The Official Publication of the Corporate Facilities Council
“Architecture is not based on concrete and steel, and the elements of the soil. It’s based on wonder.”
Daniel Libeskind, Architect
Autumn 2021 2021
Bobby R. LaRon, M.S.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Scott Lang, CFM
Sue Thompson, CFM
For so many people, the pandemic shut down all interaction and ability to work. For facility managers and service providers to the facilities operations community, however, it was a time to inform ourselves about things a good portion of us never had a clue we’d ever need to know and assist our companies in responding to an event no one saw coming—certainly not at the level of impact we’ve experienced. I hope you are feeling a renewed sense of purpose in your job and are encouraged that the world is almost feeling normal again.
Life threw us a curveball in more ways than one. It was about this time last year that I became a victim of the COVID crisis and found myself searching for a new job. I had to swallow my pride and ask for help when online resources were offering limited responses and not panning out. During this time, I discovered the value of the network I have been building for years within IFMA. One simple email to my network created a frenzy of responses with individuals showing concern and wanting to help out. It was like I had an army of recruiters at my fingertips sending me job opportunities and contacts. One day, I received a call from a friend with words I will remember forever: “I know a guy.” Those words led to a wonderful employment opportunity for me and I was able to jump from one job to the next without being unemployed.
My IFMA network paid off big for me that day! I would encourage you to get involved with IFMA and build relationships with your peers. Someday, you might find yourself in my situation and your IFMA network could be the lifesaver that you need. I am sure there are similar stories out there. The value this community provides can mean the difference between despair and positive expectation as we reach out to assist each other with information, direction, and even employment.
It’s hard to believe World Workplace is only four months away! Will you be joining us in Kissimmee, Florida, in October? The Corporate Facilities Council will be represented and we want to connect again with our members face to face! In my new role, I am so busy I can barely stop to get this message out, and while it’s a blessing to have important work to do and utilize my talents, I will be ready for a Florida break in a few months!
Facility Magazine, the official publication of Corporate Facilities Council, is published quarterly.
IFMA Corporate Facilities Council
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Copyright IFMA Corporate Facilities Council. All Rights Reserved.
Sarah Wortman, CPSM
Wayne Whitzell, LEED AP
Buck Fisher, CFM, IFMA Fellow
Facilities Management & Operations Assessment
Alice Houguisson, CFM, SMP
Jeff Martin, CFM
Wells Fargo Bank
Melodee Wagen, MCR
Workspace Strategies, Inc.
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From Your President
News & Events
To BE A Facility Manager
Wayne Whitzell, LEED AP, BEP, GBO
Matthew Kutzler, PE, CDT
Facility Engineering Associates
WATCH THE LATEST COUNCIL WEBINARS
WELCOME OUR NEW MEMBERS
Joe Selby, CFM
Wells Fargo Bank
Immediate Past President
Beth Osgood, CFM
Scott Rains is a Facility Manager with Medxcel Facilities and a former president of IFMA's Wichita chapter.
People who work in facility management often say one of the things they like about it is no two days are alike. There can be periods of routine, but a day hardly goes by without something that makes it different from the day before. We don’t like the disasters or the crises big and small, but they do keep things interesting, and they force us to adjust and learn about something we may not have needed to address before. There’s often a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment when we realize we carry historical knowledge that makes us really good at what we do. We bring real value to our employers, and we bring it to every part of the organization, because what we do touches every employee.
World Workplace is our giant FM watering hole where we gather to discuss what we think of trends, how yesterday’s fix is working, what’s coming in the future, and find people who can help us grow. Last year we met virtually, but it’s just not the same as being in the same rooms and exhibit booths with colleagues. This October, we’ll be meeting at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, and IFMA has gone the extra mile to ensure those who are ready to do conferences again will find reasonable precautions taken to give attendees peace of mind. Check out the latest Health and Safety Protocols on the World Workplace site. Consider attending to reconnect and reestablish the important influences that have always been a part of our industry’s annual conference. There’s still time to register! While Zoom and Teams and Webex meetings are now firmly entrenched in our workday experience, we don’t want to lose the importance of the special face-to-face time set aside to focus on our profession. Some excellent keynotes are scheduled and IFMA knows how to put together a great gathering. I hope you’ll feel comfortable about traveling to Kissimmee this October 26-28!
