FM vs PM

It is not news to any real estate professional – there is confusion about the contemporary identity and functions of Facility Management (FM) and Property Management (PM). In public discourse and in daily business interaction the differences and similarities among these management professions are blurred and unclear. Consequently, it leads to wrong end user expectations or interpretations.

“What is the difference between Facility Manager and Property Manager?” is a frequent, practical question or “Where is the borderline between Property Management and Facility Management?”

So let us focus on a concise comparison between FM and PM. There are at least six significant differentiators:


Facility Managers

Facility Manager

  • For the Facility Manager the building is a means to an end – the end being the optimal work environment
  • Facility Manager is a representative of the building User/Occupier
  • Facility Manager’s priority is to increase the User‘s primary business effectiveness and productivity
  • Facility Manager acts on the principle: consideration of the whole lifecycle of an asset
  • Facility Manager is focused on end user and occupier workplace needs and demands
  • Facility Managers control the expense side of the property/physical assets budget for their user/occupier client

Facility Managers

Property Manager

  • For the Property Manager the building is an end in itself
  • Property Manager is a representative of the building Investor/Owner
  • Property Manager’s priority is to increase the building‘s Net Operating Income and value
  • Property Manager acts on the principle: consideration of the planned business cycle of an asset, which is lease determined
  • Property Manager is focused on Owner/Tenant relations management in order to achieve balance of interests
  • Property Managers control all property generated revenues and expenditures for their Investor/Owner clients.

The differences between FM and PM derive from the varying agendas of User/Occupier and Owner/Investor, respectively their priorities.

Investors prioritize their goals as follows (Jim Ricker):

  1. Income – maximize Return on Investment
  2. Value – increase the Yield, thus the value of the property
  3. Customer relations – manage Owner/Tenant relations to achieve maximum occupancy, therefore max cash flow
  4. Operations – efficiently maintain the property in order to achieve the first three goals

Users prioritize their goals in almost reverse order as compared to Investors:

  1. Operations – maintain the property in support of the occupier’s core business activities and end users demand for continuous, effective and efficient work environment
  2. Customer and end user relations – ensure that FM services are optimal cost/quality ratio and directed to supporting high productivity of primary business processes and end users
  3. Value – preserve and maintain the value of the property based on whole asset lifecycle consideration
  4. Income (from property operation) – it is neither priority, nor responsibility

There are more differences like: the hierarchy of tasks; separation of primary and support business processes; approaches to end users, to clients and customers; degree of application of FM and PM in private and public sectors.

The Common Ground

Covey says: “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities”. In real estate in particular, I would go a step further and say that,

We must value the differences, but also be aware of similarities and then learn from one another to excel.

The daily operations and responsibilities in FM and PM are overlapping to very significant extent. The key competencies and skills of the Facility Manager and Property Manager, which are demanded by the clients (regardless investors or occupants) are so similar, that job descriptions converge in 75% of their content.
On operational level FM and PM manage ever-growing number of services in the areas of maintenance, hospitality, accommodation, safety and security, logistics, technical infrastructure, workplace, ICT, cleaning and waste management, open grounds, business services and many others. Both Property and Facility Managers use alike management and analytical techniques; methods; procedures; IT solutions. They perform corresponding management functions as strategic planning, risk management, service management, financial planning and control, performance management, quality management, people and change management, energy management, outsourcing, benchmarking etc.

The picture of built environment management will not be completed without adding Asset Management to the comparison. That will be addressed in a forthcoming article. Since I promised to be concise, let’s highlight that,

Managers answer to What and How, leaders the Why.

In our case, I would say: contemporary Facility and Property Managers provide the answers to plethora of questions What and How. When it is up to leadership, the perspective of Investors and Occupants drive the answers of Why.

Written by: DeyanKavrakov, FRICS
Partner at TCM, Board Member at BGFMA
| Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

The conceptualized trend of Hospitality and Facility management offers value and benefits to the clients, Now days across the world the zings of the outsourced hospitality are leaned with a very strong sense of community, and we want to stay. Current business intelligence enables us to anticipate, identify and react to changes in each of our markets rapidly. Facility management positioned to market in contact and conducts of the customers. In this respect, customer service is vital. The terms “marketing” and “customer service” are not synonymous, however. While customer service provides opportunities to reinforce positive images of a facility management department, marketing involves first researching who your customers are and then selling and promoting facility services to them. The main responsibility falls on the shoulders of the facility management department leader.

