Noted tech blog TechCrunch recently published the last installment of their “Inside Jobs” series, which featured an in-depth look into what it takes to be a rockstar facility manager. While you may have never heard of Scott Oligher, he has been an FM for two of the most famous companies in Silicon Valley, Google for 7 years and Facebook for 4. Now at Flipboard, Scott has been responsible for some of the most influential spaces in the technology world. More than just maintaining the facilities, he has been responsible for making the enormous, ultra-cool campuses (read: shrines) to cultivate a company culture for two companies known around the world for their strong cultures and great business ethos. In the TechCrunch segment, he discusses what makes a great FM, and how he manages the environmental infrastructure behind some of most significant successes in the technology sector. We’ve distilled some of the more salient points that apply to FM’s of all sizes and spaces for you.
“You need to be a jack of all trades”
This might be obvious to many of you, but being an FM is being a problem-solver. The more educated you are about the best way to resolve the endless variety of issues that will inevitably arise, the more effective you can be at your job, like learning from your contractors and reading up on common problems faced by others in your space. For example, Scott talks about helping the IT team move wireless access points around the office. Could you perform such a task?
Never say no. Instead, say “I’ll find out for you”
As I mentioned above, being an FM is about solving problems. When the people in your space (i.e. your customers!) come to you with a unique problem or request, and you don’t know if it’ll be possible, don’t jump straight to “No”. Look into it, ask questions of the right people, and find out whether their request is feasible. If it is, follow through with it! If it’s not, explain why it isn’t. (Example: I asked, and I’m sorry to inform you that installing a slide next to the stairs just isn’t something we can afford right now)
We’re behind the scenes – It’s almost like we pop up, then disappear.
Your role is to keep the working environment operational, to “help cultivate the things that the company is trying to accomplish.” When you and your activities are visible, it distracts the team from working toward their goals. If you’re doing it right, they won’t be aware that you’ve done anything at all. While it seems thankless, just remember that when your company does well, you do well.
With that being said, it helps to employ technology in running your facility. Software like envVisual will help track ongoing/scheduled maintenance, facilitate communication between everybody involved, and collect data for mobile business intelligence. Learn more about how envVisual can help you become a rockstar FM by dropping us a line below!
The full TechCrunch article can be found here: http://techcrunch.com/video/facility-manager-inside-jobs/518283780/
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