Whatever is going on in your world of work, add to your toolbox with an IFMA course. Keep your network strong at your local chapter level. Take the time to read the great contributions in this issue. Facility management really is a job that changes colors frequently, and having a huge reservoir of partners in the profession we can reach out to and gain from is key. It’s what makes the work worth coming back to every day.
I shared with you in the last issue how important my IFMA connections were at a time of unexpected transition. The Corporate Facilities Council would love to hear of your stories of the value of your IFMA network! Please share them with Sue Thompson, this magazine’s editor, by sending her an email at email@example.com. Let’s talk up how beneficial the International Facility Management Association has proven to be!
1. Technological Creativity: By nature, FM handles tons of challenges every day. Many of these challenges demand creative solutions. If you're used to simply following the rules and doing "business as usual," then, chances are you're not going to build an innovative workplace. In fact, you risk falling behind on many important tools you should be aware of. It seems clear that there are three areas that are critical to success.
A. Acquire an "open mind" about new opportunities coming along for service management, delivery and reporting. These will help an FM stay both up-to-date and in demand.
B. As we shift toward a greater reliance on "cloud-based technology", there is a premium on human traits. Facilities Management is a people business, on multiple dimensions and will continue to be so.
C. Now more than ever, we need to "rely on these solutions" to help keep our people and assets safe. We require better vetting of individuals like employees, visitors and contractors who set foot on our premises.
2. Compassion: A majority of the responsibilities of a facility manager focuses on creating a happier and healthier work environment. So, it's imperative to put yourself into the shoes of your workers and facility guests - and to show compassion. Facilities Management is all about the employees working for you within all FM services, the different stakeholders, the end users, and the guests. It is not just about the 'desk' job and all the processes, it's about what your guests and employees experience every day when passing through your department. You need to guide your staff by example and be present if needed. The ability to better understand your guests' and employees' struggles and anticipate their frustrations will allow you to create a workplace that actually addresses their needs, instead of one that just looks good on paper. And today, as we work to reinforce health and safety measures across facilities, industries, warehouses, and offices, increased compassion and understanding for individuals' health, work-from-home, essential working, or unemployment situations is absolutely necessary.
3. Adaptability: No matter how savvy you are with Excel or FM tool or BMS software etc., you need to be able to quickly handle new or urgent situations that come your way. You have to do so in a very calm, cool, collected demeanor. In fact, the number one skill of a facility manager is adaptability. Facility managers must be able to understand and support the customer's core business and to adapt the workplace and the service set-up accordingly. Facility managers must evolve beyond our engineering and workplace administration skills into becoming more people-centric in the way we design and manage our workplace focusing on how to further leverage organizational productivity and developing company culture.
4. A Data-Driven Mindset: Added value to the facility manager role is analyzing skills like facilities spend, contractor performance, and quality of service. You then need to proactively identify cost outliers and areas of improvement. If any facility manager wants to stay on top of his/her game, they need to be increasingly data-driven. The profession is moving away from simply being a reactive, dispatcher of technicians for work requests. While each skill is important on its own, the combination of all of the above can really be the difference between an average facility manager and one that shines. What is abundantly clear is that the changing role of facility manager extends way beyond on-site responsibilities, particularly during difficult situations like global pandemics.
Noorul Ameen M. is the Director of Operations, at GSH Asia.
Susie Gets Her Groove Back (Maybe)
Facility managers must possess
a wide range of essential skills
To Be A Facility MAnager
he post COVID-19 workplace will not look the same in every industry, but for many managers, the pandemic presents both challenges and opportunities. Managers will have to adjust their skill sets accordingly. Many of the traits that have always been important for managers—empathy, clarity, authenticity, and agility—are even more crucial during this time of uncertainty and upheaval.IFMA, a facility manager must in their capacity "ensure functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.”
IFMA also lists a number of skill sets required of facility management professionals: Occupancy and Human Factors, Operations and Maintenance, Sustainability, Facility Information and Technology Management, Risk Management, Communication, Performance and Quality, Leadership and Strategy, Real Estate, Project Management, Finance and Business.
