What Does a Facilities Manager Do?
Facilities Managers are responsible for making sure that buildings and their services meet the needs of the people who work in them. Executives look to their Facilities Manager to develop a workspace that meets the growing needs of their employees while still realizing a growing bottom-line. These evolving needs shift almost daily, making the Facilities Management profession both unique and influential.
Contemporary Facilities Manager (FM) titles are as diverse as the duties they are charged with, oftentimes varying based on company size, industry and principal goals. There are currently more than 7,000 titles within this unique industry. One thing remains constant, however, regardless of your particular position--there is no better time to enter the Facilities Management industry.
“Facility management, as a profession, is a recession-proof profession. If organizations are not expending their physical assets in good economic times, they are maintaining their existing physical assets in bad economic times. Therefore, all organizations that have physical assets must hire facility managers.” --Jeffrey W. Rogers, Ph.D. from Rochester Institute of Technology
One critical aspect to the FM position is the ability to collect and analyze relevant data. Proper analysis provides the team with the necessary information to make adjustments in current processes, as well as plan for the future. Many organizations are recognizing the value of data and we are seeing an enormous spike in Analyst titles in the FM profession. A few we have encountered are:
- Facilities Planning Analyst
- Real Estate Analyst
- Facilities Program Analyst
- Facility Maintenance Analyst
Once data has been collected and analyzed, the Facilities Management team must formulate strategies that ensure all the organization’s resources are being used to their fullest capability. This entails everything from office redesign, implementation of new software, and restructuring of current processes. The FM must work closely with other departments such as HR and IT to ensure new strategies fulfill the company’s current needs, as well as those for the future. With this in mind, many companies are hiring individuals with strategic prowess, with their titles reflecting such expertise.
- Facilities Strategist
- Real Estate Strategic Manager
- Strategic Site Planner
- Facilities Strategic Planner
- Strategic Facilities Planning
Historically, the FM’s role was more about the brick and mortar, ensuring the building and tangible assets were running smoothly. While this aspect of the Facility Manager’s position is still very important, there has been a shift in focus over the last decade, as companies realize the key to long-term success lies in the people they serve. As a result, the goal of the Facility Team’s has expanded to ensure their customers, the employees, have the tools i.e. workspace, services and assets, they need for maximized productivity.
With multiple personality types sharing the workspace, ensuring each team member is set up for success has proven quite the challenge. FMs have found that the workplace is about the space, the tools AND the people, all working as one cohesive unit. Through data analysis and strategic planning, today’s Facilities Managers must construct such a workplace that is inspiring and enticing in both attracting and retaining top talent. As more organizations recognize the need, as well as the endless possibilities, for workspace management, many FM titles reflect this approach. Below are just a few of the titles we have encountered through working with our clients.
- Workplace Strategist
- Workplace Services Manager
- Workplace Resources
- Move Coordinator
- Space Planning Manager
- Space Planner
- Space Management Specialist
- Space & Facility Management Specialist
- Global Workplace Manager
- Workspace Manager
- Space Planning & Logistics Leader
- Facilities Services Move Specialist
- Occupancy & Space Planner
The Facilities Manager is, in many ways, the glue that binds their organization together. From ensuring the building is properly maintained, to spatial planning, asset management, and ensuring issues are addressed with minimal downtime, the FM’s success is critical to the company’s prosperity. Many titles reflect such diversity in responsibilities, such as:
- Facilities System Specialist
- Global Corporate Properties Coordinator
- Facility Coordinator
- Office Services Manager
- Facilities Administrator
- Facilities Supervisor
- Facility Solutions
- Manager of Real Estate
- Facilities Maintenance Specialist
- Facilities Helpdesk Lead
Regardless of the title you hold, one thing remains consistent--your job is about taking care of your people and their needs. You are, oftentimes, the heart of the organization, as you play a principal role in your company's growth and success. Did you find your title on our list? If not, what are your primary responsibilities and what title do you hold?
The facilities manager is one of the most important positions in the modern workplace. Discover what it takes to climb the career ladder in our free resource A Facilities Leader’s Guide to Landing an Awesome Job!