All facility management services trend understands the following basic concepts of marketing:

  • Know the market
  • Know the facility management department’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Develop a marketing plan that serves as a road map
  • Recognize the importance of quality customer service

Understanding the Market Evaluation

If a facility management department is one of the administrative services supporting the core business departments, it is unlikely that much thought has been given to marketing the facility management department. Instead, your market was guaranteed: corporate customers had to get facility services through the department.

Today, many facility management customers are given the option to go elsewhere for facility services. Facility managers now compete with contracting firms that have developed considerable marketing skills.

In recent years, facility management customers have become quite sophisticated. They are smarter, better informed, and far more cost conscious. Many have substantial experience in marketing their own products and services and expect others to similarly market their goods and services. They may know as much as we do about some topics (indoor air quality, accessibility for the disabled, or CAD systems, for example).

Department’s Strengths and Weaknesses

To develop a marketing plan, it is important to identify the marketing elements you already have in place. Your greatest asset is the range and magnitude of customer contact. There is a fundamental maxim of customer service that applies particularly well to facilities marketing: “If you’re not serving the customer, you’d better be serving someone who is.”

Staff Skills

Facility managers should know the skills of their staff. Every staff member makes an impression on a customer in every transaction, whether it is by telephone, in person, or in a report. For marketing purposes, every worker should understand the customer. Mechanics, custodians, and housekeepers who make contact with customers may exert more influence on them than higher-ranking facility management employees who are seldom seen.

Facility staffs that feels connected to the department’s mission will see value in their contribution. American Airlines found that by communicating to their cargo handlers that profits would increase by $100 million if they could put one more piece of cargo on every flight; the employees understood that they were carrying their customers’ business.

Develop a Marketing Plan

First and foremost, there must be a marketing plan, and that plan can be organized around the following basic steps.

  • Conduct market research—know the characteristics and needs of your customers; know about the service of your competitors.
  • Promote services— revise a marketing plan that matches services with the right customers. A marketing brochure explaining facility services is a tool now widely used, and it can be customized for different customers.
  • Keep customers informed—Talking to customers directly provides an opportunity to inform them of upcoming developments that may affect them, such as new regulations. This enables you to apply another basic marketing maxim: Prepare the market for change. By eliminating surprises, you help your customer and become an ally.
  • Evaluate service delivery—Ask customers for feedback on service delivery. In doing so, you can diffuse potentially damaging misunderstandings about facility services, especially on sensitive issues such as indoor air quality.
  • Create a website—The Web allows users to download standards, post construction schedules, standards forms such as the PRP, and to post surveys/questionnaires for research/ bench marking purposes.

To implement the steps mentioned above, an overall marketing strategy is needed. This strategy incorporates several key elements that form the backbone of an effective marketing plan.

Recognize the Importance of Quality Customer Service

As the struggles for market share intensify, workers in all companies have been besieged with entreaties from their leaders to be sensitive to their customers. This issue has particular urgency for facility managers, whose customers have become increasingly aware that they have choices of where and how to obtain facility services. In many companies, executives openly permit departments to shop for facility services, putting corporate facility management departments in direct competition with outsourced providers.

Excellent customer service is essential to maintaining a strong, on-going relationship between a facility management department and its customers. If the bond is strong, the customers are more likely to feel that the facility management department knows them and their needs so well that they don’t want to change relationships. Following are some strategies that will help keep the relationship between the customer and your facility management department strong.

Staff as a Selling Tool

One strategy is to see your staff as a selling tool. The Walt Disney Company refers to all their employees-from the head of the company to the person sweeping the sidewalk-as cast members. Disney believes that cast members should treat each other as guests and insists that everyone behave accordingly. The magic at Disney flows throughout the organization directly to its paying guests. Disney calls their approach “spreading ‘pixie dust.'” The formula is simple:

Training+ Communication+ Caring =Pride

The pride comes not just from being part of the organization but from respectfully treating, and being treated like, the primary customer.


Tracking Performance

Two maxims readily apply to the area of tracking, or monitoring: “Manage what you measure” and “Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.” Rewarding good performance reinforces appropriate behavior and communicates to the organization that customer service is important. This may sound simple, but it is surprising how many organizations do not have a method of assessing the impact of what they do. Measures of success should be expressed in monetary value to the company. When corporate management wants to know how the facility management department contributes to the corporate bottom line, provide data that document successful project completions and customer satisfaction.

Written by: Manish Kumar Pandey Manager Corporate Affairs at Kannelite Facility Management Services Pvt.Ltd | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.


Facility management or facilities management or FM) is aninterdisciplinary field devoted to the coordination of space, infrastructure, people and organization, often associated with the administration of office blocks,arenas, schools, sporting complexes, convention centers, shopping complexes, hospitals, hotels, etc..

