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facility management

Understanding the Challenges of Facility Management Teams

Google is known for the perks that it offers employees. Google offers gourmet food and snacks. Since it’s free, a lot of employees save money on breakfast or lunch money. But they say it also saves them time.

Food perks aren’t just happening in Google. A 2018 survey reveals that the number of companies providing free snacks to employees has risen by 12% compared to 2014. Company perks are meant to attract new talents and keep current employees. But if you’re working for a small to medium-sized company, then another company’s better perks are a threat to your company, but an attraction to you.

If the coffee machine breaks down, will you think about leaving your company in search of a “better one” with a better coffee machine? Will you be part of 33.3% of American workers that would move to a new company with better benefits?

Or will you calm down, wonder, or even try to understand who puts in the effort to make sure that you and the rest of your colleagues, get your usual coffee fix every day, and maybe a croissant three times a week?

You and the Facilities Team

The facility management team makes sure that the coffee machine will be fixed. They coordinate with cleaning service companies so that when you leave your apartment in North Kent and get to the office, the carpets, chairs, desks, and walls are cleaned. And just like you and your team, whether you belong to the IT team, the sales team, the marketing team or HR, the facilities team also have their challenges. And they are working hard so that you get to enjoy your perks.

If you want to gain a better appreciation of the work of the facilities team, you need to know that they are also working away at challenges. Here are a few that you should be aware of:

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Managing Costs

One team prefers coffee and the coffee machine. Another wants the juice maker. The company needs to cut costs and the facilities team, who’s generally in charge of making everyone happy, needs to make a recommendation at a high-level meeting, which machine should go. That’s just the micro-representation of the decision that they need to make.

To make a sound recommendation, the facilities team performs the tedious task of doing proper inventory and then work with vendors to reduce their prices. That is not easy. If you and every other employee receive a memo encouraging you to save on energy, that is so that you can have your croissant next Wednesday.

Keeping the Machines Working

You pound away at your keyboard in the comforts of a 22°C office temperature and you didn’t even notice that the week before, HVAC experts were in the office cleaning air ducts, and making sure that the office air-conditioning system is working correctly. The facilities team is responsible for prolonging the life of this equipment so that you can work effectively.

Juggling the Internal and External

The facilities team is perhaps one of the few organizations that deal with both internal “customers” and external vendors/suppliers. The email assaults will come from all sides, with each citing a critical deadline. That’s a high-pressured situation. Better time management could be achieved with off-the-shelf software. But that entails cost. And if the company’s saving on cost, this might not be a priority.

These are just a few of the challenges the facilities team encounters. So the next time you’re feeling annoyed for missing out again on the free bread or snack, smile and remember these challenges. If you’re feeling kind-hearted, call them and say thank you.

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