Happy New Year from AkitaBox! 2020 certainly was a challenging year with new compliance requirements, strange weather, the election….and the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the entire globe!
Despite the challenges you and your team may have faced, the new year provides a fresh start to reset, set new goals, and focus on the priorities that will have the biggest impact on your facilities and occupants.
To give you some inspiration we have put together this list of possible facility management New Year resolutions you can use to kickstart your 2021.
Focus on occupant experience
To best plan your priorities, it is important to understand how your occupants, students, and/or staff are feeling about cleaning and disinfection schedules, space utilization, and their general feelings about using your facilities.
This also serves the dual purpose of opening a line of communication between your facility management team and your customers/occupants, which you can use throughout the year to keep a pulse on changing needs and wants.
Fine-tune COVID-19 protocols
There has been a lot of good news surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines, but it is valuable to not get ahead of ourselves. It will take time for different parts of the population to be immunized and we could be looking at another year of COVID-19 protocols for space utilization, air filtration strategies, and facility disinfection .
The new year is a perfect time to look back on what has worked, and what could be adjusted for even better results in 2021. Reducing risk and keeping operations running should continue to be top of mind.
While many protocols will no longer be necessary after the COVID-19 vaccine, some could become long term requirements as a renewed emphasis is put on healthy buildings. Get a sense of what your customers and occupants will want post-COVID-19 vaccine to help you better plan and strategize for the future.
Don't forget to check in with your team
Checking in on how your facilities team is doing personally and emotionally is also important. Staff burnout and COVID-19 fatigue are a real struggle for many who have been on the front lines dealing with new processes and responding to COVID-19 cases in your facilities.
Staff burnout can have far-reaching effects from team productivity to safety issues. Make sure to do regular check-ins with your team members and talk about how they are feeling.
Update and digitize your floor plans
Your floor plans are a vital part of helping your facilities teams do their jobs more efficiently. Need help finding that boiler? Check the floor plan. Where is that shutoff again? Check the floor plan. Oh, today is your first day, maintenance tech? Here are our floor plans.
Let's face it, usually these floor plans are in some file drawer or saved on a hard drive somewhere in the building. So while they could be useful in all the above, they usually aren't easy to find and may be missing key information which adds time to your team's tasks.
You want your floor plans to be just like any tool in your tool belt; in good repair and easily accessible. Chip away at this one slowly by setting aside a couple of hours each week if possible. We’ve got a fresh guide on the most effective way to update your floor plans.
Tackle your deferred maintenance list
You may never get a clean slate when it comes to deferred maintenance, but a good start to 2021 would be to understand exactly what your deferred maintenance list is today. Deferred maintenance grows exponentially. The further behind you get, the harder it is to claw your way back to normal.
One of the biggest fallouts of 2020 is the cuts to capital budgets that a lot of organizations are planning. Whether you are expecting large or small cuts, understanding where you are today can help you paint a clearer picture to your budget holders and capital planners during your next budgeting cycle.
If you’ve never looked into joining the International Facility Management Association, make 2021 your inaugural year. They offer resources and support to any rung of the facility management ladder: conferences, connections with other facility management professionals, workshops for you and your team -- the list goes on. You never know who you might meet.
Get that certificate you've been eyeing
While everyone else has been at home quarantining, learning to knit, and watching Tiger King, you have been hard at work keeping your facilities operational, safe, and healthy. It's understandable if you are still trying to find the time for that certification program you've been meaning to earn.
This year, try to take some time for yourself. Get that education and certificate to help elevate your career and set your facilities up for success. Been thinking about it but not sure where to start? We got you covered.
Cement your team's legacy
Do you have members of your team who are preparing to retire? Are you yourself getting ready for some long days on the beach after a successful career? Don’t take all your knowledge with you! You have a chance to set up your successor, your facility, and your team for the future.
Going digital is a great first step to preserving information for the future. Having a source of truth for assets, documents, floor plans, maintenance history, and everything else you manage can set up the next generation to build off your successes.
Bring it on 2021!
While 2020 was a challenge, it wasn't all bad. Take some time to celebrate your accomplishments from this past year and get energized for the year to come. Starting the year with small tasks can provide good momentum to build towards something great.