5 things Facilities Managers can do to reduce stress

February 15, 2018  •  Alayna Giesting

Job stress continues to be the major source of stress for American adults, with 80% of working adults saying they are stressed while on the clock. And Facilities Managers are no exception to this statistic. Maintaining a stress-free work environment is crucial for your physical and mental wellbeing, and if you are experiencing even a little bit of stress at work you should take action to reduce it. You may even find that it improves both your job satisfaction and wellbeing in and out of the workplace.

What leads to stress in the workplace?

For most workers, stress comes from things like working overtime, trying to meet extremely high expectations, or having no say in how projects are completed. But as a Facilities Manager, you’re probably thinking, “it doesn’t stop there”, and you are right! Let’s take a look at the position you’re in:

  • You’re THE expert. No one knows your facilities quite like you do, which makes leaving someone else in charge of your facilities, while you take a much needed vacation, impossible.
  • Retirement seems like a pipe dream. It takes a long time to pass along a lifetime of knowledge, and no one wants to see you go until another expert is trained as your replacement. So, your dreams of living in Hawaii seem to be getting pushed back more and more.
  • You’re never really “off the clock”. Can it really be considered a weekend if you’re on call the entire time? Constantly checking your phone is quite the hassle on your day off and brings your work stress home with you.
  • You can do it all. Plumber? ✔ Electrician? ✔ Repairman? ✔ Multi-tasking and prioritizing across all of these skills is very hard and adds to your already stressful position.

So, take a second and give yourself a pat on the back for all you do every single day. Now, let’s try to decrease some of those stressors.

5 things Facilities Managers can do to reduce stress

In addition to more common methods of stress relief including: taking a walk, playing calming music, meditating, chewing gum, or eating potassium rich foods (such as bananas), there are a few specific ones that you, as a Facilities Manager, can do.

1. Give your body what it needs.

The three big ones are exercise, proper nutrition, and sleep.

2. Keep a positive attitude.

Remember – you’re the facilities expert and are key to your organization’s success.

3. Train your workers on everything you know.

This way, you are able to take a vacation without constantly checking in on your facilities. Training people as soon as they start with your organization will also make the transition easier when it’s time for you to say goodbye to your facilities and hello to that Hawaiian retirement dream.

4. Get organized.

Find a software system that allows you to manage work orders, schedule preventive maintenance tasks weeks, months, or years in advance, and lets you know of any tasks that have a quickly approaching due date. This way, nothing falls through the cracks or comes up last minute and you can just worry about what is on your calendar for the day.

5. Know when to take a break.

I can’t stress this enough! Enjoy your lunch break, turn your phone off after 7pm, and go away for the weekend. You will be a much more effective Facilities Manager after getting refreshed and giving your body the relaxation it needs.

Decreasing your employees' stress levels

Just like you, your employees are working their tails off to close out work orders. Make sure their hard work is recognized and maybe even rewarded. You can show employee appreciation by taking them out for a bite to eat or throwing a quarterly happy hour to thank them for their hard work and long hours. Having fun decreases stress, so it’s important that you promote a work-hard, play-hard environment.

If your employees are willing to share information about their lives outside of the workplace, be sure to listen! If an employee is experiencing stress at home then you want to know about it. Allowing them to flex their schedule or take some time off will ensure that they are keeping their stress at a manageable level. This way, when they are at work you know they are working to the best of their abilities.

How FMX can help: A CMMS acts as a central hub for all of your maintenance tasks. It will enable you to more efficiently and effectively track work orders, schedule resources, and plan maintenance. With FMX, you can schedule all your preventive maintenance (PM) tasks days, months, or even years in advance so that you don’t have to worry about whether or not those tasks will be completed. You can follow the progress of a PM or work order task to see who has been assigned to it and where they are in the process. When work orders come in, you can even have specific tasks be automatically assigned to a specific employee. For instance, if Terrance deals with all the heating/cooling complaints, then you can set up FMX to send all requests pertaining to HVAC to Terrance, giving you one less thing to worry about. With organization like this, you are bound to see a decrease in your stress levels.


Alayna is the marketing communications specialist at Facilities Management eXpress. When she’s not drafting up content for the blog or social media, she is most likely reading a good book or taking short weekend trips!

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