FM represents a wider range of activities than just business services and these are referred to as non-core functions. They vary from one business sector to another. In a 2009 Global Job Task Analysis the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) identified eleven core competencies of facility management. These are: communication; emergency preparedness and business continuity;environmental stewardship and sustainability; finance and business; human factors; leadership and strategy; operations and maintenance; project management; quality; real estate and property management; and technology.

The European standards for facilities management offers a definition in EN15221-1, provided by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and ratified by 31 European countries as: “the integration of processes within an organization to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities.”

According to this European standard, the scope of FM is ‘Space & Infrastructure’ (planning, design, workplace, construction, lease, occupancy, maintenance, furniture, cleaning, etc.) and ‘People & Organization’ (catering, ICT, HR, HS&S, accounting, marketing, hospitality, etc.).

FM is subject to continuous innovation and development, under pressure toreduce costs and to add value to the core business of the public or private sector client organization.

Facility management is supported with training and professional qualifications often co-ordinates by FM institutes or associations, and a limited number of formal degree programs exist at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

The FM relationship to the human resources, real estate and information technology functions of an enterprise has increased. The number one priority of a Facility manager (FM) is that of Life Safety.

Facility managers have to operate at two levels: strategic-tactical and operational. In the former case, clients, customers and end-users need to be informed about the potential impact of their decisions on the provision of space, services, cost and business risk. In the latter, it is the role of a facility manager to ensure corporate and regulatory compliance plus the proper operation of all aspects of a building to create an optimal, safe and cost effective environment for the occupants to function.

This is accomplished by managing the following activities:

Health and safety

The FM department in an organization is required to control and manage many safety related issues. Failure to do so may lead to injury, loss of business, prosecution and insurance claims; the confidence of customers and investors in the business may also be shaken by adverse publicity.

Fire safety

The threat from fire carries one of the highest risk to loss of life, and the potential to damage or shut down a business. The facilities management department will have in place maintenance, inspection and testing for all of the fire safety equipment and systems, keeping records and certificates of compliance.


Security to any organization is necessary to protect the employees and the business and this often comes under the control of the facilities management department, in particular the maintenance of the hardware. Manned guarding may be under the control of a separate department.

Maintenance, testing and inspections

Maintenance, testing and inspection schedules are required to ensure that the facility is operating safely and efficiently, to maximize the life of equipment and reduce the risk of failure. There are also statutory obligations to be met. The work is planned, often using a computer-aided facility management system.


Cleaning operations are often undertaken out of business hours, but provision may be made during times of occupations for the cleaning of toilets, replenishing consumables (toilet rolls, soap, etc.) plus litter picking and reactive response. Cleaning is scheduled as a series of “periodic” tasks: daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
The training and certification of cleaning operatives is increasingly a factor in the award of contracts to cleaning services providers.


The facilities management department has responsibilities for the day-to-day running of the building, these tasks may be outsourced or carried out by directly employed staff. This is a policy issue, but due to the immediacy of the response required in many of the activities involved the facilities manager will often require daily reports or an escalation procedure.

Some issues require more than just periodic maintenance, for example those that can stop or hamper the productivity of the business or that have safety implications. Many of these are managed by the facilities management “help desk” that staff are able to be contacted either by telephone or email. The response to help desk calls are prioritized but may be as simple as too hot or too cold, lights not working, photocopier jammed, coffee spills, vending machine problems, etc.

Help desks may be used to book meeting rooms, car parking spaces and many other services, but this often depends on how the facilities department isorganized. It may be split into two sections often referred to as “soft” and “hard” services. Soft would include reception, post room, cleaning, etc. and hard the mechanical, fire and electrical services.


The facilities management team will seek to periodically re-tender their contracts, or at the very least bench mark them to ensure they are getting value for money. For this to happen it is necessary to have an up to date list of equipment or assets to send out with the tenders. This information is often retained on the same computer as the maintenance schedule and updating may be overlooked as equipment gets changed, replaced or new items are installed. The asset register is also an important tool for budgeting, used for life cycle costings and for capital expenditure forecasting. To conclude, tendering is therefore an important aspect of his duties.

Commercial property management

Building may be owned by the occupier or leased. Leased properties will be subject to periodic rent reviews. Commercial leases can also be subject to sub-tenancies, and may require options to be renewed.

Business continuity planning

All organizations should have a continuity plan so that in the event of a fire or major failure the business can recover quickly. In large organizations it may be that the staff move to another site that has been set up to model the existing operation. The facilities management department would be one of the key players should it be necessary to move the business to a recovery site.

