8 Things Facilities Managers Can Do to Reduce Stress
“We live in a culture that values business and stress. Stress is a powerful currency. The busier and more stressed you are, the more important and valuable you seem. Culturally, we perceive ourselves as the most-stressed worker-era in history, and our perception is our reality.”
These insightful words from Heather Kelly, CEO of Next PR, perfectly capture the truth about our modern work culture.
As a facilities manager, you understand the pressures and demands of the role. The pile of tasks on your desk, the constant juggling of responsibilities, and the weight of expectations can quickly become stressful.
In fact, studies reveal that 83% of workers suffer from work-related stress, costing US companies $1 Trillion annually in lost workdays, as per the American Institute of Stress. These alarming statistics underscore the need to take a proactive approach to reduce stress in facility managers.
This article will explore eight practical strategies that facilities managers like yourself can implement to alleviate stress and create a healthier work environment.
Take a Look Around- Clear the Clutter!
Let’s start with your workspace. Take a moment to look around. Are papers piling up, tools scattered, and resources lost in the chaos?
If so, then it’s time to declutter and set things in order. By organizing your physical space, you’ll experience a remarkable shift in focus and efficiency.
Everything will have its place, and you’ll no longer waste precious minutes searching for that elusive document or tool.
But don’t stop there. The organization isn’t just about physical spaces.
It’s about embracing digital tools and apps too. With them, you will have all your tasks neatly organized, with deadlines and reminders at your fingertips. No more frantic scribbles on sticky notes or that nagging feeling that you might have forgotten something important.
Not only should you organize your physical space, but also embrace digital tools to keep things in order. For instance, using a document management system as part of facility management software can help maintain a clutter-free workspace.
So how facility managers can reduce stress? Start with these practical tips:
- Get your filing system in order – Both physical and digital. Create a structure that makes sense to you and stick with it.
- Take a few minutes each week to declutter your workspace. Keep only what you need and let go of the rest. Trust me, it’s liberating!
- Explore project management tools- That can help you stay on top of your tasks. They’ll keep you organized and make collaboration a breeze.
- Prioritize like a champ. – Identify your top priorities each day and tackle them head-on. You’ll feel accomplished and in control.
Don’t Carry the Weight Alone!
Let’s talk about something that’s been on your mind—how to lighten your workload and reduce the stress of managing a facility. Being in charge means juggling numerous tasks, from maintenance and resource management to ensuring a safe and functional environment.
But, you don’t have to do it all alone; you simply have to delegate tasks.
Instead of shouldering all the responsibilities, you can entrust certain tasks to your reliable team members. Doing so lets you concentrate on big-picture initiatives and future planning, while your team takes care of the day-to-day details. It sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?
Now, let’s get down to business. How do you know when it’s time to delegate? Here are some red flags to watch out for:
🚩 Are you spending too much time on tasks that others on your team could handle? Letting go and trusting their expertise can be a game-changer in terms of workload and stress reduction of facility managers.
🚩 Do you find yourself stuck in the weeds of operational and technical details, leaving no room for strategic thinking? It’s time to delegate and create space for those big ideas.
🚩 Priorities shift abruptly, and some tasks may no longer need your direct attention — time to pass the torch and let others shine.
🚩 There is a constant need to find opportunities for your team to grow, so delegate recurring tasks and watch them flourish as they develop new skills and take ownership.
Carve Out Space for What Matters!
Have you ever been in a last-minute rush, scrambling to meet deadlines? It’s stressful, right? But here’s the game-changer: effective planning.
By stepping back and mapping out our tasks in advance, we can avoid the frenzy and enjoy a smoother workflow.
Facility management can reduce stress by helping us prioritize and plan ahead. As facility managers, we uniquely understand our responsibilities and their impact on our facility’s operations. Here are some examples of real tools that can assist facility managers in this regard:
- Utilize Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) for streamlined maintenance tasks and resource allocation.
