Hard and soft services in facilities management

What is the difference between hard and soft services in facilities management and how do you go about finding out which ones are right for your properties
Hard and soft services in facilities management
Written by
Tom O'neill
Published on
April 12, 2023

What is Facilities Management? 

Facilities management is the act of ensuring buildings and spaces are maintained to a high standard and provide healthy and safe environments. Facilities management can include a range of services such as security, asset management, software maintenance and general building and facilities upkeep.

Facilities management teams and operatives work alongside health and safety regulations to ensure occupants are safe and comfortable. These tasks can range from regular fire safety maintenance and legionella testing. Tasks can vary from property to property however FM services are required by law set out through the Workplace Regulations 1992 and span across all types of property including real estate, offices and healthcare buildings.

Facilities teams work around the clock to maintain properties and this can often become overwhelming especially if there are multiple properties to manage alongside hundreds of health and safety forms and checklists. Maintenance software can help to reduce the burden of facilities management but what is maintenance software anyway? You can read more on our blog.

What are hard facilities management services? 

Hard facilities management services are physical parts of the buildings and properties being managed. Hard FM services are often required by law to ensure the safety and well-being of occupants. The below graphic shows just some of the most frequent hard FM services and includes:

  • Fire safety systems and alarms
  • HVAC: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
  • Electrical: lighting, sockets
  • Plumbing
  • Gas
Facilities Management Cycle

What are soft facilities management services? 

On the other side, there are soft FM services that are not necessarily required by law however still play an important part in the general upkeep and safety of buildings. Soft FM services are not physically part of the building but offer occupants comfortable and healthy environment. These can often be crucial to the safety of occupants, especially in recent years where businesses were required to rigorous cleaning routines to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Soft FM services can include: 

  • Pest control
  • Landscaping and gardening
  • Window cleaning 
  • Catering and food services 
  • Cleaning
Facilities Management

How do you know which hard or soft FM services your property needs? 

To begin with it you would need to perform a risk assessment in your building to have a clear view of the potential risks to occupants and how to prevent them. Find out which physical aspects of the building might need hard FM services:

  • Does the building have a fire safety system already in place? If so, how will you go about ensuring these are checked regularly?
  • Does the building have an HVAC system?

Soft FM services will vary depending on size, location and type of building however it is recommended that you choose soft FM services depending on how you aim to utilise the building and what the current environment requires (ie. COVID-19). 

How do you manage hard and soft services in facilities management?

Hard and soft services in facilities management can be managed easily and securely with a maintenance software platform. By using a software platform you also have the ability to ensure hard and soft FM services are planned and by using planned preventative maintenance you can reduce downtime, increase productivity and save costs on assets. You can read more about planned preventative maintenance tasks here

Want to find out more on how we can help? Hit the free tour button below to go inside the FaultFixers maintenance software platform and see how we help businesses with their hard and soft services in facilities management.

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