Skip to content

Ok, I fibbed, but I got your attention. It may not be on a Top 10 list anywhere I’ve seen, but it’s certainly worlds away from Oxford Dictionary’s definition, I mean, come on – where did they pull that one from?

Based on our accomplished scholars at Oxford Dictionary, if you are a Facilities Manager your job, and I quote / un-quote is:

“The maintenance of an organisation’s buildings and equipment.”


Personally, that’s one of the most over simplified job title’s I have read in a long time. I mean, what about?

1. Building management
2. Vendor management
3. Capital project management
4. Financial management & budget creation
5. Space planning
6. Maintenance management

And, let’s not get started on – You’ll no doubt need to have experience of:

7. Facilities Management (really?)
8. Project Management
9. Sub-Contractor Management
10. Budget Management
11. Strategy formation
12. Health & Safety
13. Planning applications
14. Moves & changes
15. Stakeholder Management
No wonder there is (as I type) 593 vacancies for Facilities Managers in the UK – is it because our economy is at last on the up or are good Facilities Managers hard to keep.

What I do know about Facilities Managers is that they have a lot of balls to juggle, keeping track of moving targets (dirt, debris, dust), typically stressed (all the time) and fire fighting to keep the Top Dog happy a.k.a The Boss.

So, here are some tips to 5S or LEAN your way to a stress-less Facilities Manager.

1. SORT – eliminate that which is not needed
2. SET IN ORDER – organise remaining items
3. SHINE – clean and inspect work area
4. STANDARDISE – write standards for above
5. SUSTAIN – regularly apply the standards.

You can apply 5S (Lean Improvements) in all aspects of your role. If we look at Space management, as an example, I’d like to think waste and mess is one thing that really hinders you or gets your goat.

1. SORT – set up a recycling station/system, which removes reliance on people (your workforce) to clean up after themselves as much
2. SET IN ORDER – Place the bins in the correct, logical order
             1) Food        2) Cups / Recycling    3) General Waste
3. SHINE – Invest in Longopac within your recycling station as this vastly improves efficiency and hygiene.
4. STANDARDIZE – clearly label each bin specifying its purpose, even go as far as putting up huge signs saying, ‘RECYCLE YOUR WASTE HERE’
5. SUSTAIN – regularly review, promote and optimise the system


At UnisanUK, we sell sustainability insurance.   We know people want to do the right thing, so why make it hard. We make it easy by offering solutions to eliminate your recycling, waste segregation and hygiene at work pain-points.


Recycling laws in Wales have changed. Is your business compliant?