Space allocation and changes

In many organizations, office layouts are subject to frequent changes. This process is referred to as churn rate,expressed as the percentage of the staff moved during a year. These moves are normally planned by the facilities management department using computer-aided design. In addition to meeting the needs of the business, compliance with statutory requirements related to office layouts include: the minimum amount of space to be provided per staff member; fire safety arrangements; lighting levels; signage; ventilation; temperature control and welfare arrangements such as toilets and drinking water. Consideration may also be given to vending, catering or a place where staff can make a drink and take a break from their desk.
Be proud of your profession as Facility Manager. You are the backbone of an organization. Make your profession as passion and work with lot of integrity and loyalty for your customers.

Written by: SanjaykumarVermaa Assistant General Manager – Administration at iTV Network | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

A number of organizations and websites track facility management (FM) trends; see links below. This overview is based on a review of these and other reports, blogs and websites, building on the common themes. We have identified five ongoing trends and issues, and four facility management trends that appear to be emerging solutions.

Ongoing FM Trends/Issues

Sustainability remains a dominant challenge or trend in facility management, with emphasis shifting rapidly from a focus on cost control, to a more balanced approach that emphasizes the triple bottom line, corporate responsibility, brand and image. Integrated resource management approaches are of increasing interest. Energy management systems will be part of a smart grid, with many facilities generating/contributing; load management strategies will be common place. Water management is emerging as the critical priority as the world gradually accepts the vulnerability of this critical resource.

Risk Management awareness and accountability is both increasing and becoming more complex in response to:

  • our new awareness of the potential of terrorism to disrupt operations and lives
  • increasing sensitivity to threats related to large scale natural disasters
  • enhanced awareness of health threats and the related responsibilities of anyone or any facility that congregates large numbers of workers and/or customers
  • our increasing reliance on data and information for business continuity

Efficiency and Cost Control pressures and measures have been in place for some time. What is changing is the growing realization that past cost cutting approaches may have harmed our ability to be productive and to produce quality product or service – both critical to success and even survival in an increasingly competitive age. Facility managers are increasingly seen to be part of the solution and facilities themselves are now been seen as critical strategic assets, not simply costs to be controlled.

We are managing the largest collection of aging buildings in modern history – the logical result of decades of growth followed by decades of restraint. Deferred maintenance challenges are becoming overwhelming; we still lack sufficient preventive and capital maintenance budgets to do the job. The weakened state of many of our physical assets is pushing us towards new/replacement facilities we can ill afford and away from facility reinvestment and renovation that could otherwise have been a viable option. Morevover, so much has changed in the way we do business, the way we work and the demands of the consumer that these inflexible, aging facilites are often just not up to the modern job.

Finally, we are all human resource managers (regardless of the level at which we work) and more than ever must learn to cope with the challenges of an aging workforce, cultural diversity in the workplace, demand for increased workplace quality and the need to house a number of different and not always complimentary workstyles. Moreover, modern information and communication technology is reducing the need to work at a single workstation – many modern managers and workers are highly mobile.

Emerging Big Picture Solutions

Facility managers are now required to rise above the tactics related to management of their property and participate fully at the corporate strategy level. Buildings and other assets must be developed and managed so as to complement brand, support corporate culture, and contribute broader value to the communities they serve. As a key business element, each facility will have to be conceptualized, created and operated to support productivity, innovation, worker satisfaction and positive public perception.

The facility designer, developer and manager must deliver this strategic value in both short and long term. The greatest challenges relate to the need to maintain flexibility, knowing with certainty that functionality, technology and worker/customer demands will change dramatically over time. Now and in the future, the emphasis will be on maximizing usage and practicality – while adopting every new approach that clearly offers return on investment.

Buildings have traditionally contained a number of separate and increasingly sophisticated systems (heating, security, lighting, waste management, etc.) – building automation systems (BAS). We are rapidly moving towards integration, a single BAS – driven by the need for efficiency, holistic green concepts and the logic of integrated resource management. Building Information Modeling (BIM) creates a virtual information model that can be passed from design team, to contractor, to building owner. Everything is coming together through platform software providing a common portal – Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS).

The final trend is actually the need to effectively address the change imperative inherent in all of the above. Facility managers are increasingly required to handle complexity and the pace of change AND to support others dealing with the same pressures. It is not longer acceptable to simply wait to be somewhat overwhelmed and respond once the industry has come to agreement on new best practices or standards; our competitive environment requires more proactive approaches. Facility managers will increasingly be called upon to anticipate changing needs and to work with building stakeholders to manage with foresight.

Written by: Stephanie Simon FMP, CFMSr. Facility Manager at PCL Construction [5000+] | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.


