Facilities management is an essential part of any business and their operation – however, the specific facilities management services each business requires will differ depending on a number of things such as the size of the facility and the nature of the business. Whether it is remaining compliant with relevant laws and legislation or ensuring the facility is running effectively and efficiently – facilities management plays a role.
As facilities management is such a wide term, it can be split into two main categories – hard and soft facilities management. Both types of facilities management will likely be needed across different sectors – but let’s take a look at the different aspects and when each type of service might be needed.
The purpose of facilities management is to ensure a facility is maintained to ensure the highest standards of safety, comfort and efficiency. A facilities management strategy therefore generally includes planned maintenance, reactive maintenance and compliance maintenance – all of which covers areas such as air conditioning maintenance, roofing maintenance, electrical safety, water safety and pest control. In addition, a good facilities management strategy should include a keen focus on hygiene – ensuring cleanliness standards are upheld.
Hard Facilities Management
Generally, the easiest way to differentiate between hard and soft facilities management is to remember that hard facilities management refers to the tangible and physical aspects of building maintenance – the things which tend to have laws and regulations attached to them meaning you have to remain compliant. Below are some hard facilities management aspects to consider:
Water systems must be maintained in line with relevant laws and legislation in order to protect staff and customers from legionella – a bacteria which can be found in water. Not being compliant with these laws can result in a risk to the health of those within the business and land those responsible with hefty fines and court dates. A planned maintenance schedule can help to ensure your business remains compliant with the relevant legislation.
Within a business there must be a ‘responsible person’ who’s job it is to oversee everything to do with fire safety – which includes ensuring all fire equipment and systems are in working order and complaint with relevant legislation.
A well-lit workplace is essential for safety purposes – therefore, as part of a planned maintenance schedule light systems should be checked to ensure they are working properly and that any minor faults can be rectified. In addition to this, regularly inspecting lighting systems can ensure they are energy efficient and depending on the size of the business, an ESOS assessment may be required.
Soft Facilities Management
On the other hand – soft facilities management tends to refer to the additional services which, whilst not necessarily required by law, will make the facility cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing and secure. These services are generally quite different from business to business and will be implemented on an ad-hoc basis.
Depending on the size, type and location of your business – the type of security you require will differ. There are a variety of security options businesses can consider – from CCTV to 24 hour on site security guards. Consulting with experts, such as MSL, you can ensure you are employing the best security solutions for your business.
Hygiene is essential for employee comfort and wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to ensure a regular or ad-hoc cleaning service is performed in order to maintain a level of cleanliness in the workplace. In addition to regular cleaning, waste disposal and pest control services can help to ensure your facility is kept as clean as possible – whether used on a regular or ad-hoc basis.
Whilst aesthetic updates such as landscaping, gardening and general building décor may not seem like the most important aspect of a facilities management programme, it can be essential for employee morale and can help to improve and maintain the value of the property.
Having a combined facilities management programme which utilises all relevant aspects of both hard and soft facilities management will help to ensure your building is well-maintained, safe, secure and an enjoyable place for all.
To discuss how MSL Property Care Services can help you with both hard and soft facilities management, get in touch today.