As a facilities manager, how can you keep costs down while appeasing employees and making sure your office or premises meets the required regulations and standards? We have researched a few ideas.
The role of a facilities manager isn’t easy. As the ultimate organiser, you’re tasked with making sure the working environment is safe and meets the needs of employees. However, budgets are getting increasingly smaller and the demands for a great working environment are getting larger.
Don’t overlook the small things
There are many elements to juggle when it comes to facilities management, including allocating costs for equipment, projects, supplies, hiring and emergencies, but there are a few small things you can do to keep costs down.
Sometimes you overlook them because you’re too concerned with the bigger picture, but little things such as turning off vending machines and office computers, checking windows and roofs for leaks, turning off lights, and ensuring refrigeration units are kept at the correct temperature can really help in the long run. It’s important to be proactive here, but you must also advise employees to do the same – put up signs to remind the last person to turn off the lights and send regular emails to ensure all staff are kept in the loop.
Consider your flooring expenditure
Your choice of flooring can impact your business, in terms of health, safety, wellness and even productivity! The right flooring can help reduce your budget – it may cost you more initially, but ensuring the flooring is properly installed and maintained, and choosing a high-quality, hard-wearing option is essential – it’ll be more durable, so you won’t have to replace it as often.
Carpet tiles are a great example and they’re ideal for reducing replacement costs. They’re also available in many colourful, modern designs which work wonders for transforming both the feel and look of a space.
Becoming more energy efficient is a lot easier than you think if all staff work together. Educate everybody on how becoming greener can reduce costs and improve your environmentally friendly status. Simple tasks such as lowering the air conditioning or heater, switching to LED lights, and reducing paper waste can make a huge difference.
These tasks are simple to carry out, but it’s important staff are still comfortable. In winter, rather than turning the temperature dial up on the heating, try letting more natural light into the space (think glass doors and partitions, and larger windows). During the summer, encourage them to close blinds and open windows to keep the space cool, rather than ramping up the air conditioning. Plants, shrubs and trees are also great for natural shading.
Don’t neglect routine maintenance and cleaning
Equipment is a big cost for any facilities budget, so you need to make sure you’re regularly cleaning and maintaining all your computers, machines, appliances and operating systems. You can do this by keeping detailed logs and asking employees to carry out preventive maintenance. By catching a fault or fixing a problem before major issues arise, you can avoid costly repairs further down the line.
We realise many of you know a lot about the above, but there is no harm in accumulating a few well informed tips. We found many articles focused on energy saving lighting and HVAC, there was also a strong focus on promoting collaboration with all employees and thinking about how buildings are used, and when they are not. It might be worth reading Ten Tips For Facility Managers to Cut Energy Costs on facilitiesnet.com – although written sometime ago this US article picks up on a number of key areas of consideration.