- Employ Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) for comprehensive facility management solutions.
- Use task management apps like Asana or Trello for collaborative task tracking and prioritization.
- Leverage calendar and scheduling tools such as Google Calendar or Outlook to plan and organize schedules in advance.
- Utilize data analytics and reporting tools like Tableau or Power BI to gather insights for informed decision-making and proactive strategies.
By identifying and prioritizing our highest-impact tasks, we ensure that we focus our time and energy on what truly matters.
Here are some practical tips to guide you:
- Pinpoint your highest-impact tasks and prioritize them.
- Set aside time in advance to plan and organize your schedule.
- Embrace proactive strategies to stay ahead of the curve and avoid stress.
- Regularly reassess your priorities, staying focused on what truly moves the needle.
Block It Out!
Think about it for a moment. Have you ever had days when time slips through your fingers? You end up rushing to meet deadlines or working late into the night. It’s not a great feeling, right?
That’s where time management techniques come in handy, especially when it comes to stress reduction of facility managers.
One technique you find helpful is the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a simple concept that involves working in short bursts, like 25 minutes.
You’ll stay more focused and avoid burnout by breaking your work into these manageable chunks.
Here are few time management tips for facility managers:
- Block time off on your calendar: Reserve specific time slots for different tasks, projects, and breaks.
- Make your schedule easily accessible: Keep your schedule organized and readily available, whether digitally or in a physical planner.
- Carve out time and space to decompress: Take breaks and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge.
- Explore time management techniques: Like the Pomodoro Technique or time blocking: Break tasks into manageable increments to improve productivity.
- Ask for help: Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks and collaborate with your team when needed.
- Be kind to yourself: Recognize the importance of self-care and recharge regularly to avoid burnout.
Get Your Zen Techniques On!
Stress-relief techniques are like little pockets of serenity that you can incorporate into your routine, helping you navigate challenges with a clear mind and a tranquil spirit.
Here’s a table summarizing situations that can result in stress when managing facilities and how incorporating mindfulness techniques can help cope with these stressors:
|Stressful situations when managing facilities||Incorporating Mindfulness Techniques|
|Tight Deadlines||Practice being fully present at the moment, prioritize tasks, and focus on one task at a time. Let go of worries about the future and bring attention to the present moment.|
|Budget Constraints||Use mindfulness to approach budgetary challenges with a calm and focused mindset. Take a step back to assess priorities, explore creative solutions, and make well-informed decisions.|
|Emergency Situations||Apply mindfulness techniques to stay calm and focused during high-pressure situations. Take deep breaths, practice grounding techniques, and approach emergencies with a clear and collected mindset.|
|Compliance and Regulations||Use mindfulness to manage the stress associated with compliance and regulations. Cultivate an open and non-judgmental mindset, stay informed about changes, and approach compliance tasks with attention and thoroughness.|
|Stakeholder Management||Utilize mindfulness to enhance communication and manage interpersonal challenges. Practice active listening, empathy, and non-reactivity when engaging with stakeholders. Maintain a sense of presence and awareness during interactions.|
Incorporating mindfulness techniques can help facility managers reduce stress, enhance focus, and approach challenging situations with a calm and centered mindset.
Remember, my fellow facility manager, stress-relief techniques are not indulgences but necessities. They are acts of self-care that replenish your inner reservoir of resilience and fortitude. By prioritizing your well-being, you empower yourself to face the challenges of facility management with grace and poise.
Clear the Airwaves!
Think about those moments when miscommunication caused confusion or delays. That’s why fostering open and transparent communication is crucial.
There are times when you receive a work order with vague instructions, leaving you puzzled about the task at hand.
By fostering open and transparent communication, you can avoid misunderstandings. Take the initiative to ask for clarification, ensuring you fully understand what needs to be done. By actively listening and seeking clarity, you can prevent stress-inducing mix-ups and keep operations on track.
