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[box type=”shadow” ]In recent times, the complexion of workplace has drastically changed. The disruption brought in by advancement in technology and the need to reduce real estate costs have steered the concept of alternate workplaces. Maintenance of such workplaces are equally challenging.[/box]

Diverse forms of alternate workplaces are opted by different companies to suit their needs. A few are as under…

  • Smart offices defining different shifts for staff to share desks and office space
  • Replacing traditional private offices with open-plan space
  • Switching to concepts like ‘hoteling’, ‘satellite offices’ and ‘telecommuting’

This article will focus on conventional workplace offices also colloquially referred to as ‘Facilities’. Maintenance is one of the workplace activities that is very challenging and can affect the health and safety not only of the employees directly involved, but also other employees, if safety procedures are not followed. Maintenance activities need to be planned meticulously and executed immaculately.

Those who actually carry out maintenance work are at risk. Contractors brought in to carry out maintenance work can be particularly at risk as they may be unfamiliar with the workplace and the procedures in place for working safely. If tasks have not been assessed and adequate controls are not in place to ensure safety and maintenance is not carried out properly, it could affect others too, especially those working within a dangerous environment.

Facility management professionals face multiple issues ranging from very simple to very difficult. In addition, issues can arise unexpectedly (e.g., a newly installed STP may begin emanating foul smell), or they can be the result of a prolonged negligence of precautionary measures for a variety of reasons (e.g., key staff indisposition, incompetence of staff, etc.).

[box type=”shadow” ]Employers must make sure that those carrying out maintenance have the skills and experience to carry out the tasks they are given and are aware of what to do in situations they may be least expecting. This includes their own employees and any contractors or specialists they employ to carry out the maintenance.[/box]

One of the biggest factors an organization must take into account in facilities maintenance is facility similarity. Even though two facilities may be serving a similar, or even exactly the same purpose (e.g. BFSI), the facilities themselves are never exactly the same due to several factors, including location, staffing, size and facility age.

Some of the common challenges of workplace maintenance are:

  • Deliver high quality maintenance service to ensure safety and functional efficiency of the workplace
  • Reduce facility operating expenses by controlling costs
  • Efficient energy management
  • Increase the ROI of ageing equipment, assets and building systems
  • Compliance standards management
  • Facility condition assessment

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