Facilities Management is the practice of supporting and enhancing the modern day businesses’ core practices and ROI by focusing on all aspects of the business. Leading facilities managers must wear many hats and wear them all well. Through the efficient management and modernization of an organization’s assets and procedures, today’s FMs make their company relevant in our ever changing marketplace. A marketplace where every company’s survival hangs in the balance and a quality support team can make all the difference.

The facilities management team’s charge is to determine how to do more with less and do it better than everyone else. Thoroughly analyzing the use and maintenance of a company’s spatial and tangible assets, as well as examining all of the business’ daily procedures, are critical to every facilities manager’s success. Identifying what procedures need to be abandoned and what policies could be enhanced through tools such as IWMS are a massive undertaking in and of themselves. Add to that the task of convincing those in the offices upstairs that these investments will yield big returns adds that much more weight to the FM’s shoulders. It is the FM’s job to help make the big picture clear for all to see.

The factors that drive an organization to embrace their need for a professional facilities manager vary depending upon the company’s size, short and long term goals and current operating procedures. Obviously a corporation with a major property presence is going to have many more operational procedures that must be streamlined, paving the path for the FM to focus on the larger tasks at hand. The stakeholders and their visions for the company on a whole may vary tremendously, each vision with it’s own importance. The small local catering business’ focus may be more on stronger efficiency that leads to overall savings. Since the smaller companies may not have the budget to create a dedicated facilities management team, facilities outsourcing may prove more beneficial.

The FM industries growth over the last twenty years has been led by major corporate leaders seeking real-world solutions to every day problems. As a result, they have seen long term financial savings. . As the field has grown, so have the tools, such as software solutions, making it universally beneficial and affordable for organizations of all sizes. . This continued success, and the sharing of these successes in our information-based society, has led to the acceptance of facilities management as a staple in the business community.

. Statistics regarding the continued growth in the FM field, FM outsourcing and the adoption of FM principals, as well as their organization’s growth, are irrefutable evidence that the facilities management industry is a profession that produces results and is here to stay. .

Written by: Elizabeth DukesPartner at iOffice, Inc. | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

Good morning,

Tuesday again, last article from proposed series.

FM services can be outsourced on insourced. One way or another you must have a scope of work, a set of information in order to know what is needed, when, how, by whom…to have a documented process of operations and management.

This SOW should include:

  • Assets inventory: a clear and accurate list of location, buildings equipment and other inventory
  • Risk assessment:
    • Business impact assessment BIA:
    • Other risks.
  • Service matrix – SLA
  • Performance management – KPIs: control system
  • Processes, procedures and policies, including support systems (e.g. IT systems);
  • Roles and responsibilities;
  • Price/cost structure
  • Budget information, plans for investments, capital repairs or replacement, FM services, all related with FM strategy.

I will go into more details for some of the above.

Services (SLA) should be tailored on each building classification (critical, high impact, medium impact, low impact, very low impact) and building usage (commercial, production, office, etc.).

For example, if a building is classified as Critical (Buildings/parts of buildings that contain personnel and equipment, the loss of which would have a catastrophic impact on the business and would prevent the strategic business objectives from being achieved) will have intervention time very short, and high level of prevention on hard services. One with Very Low Impact may not have prevention at all, and large time of intervention.

Another example: soft services – cleaning: the need are very different between commercial space (impact on image since this is a point of interaction with customers) and a warehouse or even office.

Processes, procedures.

First of all you will have to identify needed processes, use same process for same type of activity. For example:

  • Scheduled activity process: this can be used for preventive/predictive technical maintenance, for scheduled cleaning, etc. Same process for different activities with same pattern.
  • On request process: corrective maintenance, corrective cleaning, complains. Etc.
  • Control process: based on performance management, could be one single process for all services performed. This should include:
    • Quantitative control From “Task by task” control to “sample control”. Sample must be >10 % of work performed for each category (corrective or preventive).
    • Qualitative control From “activity done and result verification” switch to “check for failure after activity performed”

Keep it simple, avoid redundancy, avoid over control and, most important: have one!


Cost/price structure:

There can be several way to define the price structure (some examples below) but nomather what is suitable for you don’t forget to relate payments for performance!

  • Open book and fixed margin;
  • Fix price per operation (all included);
  • Fix price per man/hour for different qualification, fix price for materials.

