Start your engines it’s World FM Day

‘The purpose of World FM Day is to recognise and celebrate the vital work that workplace and facilities managers and the wider industry contribute to businesses worldwide. It aims to raise the profile of the facilities profession anywhere that its practitioners influence the health, safety, productivity, and wellbeing of people who use the built environment.’


Being an FM professional for the last 20 years, the celebration of World FM Day from the IWFM is most welcome. Frustratingly, organisations still don’t recognise the importance of facilities and workplace management as integral to that organisation’s success. They see it as simply ‘bogs, boilers and butties’, not critical to the operation of the business.

Facilities and workplace management tends to sit within various directorates, such as health and safety, HR, or even procurement. In my opinion, facilities and workplace management should have a more significant standing within businesses and organisations,  its own directorate!

You maintain and service your car. What about a building?

So to try and reinforce this view, I’ll use the car analogy. A well-serviced vehicle both runs well and sounds well, but with dirty points, mucky oil, and a poorly tuned engine, it’ll complain and labour all the time. The driver and passengers will have a terrible time, disrupting the journeys they undertake, and their experience will be abysmal. In addition, if you don’t have insurance, a road fund licence, and the driver doesn’t have a driving licence, the consequence is severe. To avoid this, you maintain and service your car, and you ensure that you are insured, have a road fund licence, and are licenced to drive. The driver and passengers have a far more pleasant journey, and their experience is significantly better. It’s all accepted, and everybody is well versed in this practice.

Let’s apply this to an office building. A building has numerous services within that ensures that there is heat, light etc. Lack of maintenance and servicing causes business disruption due to breakdowns and poor performance of the kit and equipment that supports the building environment. The staff’s experience will be abysmal, productivity will be low, and the business will not be profitable. In addition, employers/business owners have obligations to fulfil concerning areas of statutory compliance related to the services that are within the building, including a raft of other compliance issues, such as fire regulations, asbestos management and water hygiene etc. If compliance status is not visible and there isn’t a comprehensive approach to compliance management, employers/business owners could be subject to significant fines and reputational damage, alongside placing their employees at avoidable risk.

Facilities and workplace management within any business/organisation is a crucial component. You manage your car’s maintenance and ensure that you are legally allowed to drive, so why not have the same approach to the facilities and workplace you use?

Car versus building – this is what you find on Google!!

Maintenance and ServicingDesigned to require maintenance, keeping them in good working order. Doing this at regular intervals can prevent costly unexpected repairs.Regular and proper maintenance of a building ensures that it is appropriately maintained, free from damage, costly repair bills and the need for urgent repairs. Adequate facilities and workplace management will enable regular maintenance at periodic intervals to make it easier.
LegalYou must do several things before you drive a car or ride a motorcycle. These include getting a driving licence, registering, insuring and taxing your vehicle, and getting an MOT.The price of failure in delivering a safe and secure environment is high. In extreme cases where there is a life or death threatening injury, it can result in prosecution and imprisonment and corporate manslaughter cases, which, whilst rare, do focus on the responsibilities of directors and senior officers of an organisation. For most organisations, the penalties for non-compliance may vary from heavy fines, increased insurance cost and, of course, reputational damage. (IWFM)
The ExperienceLooking after your car will make it more efficient, nicer to drive and last longer. (RAC)A well-maintained vehicle is also more efficient, so you’ll save money on fuel as well. (Moneyadviceservice)Taking care of your car can reduce stress in your life and make the driving experience more enjoyable. (artofmanliness)Facility Managers are the pioneers in enhancing customer experience (Elizabeth Dukes)

So, employers/business owners – step up to the plate and make World FM Day change the way you approach facilities and workplace management. Put it where it belongs, on the top table!!

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