Survey results from Staples Advantage have been released regarding facility managers – more than 70% of today’s office workers recognize the role of facility managers in the workplace is changing and becoming increasingly strategic to the business.
Misconceptions about facility managers seem to be dissipating with more than 80% of respondents accurately identifying the role’s management responsibilities and a majority recognizing its strategic importance with professionals often serving as an organization’s sustainability champion.
The survey, which polled U.S. office workers at businesses of all sizes, uncovered how many facility managers personally contribute to the overall welfare of not only the physical building, but also the occupants. In fact, 75% of respondents said a facility manager has “saved the day” for them.
“Our survey suggests that not only are facility managers viewed as office heroes, they are also thought of as strategic decision makers,” says Lisa Hamblet, vice president for the facility solutions and service business of Staples Advantage. “Facility managers are coming out from ‘behind the scenes’ when it comes to maintaining the health of a building and its tenants. The workforce now understands that the facility manager role is evolving daily.”
Some of the unique skills of facility managers were showcased in the survey responses:
- Financially savvy – According to more than 80 percent of respondents, knowledge of financial and operational budgets is a must for facility managers.
- Strategically oriented – Employees recognize the role of the facility manager has changed from tactical to strategic with more than 60 percent commenting on the importance for facility managers to have environmental and health and safety knowledge.
- Problem solvers – Close to 80 percent noted it was very important for facility managers to have problem solving skills.
- Make the case for sustainability – By implementing a sustainable cleaning program, facility managers can make a big difference. Often serving as the environmental champion for their organization, facility managers must evaluate the overall health of the facility, review products and equipment, assess current vendors and implement training programs so maintenance staff is educated on green initiatives and best practices.
- Promote building safety– More than 80 percent of survey respondents noted they were very appreciative when building walkways were de-iced and shoveled. Facility managers understand the importance of general building maintenance and can advance building safety by ensuring the entire facility meets or exceeds OSHA regulations.
- Keep communication open – The facility manager role is not only tactical but also strategic. Continue the ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders to discuss new regulations and the importance of continually reviewing products, equipment and vendors.