The British Institute of Facility Management’s (BIFM) definition for facility management is ‘the integration of multi-disciplinary activities within the built environment and the management of their impact upon people and the workplace’.
Facility management can be defined in general terms as the management of utilities, waste services and maintenance operations, building upkeep, security and services. The services provided under facility management can be divided as hard services and soft services. Hard services are generally more tangible in nature than the soft services. Hard services include maintenance, while soft services include cleanliness.
The responsibilities of a facilities manager range from maintenance and administration to building strategy for space management and communications infrastructure. Facilities management is continuous. Maintaining uniformity and consistency in the workplace is also important. It is the role of facility management to ensure the satisfaction of the staff in an organization and to motivate them to do their work. The facilities manager must be skillful and knowledgeable. With a heavy workload, it is necessary for facilities professionals to complete one task as quickly as possible to begin another. Managing the facility becomes more efficient with proper documentation. The involvement and support of top management is also very important. In the corporate world, excellent facilities management can not only enhance an organization’s identity and image, but also deliver business continuity and workforce protection.
The facility management sector has now become a billion-dollar industry. A mix of in-house departments, specialist contractors, large multi-service companies and other management functions make up the large and complex facilities management sector.