Top 5 Return to Office Tools for Facility Managers
Posted on November 9, 2021 by wis_wp
As organizations return to office, facility managers are faced with massive challenges. Technology is the best way out. They have adopted a list of tools to make the return to office process seamless. This blog explores all the available tools.
With offices reopening, facility managers across the globe are busy getting the workplaces ready. All this to ensure employees have a safe return to the office. Given the never-ending to-do list, you need to prioritize the tools.
The number one priority of all business leaders and employees is health safety. At the same time, with the hybrid work model becoming the norm, facility managers must ensure that the return-to-office yields tangible results. So, if you are a facility manager, your two broad focus areas would be health and productivity.
In this article, we list the top five return-to-office tools that facility managers would find helpful.
Given that offices have always served as a place of social interaction, maintaining social distancing would be a challenge. A visitor management tool can help you keep a check on entry and exit. Also, using computer vision or IR-based sensors can help you control occupancy density in any given space.
A crucial aspect of visitor management in a post-pandemic world is contact tracing. Despite the preliminary health checks during entry, an asymptomatic infected person can enter your facility. A visitor management system equipped with contact tracing abilities can help trace and seclude potentially infected employees to prevent further spread.
As offices reopen, you will have visitors, other than your employees, coming to your place. These could be clients, vendors, service providers, or others. Given that the virus can survive for 72 hours, a contactless access management system reduces the risk of surface transmission.
Moreover, as a more visible measure, it helps boost employee confidence. It assures them of health safety as they return to the office months after being cooped up at home.
A Seamless Team Scheduling Return to Office Software
The biggest challenge of a hybrid workplace model is the workflow management of employees who work remotely and on-premise. The problem is two-fold.
You could potentially end up with people from all teams showing up on a single day. This will throw your social distancing plans into a tizzy.
To ensure that attendance is accurately registered, you will need a system that merges physical and virtual logins. This will make the necessary exceptions for each environment.
An access management system can check the number of people on the floor. Nevertheless, you need a system that averts a situation where a high number of people turn up at the gates. Enabling teams/employees to schedule their visits could help you avoid such problems. It could work in two ways – the team leaders can request a slot, or the employees could provide their work preference.
A Reliable Return to Office Desk Booking System
A desk booking system allows your employees to book their seats in advance. It also tells them where their other team members are seated. Based on their requirement, they can book a desk anywhere – in a peaceful corner or amidst the bustling team.
While desk booking systems have been around for quite some time, in a post-pandemic world, they serve more purposes. For one, it allows employees to be more productive on the days they visit the office.
Imagine if you plan to visit the office for productive work. However, the only seats available are in the middle of the noisiest part. Wouldn’t you prefer working from home, even with your kids demanding constant attention?
A desk-booking system helps facility managers by taking away the stress of finding a suitable desk for employees. It enables the employee to choose and makes the process transparent. Managing real estate becomes easier. Real-time utilization data helps keep the infection rates under control.
Therefore, a hoteling or desk reservation system should be one of the top tools on your return-to-office requirements list.
A Dedicated Return to Office Communication Tool
What good would it be to have taken all precautionary measures if you do not communicate it with the employees? It isn’t just about the precautions; the success of your return to work exercise depends on regular communication and transparency.
Communication holds the key to inspiring confidence among employees who would be apprehensive about returning to the office. A central notification console can help you publish important updates regarding occupancy, desk availability, sanitization efforts, and so on. It could also help put out information related to infections, if any.
With a dedicated workplace app, you can address employees’ questions, address individual-specific concerns. Also, by allowing employees to take control, you can reduce the time invested in administrative tasks. It will let employees schedule visits, book desks, find parking spaces, and time their cafeteria breaks without your help.
If possible, add examples for the tools you mentioned.
So, Are You All Prepared to Return to Office?
The rules of the game have changed. For starters, you need to reset your vision and look at new contours of facility management differently.
As a facility manager, you aren’t just responsible for workplace maintenance and employee convenience anymore. The scope of facility management has now increased. They have to ensure health safety and productivity in an entirely new setup – a hybrid workplace.
These five tools are common to most businesses and will help you get started. However, depending on the needs of your business, office space, and employees, you might require more tools. You might also have to spend time training and familiarizing the workforce with all new systems in place.
One way to cut down on training time is partnering with a solutions provider who can handhold you through the transition. WorkinSync offers easy-to-implement solutions along with required post-sale support. All of this to ensure your return to office program is successful.
