06 August 2018 | Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips, facilities manager at Sanne, discusses why he chose a career in FM.
Many of us have encountered the stigma attached to FM. Industry outsiders think it's an unglamorous role with few prospects, especially within the in-house roles.
But we know this isn't true. Roles are technically focused in the modern workplace and so diverse in fact that I often struggle to communicate this aspect of the job.
This is why I pursued a career in FM - for the variety.
Yes, I relocate archiving for the business but I'm also redesigning the new head office to house half of the company's employees.
I started in the IT industry when the company was small and IT covered basic facilities duties. As the business expanded, so did the demand for a dedicated, in-house facilities function.
So I stepped up and I've been here ever since. At the time the business was looking to expand with offices overseas and I was able to develop areas that I wouldn't have been able to while in IT.
Strategy, design and financial management, for example, weren't available to me at the time. As an FM, however, I could apply my skills to these areas and excel.
So with my IT background and business experience, I had the knowledge to design office space, factoring IT limitations and manage all aspects of the design phase through to completion.
Project management is now a key area of my division, based on the success through multiple relocations across the globe. From nothing, the FM division is now central to business decisions. I manage the second largest budget for the whole business. My responsibilities now extend further than IT and recognition is there. Staff now realise what is involved and see beyond the basics.
This isn't a cover letter for a job application or a list of my accolades; this is a real example of how important the FM function is.
We are on the cusp of something big where focus is shifting to incorporate culture and facilitate change. And I am a part of this, enabling others to succeed.
Michael Phillips is facilities manager at Sanne and member of the Rising FM SIG