It can be hard to think about how facilities management work can be done remotely.
With topics like robotics and artificial intelligence entering the conversation, it's tough to think about how facilities management work will look in the near future.
The advent of remote work has taken on a life of its own these last few years. The concept has been an exciting development for many industries, and facilities management is no exception. As more businesses have shifted to remote operations, the demand for talented facilities managers who can oversee operations from a distance has also grown.
But is it possible? If it is, does it make sense?
In this article, we'll explore the challenges and benefits of working remotely in a facilities management job. We'll also look at what qualifications and skills are necessary to succeed in this role. We'll highlight the technologies that can help make remote work more efficient and successful. We'll also look at how the shift to remote work is affecting this field.
Read on to learn more about how you can make the most out of working remotely in a facilities management job.
Challenges of working remotely in facilities management jobs
The shift to remote work has changed the way that facilities managers operate. This change has introduced a range of challenges that must be addressed in order to maintain efficiency and quality.
One of the biggest issues faced by facilities managers is difficulty creating team camaraderie. This might be the biggest challenge as facilities management departments are filled with human beings. Without face-to-face interaction, it can be difficult for teams to form strong bonds with each other and create a sense of trust and collaboration.
Additionally, lack of face-to-face communication can lead to misunderstandings, which can make it hard for facilities managers to run projects efficiently. While any decent facilities management software promotes communication within their tool, nothing beats in-person communication.
Another challenge posed by remote work is technical difficulties with connecting to remote systems. This can cause delays in accessing important data or resources needed to complete tasks quickly. While technical support can often help remotely, some issues can take more time to resolve. Downtime isn't good for any business.
Facilities managers have had to adapt quickly to overcome these challenges and continue providing excellent service despite the obstacles posed by working remotely. Understanding these unique challenges helps leaders make sure that operations remain efficient despite the change in circumstances.
Even though there are clear challenges, there is hope.
Benefits of working remotely in a facilities management job
Working remotely as a facilities manager offers a wealth of advantages.
Remote work in facilities management provides the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. It also removes the need for office space and can help reduce operational costs overall. Saying this, I'll stress the need to stay organized in your work. If you can't stay organized while working, the work won't get done, no matter if you're working on site or remotely.
Additionally, remote work allows for increased control over one's schedule. This is helpful as more teams look for flexibility in their work lives. People want to be able to show that they can be just as effective at their work from a remote location.
Granted, not everyone can work remotely. Where human effort is required, like in maintenance or cleaning, people will do the work on site. But for those that can manage teams and processes remotely, they'll continue to try and grab those opportunities.
Finally, working remotely has enabled teams to collaborate effectively regardless of physical location. This can lead to higher levels of creativity and innovation within the organization. Sure, it might be harder to walk down the hall and round your team up for a meeting. But this now means that leaders are evaluating the necessity of meetings and the time they take. This is a good thing.
All these benefits make remote work an attractive option for any facilities manager looking to maximize their productivity and efficiency while keeping costs low.
The shift to remote work and what it means for facilities management jobs
So some shifting is taking place, though not all jobs can be done remotely...right now.
What does this mean for facilities management jobs in the near term?
The move to remote work has drastically impacted the landscape of facilities management jobs. Organizations depend on technology to empower their personnel to manage resources and teams from a distance. This transformation has created both issues and advantages for those in the industry.
Firstly, companies must go over their processes for remote working. Defining what remote work looks like is critical so that they can switch over seamlessly. What's more, it is important for facilities management teams to define processes for how to do the work. It's one thing to know how the work is done in person, but changing the environment where work is done is a big leap. This change should cause your team to think about how work is done and what processes, if any, can be modified.
The shift toward remote work also presents some new opportunities for those within the facilities management field. With extended access to resources at any location, supervisors can take advantage of new technologies, which should make operations more streamlined and cost-effective.
Just don't expect that savings to show up quickly. Again, these kinds of changes take time.
Furthermore, managers should be encouraged to find the autonomy to set up their own timetable and have control over how they approach projects. This layer of flexibility ought to boost manager and employee morale, so long as the team is prepared for it.
Now, to highlight the skills we see as important for success in remote work in facilities management jobs.
Qualifications and skills needed to succeed in a remote facilities management job
To succeed in a remote facilities management job, there are certain qualifications and skills needed. These are listed in no particular order and should be continually developed over time. For more reading on the best skills for success in facilities management jobs, see this article.
Communication is paramount in any job, but especially so when working remotely. Facilities managers need to be able to effectively communicate with their team members, regardless of environment. Because your team is now distributed, an emphasis should be placed on communicating clearly. Only necessary meetings and conversations should be taking place.
It's also important for facilities management employees to have strong problem-solving skills and an analytical mindset. This is probably a great set of skills to have, whether working in person or remotely. Again, these skills are especially valuable in a remote environment, though. Issues will come up in the field and need to be handled from a different location.
Lastly, skill with standard office software applications is crucial for success in remote facilities management jobs. This might be the biggest challenge, especially for those who have done mostly manual labor in their career. Building experience using tools like Microsoft Suite, Google Docs/Sheets/Drive, or Slack can prove valuable. These tools help lay the foundation for managing documents and communicating with other team members.
Technologies used in remote facilities management jobs
We don't need to say much here, as the basics for technology used in these jobs were just mentioned.
But, we have written other articles that look at technology within facilities management jobs. For starters, see this article that highlights a few of the best facilities management software today. Any serious facilities management services provider will be using any of these as their primary software platform for providing services.
Our next tip is to understand the cost of technology in facilities management jobs. Not all costs can be counted as just what you pay for software tools. To get a more complete understanding cost of facilities management software, see this article.
Though not exactly addressing technology, we'll highlight one last article that should include technology. We're big believers in boosting morale at work. We primarily do that through helping your team feel good in their work clothes. But you could improve morale differently.
Bringing current employees on board to using new technologies might be one way. If you have team members that want to grow professionally, consider talking to them about how they can learn new technologies in their job. They can feel valued and challenged, while you gain an advocate for the new tech you're implementing. Their knowledge can put them in a great position to add immediate value to the business.
Topics: Facilities Management