Subscribe to our blog to know more about the latest return to office developments.
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.
What is 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.
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.
Every facility Manager is expected to operate on two levels:
What are the Different Types of Facility Management Careers?
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.
The Major Service Types in Facility Management
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.
Responsibilities of Facility Managers and What to Expect
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.
What does a typical work week look like?
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:
Complete tasks on time
Stay updated on changes in Industry regulations
Ensure continued compliance to industry standards at all times
Track and document system inefficiencies and issues
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:
Readiness for emergencies
Business continuity oriented
Leadership and Strategic thinking skills
Project Management skills
Real Estate and Property Management experience
How to Start Looking for Facility Management Jobs
Build a resume that highlights your capabilities regarding teamwork, detail orientation, and your ability to upskill, all the while keeping in mind the specific facility management job description.
Enroll in the local chapter of IFMA and embed yourself in the facility management network.
Find schools/universities, government buildings, and large corporations where your services will be of value.
Keep applying to openings posted on job portals like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Angellist.
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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When it comes to facility managers, the list of responsibilities is extensive. Be it ensuring working conditions for a company’s physical assets or optimizing the infrastructure, they are the organization’s backbone. They often have to juggle various tasks daily. With facility management tools, facility managers can avoid potential pitfalls, achieving their jobs seamlessly.
Here is a list of five essential facility management tools.
A facility manager is primarily responsible for maintaining workplace assets. From desks to copiers, from desktops to parking lots. Yes, a facility manager needs to ensure that every physical asset in the workplace is cared for.
Thus, asset management systems. Now, what is an asset management system? These systems are developed to track the MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Operations) lifecycle, ensuring that these assets are kept in working order.
Asset management systems help facility managers with the following tasks:
Locate assets within the facility
Track equipment maintenance schedule
Keep manufacturing manuals of each equipment
Maintain records of breakdown for each asset
Maintain financial information of each asset, including depreciation values
Keep data on equipment use
With all this information easily accessible, the process of prolonging the life of any equipment becomes seamless. Moreover, Asset management systems are developed to yield helpful insights for improvement opportunities and, ultimately, saving costs.
Popular Asset Management Systems: SpaceRunner, Asset Panda, UpKeep
Maintenance Management System
If looking after assets is the primary task of a facility manager, maintaining the company infrastructure is next. Maintenance Management systems automate tracking and scheduling of maintenance activities while increasing operating efficiency.
Software tools used for maintenance are also known as CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems). These systems take on tasks like:
Track the functionality of equipment (which ones are working and which needs repair)
Organize facility equipment by priority and operational necessity
Create custom maintenance routines
Accept maintenance requests and create work orders
Update employees on the status of maintenance (also known as the “request for service” system)
Track activities including standard or emergency maintenance
Recording these details ensure that all equipment in an organization is maintained well. Most Maintenance Management Systems ease the process and reduce the chances of error in the tasks.
Popular Maintenance Management Systems: EZOfficeInventory, Smartsheet, Fiix
Inventory Management System
Facility Managers are often responsible for maintaining inventory in the organization. Now, managing all of it manually isn’t easy and is likely to be full of errors. For instance, if your inventory doesn’t reflect the correct stock numbers, you run the risk of facing stock outages.
Hence, facility managers need to use inventory management systems. It simplifies the tracking process of inventories and eliminates human errors. Inventory Management Systems often help facility managers with the following tasks:
Use barcodes to keep track of inventory
Attach supplies to all tools to know how one specific device is being used
Identify locations for all inventory across the organization
Analyze how frequently certain items in the inventory are being used
Managing the inventory is essential as it reduces wastage and allows facility managers to save costs incurred as a part of wastage. In addition, these systems also enable facility management executives to assign an annual budget to inventory management.
Popular Inventory Management Systems: Freshservice, Quick book, Xero
Building Automation System
It is a known factor in the facility management circles that energy efficiency saves cost and is better for the environment. Therefore, facility managers try their best to opt for resources that are efficient and sustainable.
Owing to building automation systems, this job becomes more manageable. These tools allow facility managers to access and control things like the building lights, heating, ventilation, air conditioners, security cameras, emergency systems, and even the door locks. Here is how a building automation system can help facility managers:
All modern devices can be easily connected with each other, as well as the building automation system
Building utilities can be tracked for facility managers
Identify resources that consume greater energy and make adjustments
Prevent wasting of energy
Since these building management systems allow you to connect the utilities with a single device, controlling building assets become seamless.