Incentive methods:

  • Price related to performance : 100% price for 100% performance, 90% for 90%, 0 for less the 80% performance
  • Penalties and commissions: 0-80% performances penalties up to 20%; 80%-95% performances – penalties up to 10%; 95%-100% performances – commissions up to 10%.
  • Profit share: In relation to Profit share any division of savings produced by the Service Provider will be divided between the Service Provider and Client according to the terms set out in the Contract, and this will be reflected in the overall profit fee for the period involved

Written by: Eugen Ion Independent Consultant | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.

As an Overhead cost rather than an enabler to Business Productivity. Leaders of businesses and organisations don’t want to talk about Facilities. It’s a dirty word associated with cleaning, maintenance and other non-core activities. The common view seems to be that facility managers should be neither seen nor heard. This piece provides sound arguments demonstrating the contribution that good facilities management can make to assist the achievement of organisational goals.

Let us understand about Productivity before moving forward – Most definitions of Productivity refer to the relationship between inputs and outputs. In manufacturing environments this is easy to observe, it takes so much material and so many hours to produce one widget and initiatives that reduce the material needed or speed up the process thereby increase productivity.

In an office environment it is relatively easy to measure the inputs energy, rent, wages etc. but it can be very difficult to capture the outputs in a meaningful way. The fact that it is easy to focus on cost probably explains why we do so much of it. However, as is so often the case, there is much to be gained by exploring the road less traveled. There are two principal thrusts to any
productivity oriented FM initiative – the identification and removal of disruptive workplace factors that increase the inputs required beyond the basic work content and the creation of productivity enhancing interventions that accelerate output.

Facility Manager input/output

Facility Manager input/output

There is overwhelming evidence to support the idea that health, well being and productivity of staff is significantly affected by workplace design. In particular, the role that Facilities Management (FM) organisations play in designing and maintaining the workplace is gaining attention from companies in a variety of sectors.

The British Institute of Facilities Management defines FM as: ‘The processes that maintain and develop an organisation’s services to support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities.’ Key areas include cleaning, health & safety, heating & ventilation as well as general office management.

Covering such a wide variety of processes means that effective FM is vital to the overall success of any business. It is facilities managers who are at the helm of ensuring that organisations have the most suitable working environment for employees and their activities.

Experienced facilities managers have learned the value of increasing workplace productivity. After all, a big part of an FM’s job is to help the occupants of the buildings for which they are responsible.

The problem is measuring results and pinpointing exactly how much of an impact efforts toward boosting productivity have on a company’s bottom line. That’s just the nature of dealing with people.

It’s a much cleaner argument to tell a CEO that you can save $1 per square foot or $5,000 per quarter with smarter HVAC systems.
Nevertheless, a small uptick in productivity can be worth at least as much as big savings per square foot. Therefore, it is important to put an emphasis on productivity.

Below are insights and perspectives on how an FM can improve productivity for a company’s workforce. Some of these ideas might more closely resemble art than science, but once we have a better idea of why workplace productivity is so important — and we’ll back this up with figures — and what pain points employees identify, we can develop a more targeted approach to improving productivity.

Why Productivity Lags

In a report on designing effective work spaces, Johnson Controls uncovered some interesting data. The company found that focused work accounts for just more than half of a person’s working day, but almost half of that focus time itself is unproductive. The major culprits? Noise and lack of privacy. Some people thrive in an open, busy environment; others need peace and quiet to get anything done,” Elizabeth Dukes writes at “Your office environment needs to ensure that both people can be productive. When you’re designing an open office environment, create flexibility for different work styles by creating a variety of spaces, from communal desks and couches to more private meeting rooms and quiet places to focus on a project in more depth. Editor’s note: We touched on this exact issue recently. “When employees feel like they can control their environment and choose the space they need to work in at that moment, they will be more productive.” We will explore a few practical solutions for addressing noise and lack of privacy in the next section.

Before that, there are two more points worth noting:

Data collection is key for understanding occupant needs, Dubai-based Able FM writes on its company blog. “If you do not have the data to identify a process that isn’t working, history will repeat itself until someone stumbles upon the truth. With the proper software solutions in place, FMs have the ability to collect data regarding revenue growth (and its major contributors), space
utilization and facility costs, as well as employee productivity and overall fulfillment.”

Facilities managers are in a position to enable productivity, not deliver it, Aramark Ireland’s Samantha Bowman argued at a BIFM event held in March 2014. “Every organisation is not the same, and most FMs work as part of a bigger team. FMs play an enabling role as part of a wider team.” Brown said this could include “playing a part in supporting wellbeing programs, managing
space, designing a workplace and facilitating other kinds of change,” FM world’s report from the event reads.

