Blog - Catch 22

Three best practices all FM managers should know

Those working in the facilities management sector are there to facilitate the operational needs of a building's infrastructure. As such, efficiency is key to any facilities manager's management approach. Here are three best practices that all FM managers should be driven by, in order to deliver optimum benefits for their organisation.

Make the small things count

A key aspect of facilities management is consistency, so, to ensure that all managed systems are always working at their best and most efficient, one should ensure that small modifications are put in place to generate a big impact. This means, as an example, installing flex valves in toilets to cut down on water usage, switching all light bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs and supplying hot water dispensers to office spaces to reduce electricity bills from boiling kettles throughout the working day.

Managers should be relentless in their efforts to champion efficiency, encouraging changes to daily routines no matter how minor they seem (switching lights off when leaving a room unoccupied, for instance) and turning these into habits across the entire team, as it is these small things that make a difference. Not only should the facilities team itself abide by these rules, it should be promoting these actions to all of the building's residents so that, collectively, they can actively save money and energy.

Think ahead

It is no good only being a responsive team, you should be striving to prevent breakages and losses of service well before they occur. For example, if you know that relatively cheap pieces of equipment need replacing, but decide to put this task to one side for budgetary reasons or because other projects take priority over them, you could wind up paying significantly more in maintenance fees should a problem then occur. Think proactively and aim to protect your contents as an investment measure, thus reducing unnecessary costs in the long run. If you knew that there was an accident just waiting to happen and did nothing about it, you would kick yourself if it ever did happen, and could potentially be held responsible and liable for a warning or worse.

Take note of analytics

In this modern day, we are lucky enough to have technology to provide us with vast amounts of useful data. Facilities managers should use this valuable information to their advantage by logging maintenance schedules, creating checklists, monitoring track logs and much, much more.

The key is to first find a piece of software that is right for your company, so that you can customise and centralise all of your systems effectively. While software can be a costly expenditure, you will often save the money elsewhere. It also provides value to your clients too, because its reports can generate facts and details that will benefit them. For example, the software can be used to help notify them when planned maintenance is due to take place (particularly useful if there will be interruptions to their networks) and can be very influential in maximising all of their systems financially and environmentally.

Blog - Catch 22

How to succeed at your video interview

If you thought that telephone interviews were your worst nightmare, then consider what it is like to be interviewed over a video call! With so many things to think about, a video interview can feel more pressured than a normal face-to-face meeting. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your facilities management video job interview.

Choose a location where you won't be disturbed

As with a telephone interview, you must choose a time and a place that will give you the opportunity to speak freely. For instance, don't participate in a video interview on your existing work premises, and don’t set yourself up for the discussion in a busy cafe or a shared apartment, as you simply cannot predict noise levels and disturbances. The best place to be during your video interview is in your own space, where you can feel at ease and can be comfortable talking about yourself, facilities management and the role expected of you.

Be aware of your surroundings

Following on from the first point, do a practice run first, to check that you don't have anything on display within the frame that you shouldn't, like dirty cups or laundry, or even offensive posters. If you want the panel to think you are neat and organised, then your surroundings should reflect this. Be sure to position yourself near a light too, so that, if the interview takes place in the afternoon, you can adjust the lighting and won't end up in complete darkness. While you may prefer your face to be blurred by darkness, the panel do actually want to see eye contact and your expressions, just as they would in a face to face situation.

Dress appropriately for an interview

Not only should you prep your surroundings, you should also prep yourself. Just because you are not going to their offices does not mean you shouldn't make the effort to dress smartly. The interviewer does not want to see you dressed in your loungewear, as this gives a negative vibe. Also, don’t be tempted to simply team your joggers with a shirt because you don't think they will notice. What if, for example, you realise that you need something at the other side of the room and must stand up?

Check all your devices works

Although this has been left until last, it is actually one of the most important points to take away. If you've never used the audio function on your laptop or desktop before, make sure that you check it prior to the interview, leaving you enough time to get a technician's advice, if necessary. Similarly, even if you regularly use Skype, make sure that your camera is connected and that your WiFi is on. Ensure that the position of your camera is appropriate, and hasn't slipped to an embarrassing angle for all. Male or female, it isn't really an ideal situation to have a prospective employer forced to look at anything other than your face on your first meeting!