A Guide to Facility Services
What are Facility Services?
Facility Services are all the tasks, systems and maintenance programs that keep a building operating smoothly and efficiently in the background, ensuring an optimal workplace for the employees inside. These services keep a business facility running comprehensively, from the “hard” services that are built into the building itself, to the “soft” services that enhance the overall employee experience and wellbeing within the facility. Both hard and soft services are broken down into vastly different segments of facility management, and usually require specialized expertise from third party vendors or contractors. As a business grows larger, more intensive effort is required for building upkeep, and having the right team for your facility services is vital to the overall happiness of your employees, which then translates to the success of your business as a whole. This is why trusting the care and operations of your facility means having a partner that understands your needs at a moment’s notice; they no longer act as a third-party vendor, but as an integrated part of your team.
What Kind of Services Does My Facility Need?
Depending on the type of facility you have, the services you may need will vary. These can range from a simple HVAC maintenance plan to a total reconfiguration of the employees’ cubicle floorplan. Below is a more in-depth look at the differences between hard and soft facility services your business may need.
Hard Facility Services
Examples of hard services include HVAC, plumbing, lighting and electrical systems, mechanical systems, emergency systems and other services that are inseparable from the building and ensure the infrastructure is not compromised. These services, if interrupted, will dramatically affect workplace quality, and in some cases are required by law to provide. These are machine focused, require extensive maintenance, are implemented for safety rather than comfort, and are essential for the company’s operation.
Soft Facility Services
Soft facility services augment the property, as their goal is to provide comfort for the employees and clients that use them. While not mandatory or required by law, they are important in maintaining the wellbeing of your team and add value to the space you have created for them. Examples of these include: cleaning and janitorial, office furniture reconfiguration, waste management, changing or repairing locks, interior decorating, landscaping and property management, office furniture maintenance and repair, pest control, internal employee relocation, and any moves, adds, or changes necessary to enhance day-to-day activities. These offer daily support to your employees and ensure they have the functional workspaces they need.
Who Should I Hire?
As mentioned above, facility services are vast and diverse, so determining which vendors to hire is dependent on the facility you manage (and for soft services, what fits within the budget). Depending on what a company needs, they may even make the decision to handle these services in-house, removing the outsourced aspect entirely. If you do decide to bring in specialized vendors, carefully consider one of the biggest issues facility managers run into: quality. Conduct extensive research to determine if you are hiring the right company for your needs. Find the balance between superior service while still being affordable. Be cautious of vendors who offer the lowest price without tangible proof of providing high quality services. Most importantly, as the facility manager, it is your responsibility make the decision that’s best for your company and its employees.
Now that you understand the differences between hard and soft facility services, determine what your company needs to be successful. Decide whether you are going to manage these systems in house, or partner with facility services professionals to ensure that the day-to-day work life of your employees is uninterrupted and functional. Remember to find the companies that are right for your business, and trust that professionals can help navigate the constantly changing work environment facility managers must maintain.
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