Practical Solutions For Improve Workplace Productivity

There are many workplace related factors that add cost and time to the input side of workplace productivity. These range from the cumulative effect of time spent walking to and waiting at printers, copiers and fax machines to the more pernicious impact of poor health and safety. Here are a few tactics that might be employed by a facility manager intent on reducing wasted productivity.

Apart from Indoor Air quality, Thermal comfort, Lighting comfort and Spatial comfort, First things first — let’s address issues of noise and privacy.

“Noise pollution is one of the biggest problems in many offices,” notes a staff article from Entrepreneur magazine. “One good way to decrease noise is to cover computer printers with sound shields. Covering a printer can cut noise by more than 90 percent and increase concentration accordingly.”

Russell Richardson, director of RBA Acoustics in England, has made a career of fixing noise problems, and he agrees that noise issues can kill productivity.

“An office where you feel you have to put earphones on is a failure,” Richardson says. “If it’s an occasional thing where I need to concentrate, that’s fine, but if I need to remove myself from the rest of my team and put headphones on, there’s something wrong.”

A big-picture fix for both noise and privacy issues — which seem to have become increasingly common in open office layouts — is to provide areas of refuge for anyone doing focused work.

Keep an eye on the office layout. This is one area in which an FM can enable big productivity gains by simply being responsive.

“It should be obvious, even if not measurable, that an opportunity to re-assess the office layout from a workflow perspective, provide more efficient ergonomic furniture and spice up the finishes can only improve productivity,” Michel Theriault writes at

Other experts suggest that there is some low-hanging fruit in many workplaces that, with a simple fix, can enhance productivity. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of being thoughtful.

Below are such opportunities.

Make the break room an inviting place.

The Staples Advantage blog reports that nearly half of the employees it surveyed for a study said they felt uncomfortable leaving their desks to take a break. “That’s not good, considering taking a break is one of the best ways to recharge and refuel throughout a busy day,” the post reads. A facilities manager obviously cannot mandate break time, but you can certainly
incentivize break-taking. The Staples post suggests including both healthy foods and drinks and also a wider option for facility occupants who prefer options. Also, the posts suggests comfortable, ergonomic furniture may invite employees to be more social and relaxed with their colleagues, a great way to lower stress and recharge.

Keep the workplace organized.

This might sound obvious, but when work gets hectic, organization is often the first thing sacrificed.

“A supervisor of mine from several years ago recently sent me a photo of me in my cubicle,” “I was horrified by how messy and disorganized it looked. And I recall vividly how challenged I was by the mess. Mess equals stress.”

Ensuring employees have proper places to store their documents and other effects can go a long way in making their work environments more comfortable.

Decluttering is important, but don’t sacrifice pleasant decor.

Straight lines and minimalism can be refreshing, sure, but don’t let that vision turn into barren minimalism. Most people like some decorations.

“Studying worker productivity levels over subsequent months at two large commercial offices, the researchers found that the presence of plants led to more work engagement by employees, including improved physical, cognitive, and emotional involvement in their work causing large increases in worker productivity and satisfaction,” reported in September.

“Productivity could increase by as much as 15% with the simple addition of greenery.”

Invest in ergonomics.

Lauren Barack has some great advice over at Speaking with a few ergonomics experts, she demonstrated how simply helping employees maintain physical comfort in their work ultimately pays dividends in productivity.
Her reporting touched on three tweaks:

Having adjustable keyboard positions and monitors is crucial for those who work all day at a computer. Laptops, for all the mobility they offer, are major contributors to injuries.

As smart ear buds come on the market, not only will this untether users from this computers physically — they will also be able to track the wearer’s heart rate and even the amount of noise passing through the ears.

Stand-up desks are becoming increasingly popular for those who want to alleviate or prevent back issues.

“You need to invest in your people,” one expert told Barack. “You can reduce medical costs by incorporating just one incentive.”

Improved communication between colleagues, suppliers and customers is one of the most important issues to be considered. The office is the centre of social interaction and the design and provision of better meeting rooms, open spaces and telecommunication facilities demands serious attention.

The actual design philosophy of the building can have a big impact and the choice between cellular or open plan, distributed or centralized services or any of the myriad other choices available must be well thought out.

The stacking plans for the building are equally important. An efficient office layout will take careful note of operational adjacencies to optimize the use of assets and functions in use.

There is now considerable evidence concerning the benefits to be gained from fresh air and natural ventilation. Absenteeism rates have been shown to be reduced by as much as 6% in naturally-ventilated buildings. Productivity gains have also been shown in buildings where there is a greater access to natural daylight (and those, such as in Norway where artificial daylight has been incorporated).

All people respond very positively to recognition of their individuality and self-worth. The facility manager can do much to support such an approach developing bespoke and intelligent service solutions that treat people as individuals and with due respect.

