17 May, 2021 | Posted by Cian Fahey

Four Important Functions of Facilities Management

Facilities Manager managing his office space on his tablet.

The four important functions of Facilities Management are widely recognized as:

  • Facilities Upkeep and Improvement
  • Supporting People
  • Establishing Efficient Working Processes
  • Strategizing and Integrating Technology Relevant to the Company’s Needs

Facilities Managers have responsibilities dependent on the environment they work in. As such, if you outline the specific responsibilities of one facilities manager, it might be completely different to the outline of another facilities manager. That’s not the same across different career paths.

If you were a chef, you’d have a very specific role in a restaurant. There are different types of chefs but they can essentially be defined the same way.

Since the position covers such a broad scope of responsibilities, we rely on the four functions of facilities management to tie professionals together.

These four functions are somewhat ambiguous but can be broken down into subcategories.


Facilities Upkeep and Improvement

Property management can be a separate responsibility to facilities management but often it’s part of the remit of a facilities manager. Property is expensive. It’s more often than not the largest investment a company makes, which in turn puts heightened importance on it.

As a facilities manager, it is your responsibility to anticipate any potential issues, address any problems that arise and maintain the building so that those inside of it are safe and working efficiently.

In a factory setting or a building that relies on technology, there will be machinery that needs to be maintained. This can involve managing a team of maintenance employees, tracking the status of the machinery through technology, or working on the machinery to fix any problems or maintain performance yourself directly.

More recently, information technology and network engineers have been qualifying as facilities managers. Upkeep of websites and maintenance of different networks is now as much a part of an effective business as air conditioning is.


Supporting People

Companies want the best employees. The best employees want to be compensated as such but they also want the best working environment. Facilities managers play a key role in the morale of the wider company’s workforce. They create the layout of office spaces, managing the available space as efficiently as possible while allocating desk space.

Employee directories are often managed by facilities managers and emergency planning always requires the knowledge of a facilities manager.

The problem-solving nature of the position also means that whenever there is a concern about accommodation, safety or comfort, the facilities manager is responsible for providing the solution. Facilities managers must have the requisite people skills and compassion to see problems from the relevant perspectives.

There might be a reason why the office space can’t work the way a specific employee wants it to work. It’s the responsibility of the facilities manager to explain that without creating any further issues.

On the other side, facilities managers have to report to their bosses to assure them that the workplace is working to its full potential. This means balancing costs and effectiveness of output from all employees.


Establishing Efficient Work Processes

The Facilities Market is worth billions now because it has proven to be effective at creating revenue for companies across every sector. Creating efficiency in every workplace means creating processes that generate consistent results.

Processes give employees clear direction and give employers a standard of expectations.

Work order requests, space reservation, accounting for customers and creating emergency response standards are all examples of processes that facilities managers can create. The macro view of a facilities manager is creating control over potential areas of chaos. Creating process is a very specific example of this in action.


Strategizing and Integrating Technology Relevant to the Company’s Needs

Smart buildings are an incoming trend but likely an overstated one at this point. Most buildings, even the more recent developments, aren’t adequately built to incorporate that much technology. However, we’re still at a point where facilities managers have to understand how to use technology.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is constantly expanding. It is the small bandwidth network that monitors and alarms exist on. Facilities managers can now use apps on their phones or tablets to check the monitors that exist in their places of employment. Whether it’s an office space or a farm, understanding how to use these apps and read the results is vital for monitoring your workplace.

Workplace management systems that aggregate data can also be critical for deciding how business are run. Hotels can have complex systems to manage bookings for example. Las Vegas hotels have 100s of rooms in each building. Organizing guests so they can quickly arrive and find their bookings is critical for customer satisfaction.

Identifying and implementing the technology that each type of business requires can be the difference between a company that flourishes in this new era of technology and one that falls behind its competitors to a critical degree.

Smart technology will never fully replace the value that human beings bring to the workplace but it will play a prominent factor in most industries moving forward.


If you are considering taking your first step into facilities management, the IWFM 3 is an introductory course that doesn’t require prior work experience. You can read more about this course here.

If you would prefer to read more about Facilities Management, the FM section of the knowledge zone has various articles discussing Facilities Management including What Does Facilities Management Cover? To browse through the different FM courses available at Portobello, you can go directly to the Facilities Management department.

And if you’re unsure of where you fit or would prefer to talk to someone about the available courses at Portobello, you can contact Brandon McLean on 01 892 0035 or email brandon.mclean@portobelloinstitute.com.

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