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What is the difference between soft services and hard services in facility management?

    Whatever your business, you must consider your facilities management. This includes hard services and soft services, and is essential to ensure the safety and comfort of all employees and visitors.

    In order to carry out effective facilities management it’s important to have a plan for implementation and maintenance. However, the first step is understanding what facilities management actually is, and that starts with recognising the difference between hard and soft services.

    What are hard services in facilities management?

    Hard services are physical parts of your building. They can’t easily be removed and are often required by law as they help ensure the safety and wellbeing of the people inside. 

    Examples of hard facilities include:

    • Lighting
    • Electrical
    • Heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC)
    • Plumbing
    • Fire safety systems
    • Mechanical
    • Building maintenance

    What are soft services in facilities management?

    Soft services are not always essential, but contribute to the security and wellbeing of employees and visitors. They are usually things used directly by the people in your building and can be added/removed at your discretion.

    Examples of soft facilities include:

    • Cleaning
    • Building security
    • Catering
    • Waste management
    • Décor and landscaping
    • Mail management
    • Diplomacy/managing relationships

    It is important to remember that the kinds of soft facilities you implement are dependent on your business. Although many are optional, some may be required by law.

    An example of a necessary soft facility is a landlord ensuring a certain level of security for their tenant. Check the legal requirements relating to your specific business to help guide your soft facilities provision.

    How to decide which facilities you need

    It can sometimes be tricky to decide which hard and soft facilities you actually need. Ask yourself three simple questions to narrow down the list of hard services you should be providing:

    1. Is it relevant to my business?
    2. Is it required by law?
    3. Is it my responsibility?

    Which soft facilities you choose to implement is much more dependent on how you want your business to run and the kind of environment you want to provide.

    The benefits of facilities management

    Once you have established which hard and soft facilities you need, you are well on your way to effective facilities management. Just remember to regularly review the facilities you provide in order to ensure you comply with any relevant laws and that your business is a safe, productive place of work. 

    Another aspect of good management is upkeep. This can be in the form of cleaning, testing, maintenance and repairs or simply reviewing how your facilities are working for you and making changes if necessary. The kind of upkeep required depends on the nature of the facility.

    Good facilities management hand-in-hand with an effective maintenance regime ensures you provide a safe, comfortable and pleasant workplace, which in turn contributes to a successful business.

    Facility management services in Southampton and the South of the UK

    When it comes to installing and maintaining your facilities, you don’t have to do everything on your own. Consider the option of utilising facility management services to shoulder some of the burden and ensure a thorough, professional job.

    For example, we offer a huge range of services including; internal and external cleaning; maintenance work; painting and decorating; landscaping and much more. We arrange bespoke packages for our clients depending on their needs and preferred schedule.

    Get in touch

    The thought of facilities management can seem a bit daunting but we’re here to help. If you’ve got any questions about this sometimes tricky aspect of running a business and what we can do to support you, get in touch. Our friendly, professional team are on hand to discuss your specific needs and run through any of the services we offer. We operate in Southampton and the South of the UK. 

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