Handling facility complaints is another stress-filled scenario. You receive a complaint about a leaking pipe, and time is of the essence. Clear communication becomes your superpower here.
Instead of hastily issuing orders, take a moment to gather all the necessary information. Then, communicate clearly and concisely with your team, providing them with precise instructions on how to address the issue. By avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring everyone knows their role, you can resolve complaints promptly and reduce stress for all involved.
Collaborating with stakeholders is yet another stress-inducing aspect of facility management. You have to engage with contractors, vendors, and other external parties, all with different needs and expectations. Effective communication is your bridge to success here.
Take the time to understand their requirements and communicate your facility’s capabilities clearly. Utilize communication tools like video conferencing, email, or collaboration platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams to foster clear and concise communication. By building relationships, negotiating effectively, and resolving conflicts through open dialogue, you can reduce stress and achieve successful collaborations.
So take a moment to reflect on how investing in your communication skills can transform your role as a facility manager.
Strike the Sweet Spot Between Work and Life!
Let’s take a moment to reflect on something that often gets overlooked during your busy schedules – your well-being.
Getting caught up in the demands of facility management is easy, but finding a healthy work-life balance is crucial for our overall happiness and success.
So, let’s dive in and explore some practical tips together to tackle stress levels in the facility while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
- Prioritize YOU Time: You give your all to your facility, but remember to give yourself some love too. Carve out time for self-care activities that recharge your batteries, whether reading a book, walking, or simply enjoying a quiet moment alone.
- Set Boundaries: We all have limits, and it’s important to respect them. Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Avoid bringing work home whenever possible, and allow yourself to disconnect and recharge during your non-working hours fully.
- Nurture Connections: Facility management can be demanding, but don’t let it isolate you. Cultivate meaningful relationships with your colleagues, share experiences, and support one another. It’s amazing how a supportive network can lighten the load and bring a sense of camaraderie.
- Celebrate Wins: Take a step back and acknowledge your accomplishments. Celebrate the milestones, both big and small, and appreciate your progress. Recognize that you’re doing an incredible job and allow yourself to feel proud.
Let Technology Work for You!
As a facility manager, you understand the challenges of overseeing operations and keeping everything running smoothly.
It can be a lot to handle, and stress can creep in. But fear not, there’s a solution that can alleviate some of that pressure – facility management system software.
Let’s say your facility has a central hub that puts you in control, making it easy to handle work orders, keep track of assets, and stay organized with maintenance schedules. No more shuffling through piles of paperwork or hunting for important information. With this software, everything you need is right at your fingertips.
But, just like any tool, there are red flags to watch out for.
🚩 Limited Integration: Lack of integration capabilities with essential software or systems
🚩 Complex User Interface: Complicated or non-intuitive user interface leads to a steep learning curve and increased errors.
🚩 Inadequate Reporting and Analytics: Lack of comprehensive reporting and analytics functionalities.
🚩 Poor Customer Support: Insufficient or unreliable customer support leads to prolonged downtime and unresolved issues.
🚩 Inflexibility and Lack of Customization: Software that is not flexible enough to adapt to unique facility management processes and requirements.
As facility managers, you understand the demanding nature of your roles. But amidst the chaos, it’s crucial to prioritize your well-being and learn how facility managers manage stress.
Think about embracing stress reduction techniques that resonate with you. As discussed, mindfulness, deep breathing, or engaging in physical activities can help unwind and find moments of calm amidst the busyness of your job.
Consider streamlining your operations with modern facility management software like FieldCircle. Such tools can bring efficiency to your work, alleviating some of the stress of managing facilities.
Remember, it’s not just about finding quick fixes. Instead, embrace a holistic approach to reduce stress and enhance your performance. Make self-care a priority in your daily routine. Take the time to foster a positive work environment for yourself and those around you. Equip yourself with the tools and resources to help you thrive in the world of facility management.
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