Blog, Facilities Management

What is Facilities Management? Defining FM the Expert Guide

Have you ever wondered what is Facilities Management? And why is Facilities Management so important? - Well you are in luck because our FM experts have written this post just for you, complete with a Facilities Management definition!

Defining Facilities Management

The ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies). They define facilities management as:

The organizational function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Facilities Management Definition

International cooperation in the preparation of these International Standards has identified common practices that can be applied across a wide variety of market sectors, organizational types, process activities and geographies. Their implementation will help to:
  1. improve quality, productivity and financial performance;
  2. enhance sustainability and reduce negative environmental impact;
  3. develop functional and motivating work environments;
  4. maintain regulatory compliance and provide safe workplaces;
  5. optimize life cycle performance and costs;
  6. improve resilience and relevance;
  7. project an organization’s identity and image more.

Facilities Management Glossary

In fact, they have compiled a really handy glossary of FM/Facilities Management terms.

RFM Group are ISO Certified 

ISO certification is a seal of approval from a third-party body that a company runs to one of the international standards developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO registration provides a symbol of quality and assurance when selecting a Facilities Management company. 

RFM ISO 9001RFM ISO 14001Facilities Management definition

RFM Group are ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 Certified 

Facilities Management Areas

Facilities management covers a wide range of services that includes:

Facilities management definition man in black jacket walking on brown wooden floor

Two Types of Facilities Management: Hard FM and Soft FM

Facilities management are often further divided into two categories: Hard Facilities Management (Hard FM) and Soft Facilities Management (Soft FM)

Both sets of services are crucial in ensuring that buildings are managed effectively; in turn, they help to maximise business productivity and deliver employee and occupant satisfaction.

Hard FM 

Hard facilities relate to the physical building and cannot be removed.  These services ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees is adhered to and most are required by law.  This typically includes:


Soft FM

Soft services are the facilities and services that tend to make the workplace a better place to be in, whether making it safer and more secure, a more pleasant working environment or of growing importance, more efficient.  Examples of soft facilities management include:

Why is Facilities Management Important?

FM Enables People to Work at Their Best

The secret of successful organisations is getting the best out of people, who are empowered and enabled to work efficiently. People produce their best work (and feel engaged) in buildings that are safe, welcoming and efficient. Facilities management affects everything that surrounds people in facilities and on the grounds. Where they shop, work, play, learn, and live should be comfortable, productive, and sustainable.

Effective facilities management contributes to an organisation’s bottom line. It impacts the short- and long-term value of property, buildings and equipment.

An effective facilities management company should support:


Why Are Buildings So Important

People mostly exist in buildings, in fact, we spend 87% of our time in buildings. So, it makes sense to invest in the facilities we inhabit. This will improve operations and in turn, make the lives of all users more comfortable and maximize efficiencies.

CAFM helpdesk operator RFM

Facilities Management Technology

Technology has become central to the effective running of buildings. FM technology includes both software such as CAFM and systems. Immense amounts of data are generated by built environments through the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, wi-fi and SMART devices. The most effective solutions enable facilities management managers to utilise this data by combining analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) into an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS).

These technologies use data efficiently to make computer-aided facilities management possible — FM managers can analyze and learn from data, delivering real-time visibility, performing predictive facilities maintenance, and creating more productive, cost-efficient environments.

facilties management code Colorful software or web code on a computer monitor

Step by Step Guide to Switching Facilities Providers

We speak to businesses every day who feel they ‘don’t want the hassle’ of switching suppliers or are unsure about the terms of their current contract. That’s why we’ve created a Step by Step Guide to Switching Facilities Providers. See our three simple steps to switching your supplier and how easy it can be to make a significant positive impact on your business.

Functions of a Facilities Manager

Facilities managers have a wide range of important day-to-day responsibilities regardless of industry or sector. Effective managers need to both plan ahead and also be ready for unexpected events that occur every day.

Facilities Manager Responsibilities

An FM manager’s responsibilities often include:

  • property management
  • capital expenditure, projects and planning
  • occupancy and workspace management 
  • lease administration and accounting
  • compliance

7 Key Areas to Improving Facilities Management and FM Managers

We’ve identified 7 key areas to improve the performance of FM managers as they carry out their responsibilities:

  1. Deliver operational efficiencies
  2. Create a productive environment
  3. Utilise technology 
  4. Guarantee regulatory compliance
  5. Minimize risks to all users of the facilities
  6. Minimize energy consumption and energy costs
  7. Reduce the carbon footprint of the property portfolio.
future facilities management green potted plant on table

The Future of Facilities Management – FM Trends

An expert facilities manager needs to have an eye on the future. There is no doubt that the workplace has changed. As companies and organisations return to their office the workplace needs to become a place where employees want to collaborate.

