from software problems to fixing hardware malfunctions.
Business Continuity: This is another vital vertical of facility management, which requires minimizing the loss of business hours and ensuring that work continues running smoothly even in the face of emergencies. They also work closely with other business units to devise plans and train staff on the protocols that have been put in place to mitigate crises.
A Facility Manager’s job description can be quite extensive depending on which discipline they belong to. However, despite the broad spectrum, certain aspects of the facility management job remain the same.
Much like any other job, Facility Managers have on an average 40-hour workweek. However, specific disciplines might be time-sensitive and could disrupt daytime work like cleaning, maintenance, and migration disciplines. Some companies even require their facility to be monitored 24/7 - but of course, broken into multiple shifts.
As we mentioned earlier, a Facility Manager’s job description includes various responsibilities depending on the discipline and department they work in. But, no matter the discipline, all Facility Managers have one essential obligation: to increase efficiency and optimize the functionalities of all facilities in the organization. These are some of the other responsibilities of a Facility Manager:
Also Read: 5 Tools for Facility Managers
Like every job, Facility Management also demands a few core competencies an individual needs. These are some of the critical core competencies a Facility Manager must have:
Facility Management is a very lucrative career option. As a vital job function in any organization, there isn’t a shortage of openings in the current world. Facility Managers are in demand. So, if you’re still on the fence about pivoting to a facility management job, it is a thriving industry.
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