It is safe to say that facility managers must possess a wide range of essential skills. This has never been more true than in 2021, where the COVID-19 pandemic is fueling immense changes to the workplace and to FM responsibilities.
As per the industry experts, the following skills are essential for success. They have provided real-life examples along with their insights into why each skill is vital to crafting an efficient and safe work environment.
By Noorul Ameen M.
Honestly, writing something editorial-like when the world is apparently turning to slime all around us seems frivolous. As an information junkie, I keep an eye on what’s going on via many outlets, and there are times when current events cause me to feel as though I might look out the window and see the freshly-paved parking lot spontaneously combust. I always say many things shock me, but nothing surprises me, and I say this in regard to people’s behavior, but now I can’t deny that current events shock me. I’m shell-shocked. Anguish and discouragement can grip me. So I have to do things to bring the bubble back to the middle. Like a carpenter’s level, I can allow my peace to be pushed to the left or to the right, and when that happens, my balance is gone. I hear myself snapping at a contractor who doesn’t deserve my irritation. I respond with sarcasm to an innocent question from an employee. I overthink organizing furniture for a reconfiguration until my brain is just tired from trying to remember where I started. I feel myself trying to keep it together. I want to get home and take a nap just to rest my thoughts.
Many of us have particular methods for relaxation and rest. Some have never cultivated an antidote to the stresses and fears that can invade our thought life and cause us to act and react unbecomingly, even if we don’t express ourselves openly. At times our vexation is smoldering inside of us with no outlet, and that could be worse than snarking and snarling and letting it all hang out, except that we who vent can hurt others, or really mess up by unloading on the wrong person.
My personal corrective is to find a place to be quiet, even if just for a few moments. I may need to take a walk around the building (particularly when the HVAC has me practically shivering and I have to go outside to warm up). If I can find a conference room without a glass wall or sidelight, I close the door for ten minutes. Sometimes I just find that place in the office where there’s a window or a particular piece of art I like, and I take a few deep breaths . . . and I pray. I remind myself of all that is good. I consider that for which I am grateful. Doesn’t have to be big things. I’m grateful for the little things that mean so much to me: a car to drive. The ability to buy gas. AC that keeps my house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A job. A functioning water heater. Health insurance. I know what it’s like to be without these things, and how inconvenienced and miserable I was when I didn’t have them. I go on to what’s most important to me: a truly considerate and loving spouse. The sweetest, goofiest dog in the universe. Friends who are my lifelines. Good people in my life, people who are kind and funny and real. Family members who remind me of who I was when I was kid, which is actually quite a bit of who I am today.
I might listen to some music that evokes all these good images, or even find one of those recordings on YouTube that plays sounds of nature. I often have to do this more than once in a day. I don’t take long, because it’s a pattern I’ve cultivated. I pray, and I give thanks, and I level out. The truth is we all live in our own little worlds where we are surrounded with the things most significant to us, and these are the things on which we need to focus. I watch to identify what is pure, true, good, noble, lovely, right, excellent in my life—and I push that bubble back to the middle, where it belongs.
Sue Thompson is the editor of Facility, the current president of the IFMA Delaware chapter, a past president of the CFC, and AVP, Facilities Manager at Radian Guaranty Inc.
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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, firms looking to reduce their energy costs, achieve initiatives, and gain greater control of their janitorial staff elected to perform daytime cleaning of their premises on a daily basis as opposed to traditional nighttime cleaning. The introduction of the “hot desk” environment and communal workstations precipitated more aggressive daytime cleaning to assure employees a safe and healthy workplace. The introduction of “quiet” vacuums combined with the alteration of shifts and scheduled activities have enabled these firms to achieve energy savings of up to 30 percent by shutting their premises down after normal working hours. When combined with sustainable, green cleaning practices and products, these companies have made impressive strides in reducing their collective carbon footprints. The recent pandemic has elicited further discussion around the merits of day cleaning. As employees re-enter the workplace, they are requiring greater assurances that their employers have taken initiatives to provide a level of cleaning and disinfection consistent with best practices. Day cleaning provides visible evidence to the occupants that their workplace environment is being maintained while providing the added benefit of being sustainable.