In the IBM Institute for Business Value 2021 CEO Study, “56% of CEOs emphasize the need to aggressively pursue operational agility and flexibility over the next two to three years”.

Business leaders need to devise a return-to-the-workplace strategy.

Hybrid and Agile Workspaces

“The workplace has gone hybrid. There is no way of putting the genie back in the bottle. Workplaces have moved on. The rigid ways of working are gone forever. If Organisations don’t realise that and fail to adapt, they will ultimately fail to retain talent and thus fail.” Was the sage advice from Ian Flanagan, RFM CEO recently at a group-wide presentation. 

Hybrid and Agile workplaces are the opportunity to embrace the future and drive improved performance.

Workspaces in the post-pandemic world need to accommodate and adapt to changing needs, getting both the productivity of face-to-face working alongside the many benefits of remote working such as saving employees commuting time. There are both advantages and challenges of building a hybrid workspace model.

People should be at the centre of everything an FM Manager does. If a Facilities Manager is empowered to improve their facilities then they will give employees a better workplace experience. Covid-19 has redefined “A great place to work” and shifted employee expectations and technology requirements.

An improved employee experience can mean the difference between engaged, productive employees, and even more disruption. 

The Best Facilities Management is Delivered by Expert Facilities Managers

Simply put, the Best Facilities Management is Delivered by Expert Facilities Managers. Facilities are central to effective performance but knowing where to start can be difficult. That’s why it is good to be able to turn to property experts who can manage and maintain your premises.

Step by Step Guide to Switching Facilities Providers

We speak to businesses every day who feel they ‘don’t want the hassle’ of switching suppliers or are unsure about the terms of their current contract. That’s why we’ve created a Step by Step Guide to Switching Facilities Providers. See our three simple steps to switching your supplier and how easy it can be to make a significant positive impact on your business.

The Ultimate FAQ about Facilities Management answers all the questions you may have about FM

Q1: What is Facilities Management (FM)?

A1: Facilities Management, or FM, involves the management and maintenance of an organization’s physical assets and infrastructure. This includes buildings, equipment, utilities, and services to ensure optimal functionality and a safe, efficient, and comfortable working environment.

Q2: What are the key responsibilities of Facilities Management?

A2: FM encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, including space planning, maintenance, security, health and safety, environmental sustainability, and vendor management. Essentially, it’s about creating and maintaining a conducive workplace.

Q3: Why is Facilities Management important?

A3: Effective FM contributes to increased productivity, employee well-being, and cost-efficiency. It ensures that the physical workplace aligns with the organization’s goals, regulatory compliance is met, and resources are used optimally.

Q4: What is the role of a Facilities Manager?

A4: Facilities Managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a facility. Their role includes strategic planning, budgeting, managing vendors, ensuring safety and compliance, and addressing any issues related to the physical environment.

Q5: How does Facilities Management impact sustainability?

A5: FM plays a crucial role in promoting sustainability by implementing energy-efficient practices, waste reduction, and environmentally friendly policies. This not only benefits the planet but also contributes to cost savings.

Q6: What is space planning in Facilities Management?

A6: Space planning involves optimizing the use of physical space within a facility. It includes layout design, furniture arrangement, and ensuring that space meets the functional needs of the organization.

Q7: How does Facilities Management handle maintenance?

A7: FM includes preventive and reactive maintenance. Preventive maintenance involves scheduled inspections and repairs to prevent issues, while reactive maintenance addresses immediate problems. Both aim to ensure equipment and facilities are in optimal condition.

Q8: How does FM contribute to employee well-being?

A8: Facilities Management influences factors like air quality, lighting, and ergonomic design, all of which impact employee health and well-being. A comfortable and safe workplace fosters a positive environment.

Q9: What technologies are used in Facilities Management?

A9: Technologies such as Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), Building Management Systems (BMS), IoT devices, and data analytics are commonly used in FM for efficient monitoring, automation, and decision-making.

Q10: How can an organization improve its Facilities Management practices?

A10: Continuous improvement involves regular assessments, feedback mechanisms, staying updated on industry best practices, and embracing technological advancements. Engaging with employees to understand their needs is also crucial.

Q11: What challenges does Facilities Management face?

A11: Challenges may include budget constraints, evolving regulations, adapting to new technologies, and ensuring that the facility meets the changing needs of the organization and its workforce.

Q12: How can I pursue a career in Facilities Management?