Popular Building Management Systems: Optergy, Elipse, eFacility
Workplace Management System
Facility managers are responsible for a company’s physical assets. That is a given. But they are also responsible for maintaining the workplace. Be it the desks or meeting rooms, facility managers ensure the smooth functioning of the workplace by monitoring every aspect of it.
There are several ways that workplace management systems can help facility managers. These are:
Allow facility managers to see which employee is sitting where, which desks are empty, or which meeting rooms are occupied for the day
Manage desk and meeting room bookings based on availability
View floor occupancy
Monitor sanitization flow of the desks and meeting rooms
With a digital workplace management system, the entire process of managing the workplace becomes easier. Furthermore, these software programs allow facility managers to align the workplace be it multiple buildings and locations using a single portal.
Facility management as a job function has been growing over the last decade. But what is facility management? What can be chronicled as a facilities manager job description? And how much is the facilities manager salary?
With this blog, we aim to answer all these queries. Keep reading to find out more.
What is Facility Management?
Facility management is a professional management discipline focused on providing efficient support services, including security and maintenance, to an organization.
Facility managers can go by different names in different organizations. However, their job description remains the same.
What do Facility Managers Do?
Facility Managers are responsible for building a facility that works harmoniously. In an organization, they are in charge of maintaining the most valuable assets, including the property, building, equipment, and inventory, to name a few. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) categorizes the duties of a facility manager into six key areas. These are:
Building smart buildings by leveraging technology
Ensuring the health and safety of employees
Recruiting and training facilities personnel
Environmental efforts for a sustainable place
Maintaining the assets
Support the organizational culture
Whether coordinating janitorial services or preparing for emergencies, a facility manager is responsible for it all. IFMA directs that facility management includes both hard and soft services. To be more precise, hard services keep the facilities running, whereas soft services revolve around employees and visitors.
According to Payscale, a facility manager with 1 to 4 years of experience earns an average of ₹3,93,503 per year. A mid-career facility manager with 5 to 9 years of experience makes an average of ₹5,04,084 per year. An experienced facility manager with 10 to 19 years of experience makes an average of ₹7,20,891 per year. Facility Managers with 20+ years of experience earn an average of ₹8,70,125 per year. Director of Facilities salary has an average of ₹32,28,596 per year.
In the US, Salary.com revealed that the average facilities manager salary is $100,371 per year as of April 27, 2021. It can range between $86,053 and $114,830. Salaries can vary widely depending on education, certifications, skills, and experience in the field.
According to Indeed, the average salary is $62,821 per year for an entry-level facility manager with an additional $5,000 profit sharing. While MNCs offer 10% higher salaries than startups, companies based out of New York and Chicago pay almost 20% higher.
Payscaleshowed that an early career facilities manager salary, with 1 to 4 years of experience, earns an average of C$56,715 per year. A facility manager with 5 to 9 years of experience earns an average of C$71,009 per year. An experienced facility manager with 10 to 19 years of experience earns an average of C$76,973. Facilities manager salary with 20+ years of experience has an average salary of C$80,475 per year.
The average facilities manager salary in Australia is AUS$116,543 per year. Newcastle, Melbourne, and Sydney offer the country’s highest-paying facility manager salary. A facility supervisor has an average salary of AUS$80,020 per year. According to Indeed, the average Director of facilities salary is AUS$138,677 per year.
As per Glassdoor, the average facilities manager salary in London, UK, is £42,646 per year.
In Germany, the average facilities manager salary is €82,043 per year as of March 23, 2021. The range typically falls between €65,839 and €97,417 per year, depending on experience.
In the Netherlands, the average facilities manager salary is €67,073 per year. While facility managers in France have an average salary of €57,116 per year, Ireland offers €64,883 per year. A person working as a facilities manager in Norway earns around 744,000 NOK per year. Salaries range from 342,000 NOK to 1,180,000 NOK.
Why is Facility Management Important?
The facility management industry is increasing across the world. With the pandemic changing the picture of our workplaces, facility managers are tasked with reshaping them. Organizations realize the cost savings of proper space utilization. They know the revenue opportunities for a well-managed workforce. They understand the benefits of workplace management. Hence, the growing interest in facility management.
Since the demand for facilities managers is rising, the salaries will also become more competitive with time.
If you are looking for a career in facility management, there is no better time than now.
WorkInSyncis the perfect app for facility managers by making the implementation of hybrid work models easy. To know more about the trends and insights of the facility management industry, subscribe to our blog.