What is the difference between Hard FM and Soft FM? - ANABAS
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The Difference Between Hard and Soft FM

Facilities management (FM) covers a broad network of services and functions that span the general maintenance and upkeep of buildings, to the more specialised cleaning services, mechanical and electrical maintenance, security services, and front of house and reception guest experience.

Across all industries, the role and function of facilities management is to ensure the coordinated and efficient operation of all services that are essential to the daily function of a building.

The spectrum of FM services required for a building to perform at its best will differ depending on the location, premises, operational goals, and size of a business, as well as statutory compliance. As a general distinction, facilities management can be considered in two branches of main service areas – hard FM and soft FM.

Understanding the difference between them will help you ensure your business is getting the right bouquet of service.

What exactly is hard FM?

The services that are related to the physical materials and structures of a building, such as heating, ventilation plumbing, air conditioning and fire safety services, are considered hard FM.

Many of these hard FM services are mandated by law, and exist to ensure that key areas of employee health, safety, and welfare are met as prescribed under the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations (1992).

This legislation was created to ensure that standards are evenly applied across workplaces, which is broadly interpreted by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) as a range of settings where employees or facilities users interact with a building or premise.

For employers, it is important to understand that the HSE term ‘workplace’ can be used to define more than simply your immediate premises – it can include any outdoor spaces within a property, private roads, and pathways, like those within industrial or retail parks.

What exactly is soft FM?

The range of services considered under the soft FM branch act towards creating and maintaining secure, comfortable, and efficient environments for your employees and visitors. These services help deliver a positive and overall pleasant workspace experience for everyone – using the building.

At Anabas, our small decencies approach takes ownership of the finer details of soft FM to elevate the experience of a building and its services from good to exceptional.

What’s best for your business?

To decide which facilities services are right for your business, a facility needs assessment can be carried out to benchmark the services you might require, and ascertain which you should invest in. Workplaces are constantly evolving spaces, often rich with potential for improvement. Keeping up with the pace of change can be a demanding task alongside matters of compliance, regulations, and everyday challenges.

Some questions you might like to ask yourself: 

  1. Are your existing facilities sufficiently taken care of?
  2. Are your existing facilities functioning efficiently?
  3. What are the maintenance requirements for your facilities?
  4. Are there any duplicated tasks that you could audit and remove?

A holistic view

To ensure your workplace is delivering its full potential for your business, you need a proactive service that ensures every operation is running brilliantly – both hard FM and soft FM services combined. A total facilities management (TFM) contract would encompass both.

Under a TFM contract, the responsibility for service provision is entrusted to a sole service provider. Total Facilities Management ensures that services are looked at holistically as part of an entire journey through your building, from the time your employees and visitors arrive, to the time they leave. Service lines are not looked at in silo, they are looked at as one experience, creating an efficient, streamlined and excellent service delivery. This is what Anabas does best.

To discuss your workplace FM needs and how Anabas can effectively manage this for you, contact us today.

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