A12: A background in facilities, engineering, or business administration is beneficial. Certifications like IWFM qualifications can enhance your credentials. Gain experience through internships or entry-level positions.

Q13: How does Facilities Management adapt to changes in technology?

A13: Facilities Management embraces technology through the integration of smart building systems, IoT devices, and data analytics. This allows for real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and the efficient use of resources.

Q14: What is the role of sustainability in Facilities Management?

A14: Sustainability in FM involves reducing environmental impact through energy-efficient practices, waste reduction, and green building initiatives. It aligns with corporate social responsibility goals and often leads to long-term cost savings.

Q15: How does Facilities Management ensure safety and compliance?

A15: Facilities Managers adhere to local, state, and federal regulations related to safety and building codes. They implement safety protocols, conduct regular inspections, and collaborate with relevant authorities to ensure compliance.

Q16: How does FM support the changing needs of remote work?

A16: FM addresses the changing workplace landscape by incorporating flexible workspaces, implementing technology to support remote work, and ensuring that the physical office remains an attractive and functional space for collaboration.

Q17: Can Facilities Management contribute to cost savings for an organization?

A17: Yes, efficient Facilities Management can lead to cost savings through energy conservation, preventive maintenance to avoid costly repairs, and optimizing space utilization to reduce unnecessary expenses.

Q18: What is the role of outsourcing in Facilities Management?

A18: Organizations often outsource certain FM functions to specialized service providers. This can include janitorial services, security, and maintenance. Outsourcing allows companies to focus on their core competencies while benefiting from the expertise of FM professionals.

Q19: How does FM handle emergencies and disasters?

A19: Facilities Managers develop and implement emergency response plans. This includes procedures for evacuations, communication protocols, and ensuring that critical systems (such as fire safety and emergency lighting) are in place and regularly tested.

Q20: How does Facilities Management contribute to the overall corporate strategy?

A20: FM aligns with corporate strategy by providing an environment that supports the organization’s goals. This includes creating an efficient workspace, ensuring compliance with regulations, and contributing to employee satisfaction, which, in turn, enhances productivity and the overall success of the company.

Q21: How can FM contribute to a positive organizational culture?

A21: Facilities Management influences the physical work environment, which plays a role in shaping organizational culture. A well-maintained and comfortable workspace contributes to employee satisfaction, engagement, and positive work culture.

Q22: How does Facilities Management address diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

A22: FM can play a role in creating an inclusive environment by ensuring that the physical workspace is accessible to all employees, accommodating diverse needs, and incorporating inclusive design principles.

Q23: What is the significance of data-driven decision-making in Facilities Management?

A23: Data-driven decision-making in FM involves using analytics to optimize resource allocation, energy usage, and maintenance schedules. This approach enhances efficiency, reduces costs, and improves overall facility performance.

Q24: How does Facilities Management contribute to disaster recovery and business continuity?

A24: Facilities Managers develop and implement plans for business continuity and disaster recovery, ensuring that critical functions can continue in the face of disruptions such as natural disasters, cyberattacks, or other emergencies.

Q25: What are the trends shaping the future of Facilities Management?

A25: Emerging trends in FM include the integration of artificial intelligence, the rise of smart buildings, increased focus on health and wellness in the workplace, and a continued emphasis on sustainability and green practices.

Q26: How can FM support a healthy work-life balance for employees?

A26: Facilities Management can contribute to work-life balance by creating comfortable and flexible workspaces, providing recreational areas, and implementing policies that support employee well-being.

Q27: How does FM collaborate with other departments within an organization?

A27: FM collaborates with departments such as HR, IT, and finance to align the physical environment with organizational goals. This includes supporting technology needs, providing workspace solutions, and contributing to overall operational efficiency.

Q28: Can Facilities Management contribute to innovation within an organization?

A28: Yes, FM can foster innovation by creating collaborative spaces, supporting technology infrastructure, and adapting the physical environment to encourage creativity and idea-sharing among employees.

Q29: What role does FM play in ensuring a secure workplace?

A29: Facilities Management addresses security through measures such as access control systems, surveillance, and emergency response planning. This ensures the safety of employees and the protection of physical assets.

Q30: How does FM adapt to changing workplace trends, such as remote work and flexible schedules?

A30: FM adapts by implementing flexible workspace solutions, optimizing remote work support systems, and ensuring that the physical office remains a valuable asset even as work patterns evolve.

Need Help – Ask RFM

Remember that the field of Facilities Management is dynamic, and staying informed about industry trends and best practices is crucial for effective management. If you have any more questions or need specific information, feel free to contact RFM Group

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