Janitorial services are traditionally provided at night. With the exception of day services for “high touch” areas (bathrooms, breakrooms, etc.), daily activities such as dusting, vacuuming, trash collection, and floor cleaning are disruptive to the workplace and were thought to be best performed during non-working hours . . . at night. Periodic activities such as floor burnishing, high dusting, interior glass cleaning, etc., are also performed during off-hours or weekends depending on their level of disruption to the work environment. Because the bulk of these services are performed at night, and not witnessed by the building occupants, it sometimes begs the question as to whether these services are being performed at all. Every office has a story of an employee who has left an M&M or paper clip on the floor just waiting to see when it would be recognized and vacuumed! The fact that these services are provided “under the cover of darkness” and “in the shadows” has often led to an element of distrust between the occupants and janitorial providers. Day cleaning eliminates this conundrum and facilitates a more collaborative and inclusive environment for these essential service providers. Employees are now able to witness the hard work and efforts of the cleaning staff and interact with them daily regarding the cleanliness of their workplace. High touch areas, especially bathrooms, are barricaded during the day to provide routine maintenance. Gender issues arise when a porter/matron is cleaning a bathroom for the opposite gender and, therefore, must prohibit entry until completed. Day cleaning eliminates this problem because lavatory duties may be assigned based on gender. Although there are many benefits in favor of day cleaning, a considerable change management process is required in order to assure a successful transition. Senior stakeholder engagement and buy-in is required to ensure a successful implementation.
When considering a transition to day cleaning, it is important to work in collaboration with your service provider and/or landlord if they are providing base building services; most leases will include a clause regarding base building services provided. Your service provider should be able to inform you of any union restrictions, real or perceived, which could preclude you from implementing a change. Start off with a basic understanding of the current staffing requirements to service your space; your service provider should be transparent and provide this information upon request. If in doubt, here are some commercially reasonable estimates you can use to ballpark your staffing needs:
Assume a 25% loss factor on your leased space; if you occupy 100k sq. ft. Assume only 75,000 needs to be cleaned.
Surfaces and floors can generally be cleaned at a rate of 4000 sq. ft. per hour when not occupied; for occupied space assume a rate of 3000 sq. ft. per hour.
Bathroom labor should be calculated by the number of units (stalls, urinals, sinks) at a rate of 2 min./unit; a bathroom with 4 stalls, 2 urinals and 4 sinks (10 units) should take 20 minutes to refresh.
Other considerations need to be addressed for collecting trash, (wet, dry and recyclables), and can be estimated by utilizing a time/motion study. Hopefully, your organization has migrated to a centralized trash model which greatly reduces the labor hours required to haul trash. Once your required day staffing is modeled and agreed upon, the next “heavy lift” is the change management required to integrate the day cleaners into your workplace routine. Typically, the day cleaning staff would work on a split-shift with some staff starting prior to normal working hours to assure a safe, healthy and clean environment at the start of the workday. Similarly, select staff would work slightly past normal work hours to assure that the premises are left in a state such that the morning crew can catch up. Dramatic energy savings are realized by “turning the office off” during non-business hours. In many cases, staff reductions may be realized by uncovering activities which are no longer required and/or greater utilization of the dedicated day staff.
Once day cleaning is fully implemented, firms have found that the cleaning staff become valued members of their team because they now feel included in the day-to-day operations of the business. As employees re-enter the workplace post COVID, the visible cleaning staff provide assurances that the work environment is safe, healthy and clean. The janitorial staff have the benefit of being provided with a better quality of life by working during the day rather than on a night shift. The bulk of the cleaning services are now being performed during normal business hours where there is oversight on cleaning performance and the peace of mind that the staff are fully utilized and performing their required assignments. Although not feasible in all corporate environments, the benefits of day cleaning merit consideration. As you refine your “return to work” plans, consider the benefits and assurances of incorporating day cleaning into your facility service operations. The energy savings and potential staff reductions will be a welcomed commercial surprise with the added benefit of instilling confidence that your workplace is safe, healthy and contaminant free.
Richard Hayes is the Executive Director of Revenue at GSH Group.
by Richard Hayes
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