The trend towards greater personal control over an individual’s environment takes this approach one step further and is increasingly being incorporated into “green” building design with significant impact upon the perceived morale of building occupants.

The creation of a social community within the workplace can be greatly enhanced by the design and provision of catering, welfare and sporting facilities.

A focus away from “Sickness management” and towards “Wellness support” must have a positive impact on productivity. Massage services, dietary advice and dental care in the workplace are not just valued benefits but will reduce sick absence and increase staff retention while improving the performance of the human asset itself.

“Facility Managers are often cut off from the wider and more important strategic business considerations and are rewarded primarily, and sometimes exclusively for cutting costs”. But these above weighty action plans clearly demonstrate that there is much that the smart facility manager can do to improve productivity in the workplace. The difficulty remains of our inability
to adequately measure the impact of our labours and thus justify the investment required.

For the foreseeable future facility managers will continue to battle with an uncomfortable image as a cost focused, low value management discipline. Despite this handicap our profession continues to progress towards a more valued strategic position in organisational terms.

Well designed and properly managed facilities do support the businesses they serve. The best facility managers go further and contribute towards strategic business goals in many ways including the aspects of talent, compliance, efficiency, reputation, risk and productivity that have been addressed in this series of articles. The future lies with them.

Strategic FM delivery is now essential for business survival, where the impetus on ensuring high customer satisfaction coupled with high workplace productivity.

“Put the key of despair into the lock of apathy. Turn the knob of mediocrity slowly and open the gates of despondency – welcome to a day in the average office.”

Written by: Naveen Kumar VADDE FMP® SFP® 5S LA® | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.


The definition of a facilities manager can vary high and wide depending on who you’re talking to. A position on a campus under the same name may be completely different from the building just behind. One thing remains constant, the role of the facilities manager is essential, but their daily tasks and the way they work can be quite different. Normally Facilities Manager provides a single point of entry for the coordination of all services relating to the efficient and effective running of a Facility. Facility manager is a person who manages a facility, be it a factory, an office building, a hospital, a recreation center or an entire university campus. The manager ensures that the facility meets the needs of the people who work in and around it. The manager also ensures that the facility is suited to the work being done by the people, whether it’s talking on telephones or running forklifts.

Facility managers have been around for a long time, but it hasn’t been until the last decade that they’ve had this title. They used to be called physical plant administrators because they were in charge of all the physical aspects of a building and its operations. Facility managers are an important part of their organizations. They help make the most of an organization’s buildings and resources. Facilities Managers are at the “Heart” of the Campus / Building, which is why every Day In The Life of Facilities Manager is so special. Facility managers continue adopting technology to help them manage all of the complexities that they face from day to day.

Facility manager may also supervise a good-sized staff. All this responsibility makes for a busy day. “A typical day for a facility manager is pretty unpredictable. You can find yourself giving a presentation to the CEO on a cost-saving project at 8 a.m., and within the hour be on the roof of a building, figuring out the best repair for a storm-damaged air conditioning unit,” .

Facility managers need an unusual combination of skills to do this job. Much of the job requires technical engineering skills for understanding how buildings work. At the same time, these managers need business skills to deal with budgets, financial forecasts and real estate management. Even people with both of these sets of skills still need to have good people skills to make everything work, say experts. A facility manager may deal with hundreds of people per month.

“My day involves a lot of contact with people, ranging from the customer who is trying to describe their needs to the contractor or tradesperson who transforms the ideas from plans to reality. The principal requirement of this job is to be a good people person,” .

This is not an entry-level job. It takes time to learn everything involved in the job and to gain the necessary experience. Many facility managers begin as engineers, building managers and assistants before moving into this senior position.

While many facility managers are employed by large companies or organizations, experts say the trend is towards hiring facility managers as independent consultants. These freelance consultants work with a number of clients at a time.”Companies outsource their facilities management so contract management also becomes the role for facility managers,”.

Facilities Management is varied and multi-disciplinary and a Facilities Managers work may cover aspects from all the following fields

  • People Management,
  • Working with Suppliers and Specialists
  • Property Portfolio Management
  • Building Fabric Maintenance
  • Managing Building Services
  • Managing Support Services
  • Project Management
  • Customer Service
  • Environmental Issues
  • Space Management
  • Procurement
  • Risk Management
  • Financial Management
  • Quality Management
  • Information Management
  • In one Word Facilities Manager is Must from “Journey to Work – Going home back”

    Written by: Naveen Kumar VADDE FMP® SFP® 5S LA® | Posted by: Max-Migold Ltd.