Why compliance matters to facility management

Facilities managers are the heart and soul of an organization, their work impacts the entire company’s performance by ensuring employees are able to focus on their work.
Feb 21, 2020
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Manager, Content Marketing and Media Relations
Why compliance matters to facility management
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Facility management is the linchpin of any organization; the team is tasked with keeping the workplace comfortable, secure, and functioning. Many of the responsibilities that fall to the team are obvious such as maintaining the building and equipment or ensuring that the company never runs out of necessary supplies from snacks to toner. But the role is not that simple.

Facilities managers are the heart and soul of an organization, their work impacts the entire company’s performance by ensuring employees are able to focus on their work. It’s their job to protect workplace safety through maintenance and promoting awareness of safety procedures. Many industries are governed by multiple regulations including who can be onsite, required safety training and data protection; the facility management team plays a critical role in ensuring and documenting compliance. 

Compliance is top of mind for facility management

According to Facility Executive, compliance is top of mind for two-thirds of professionals. This is likely because there are significant financial consequences for non-compliance. This blog covers five ways facility management can use workplace technology to support company compliance programs by preventing visits from unauthorized visitors, keeping an accurate log of when visitors arrive and leave the premises and documenting necessary legal documents are signed.

A new era demands new skills and new workplace technology

Successful facility management requires a broad skillset. The days when managing the day-to-day use of the building was the entire scope of work for these multi-talented professionals are long gone.  While ensuring a positive employee experience is the first priority for most, the way this is done is constantly evolving because employee expectations are shifting.  

New generations of employees expect their employers to create a frictionless workplace experience that allows them to focus on their jobs. Regulations are frequently introduced to protect data privacy, workplace safety, and national security. Compliance with these rules is complicated and requires extensive documentation. 

Five ways facility management can support compliance

Here are five key areas where facility management can focus on and support compliance through business acumen––and leverage visitor management software to automate laborious and error-prone manual processes.

  1. Know your business. Understanding the business and which regulations govern your company is the first step, for example, which OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations apply to your company?  Are there regulations governing who may access specific sites or buildings such as ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) which prevents non-US citizens from accessing facilities deemed to have national security interests. Companies that manage sensitive data such as corporate financials or payroll are required to regularly undergo audits to ensure the right controls and procedures are in use to protect privacy and integrity.  
  2. Only admit authorized visitors. Unfortunately, bad actors will try to enter your offices through the front lobby using false identities in an attempt to steal intellectual property. A pen and paper guest registration system does little to prevent this. A digital visitor management solution with visual compliance can automatically verify the validity of government identification and cross-reference potential visitors against lists of persons who are prohibited entry for legal or competitive reasons. The receptionist can scan and record when IDs are checked––can feel confident that the guest is legally allowed access.
  3. Ensure everyone onsite is properly educated on safety and security. Awareness and education are the best tools for preventing accidents and ensuring people comply with health and safety regulations. A visitor management system allows the facility management team to educate visitors on relevant safety procedures and document their awareness either prior to, or during arrival. Guest registration flows can include safety videos and have visitors sign legal documents as required.

    In industries such as data center technology certain areas must be off-limits to visitors, a visitor management system will allow you to clearly indicate allowed access on their badges.
  4. Protect data privacy. Data privacy rules such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) govern almost every business and the penalties for non-compliance can range into hundreds of millions of dollars. Companies must protect the privacy of customer data, including that of visitors. Using visitor management software allows guests to indicate how (if) you may use their data to prevent accidental yet expensive transgressions. Providing each guest with custom Wi-Fi access allows facilities to work with IT and ensure guests don’t access private data.
  5. Support audits. When it comes to audits, it’s not a matter of if your company will be audited, but rather when it’s going to happen.  The facility management team will often be asked to provide logs of who has been on-premises and when. Auditors may also request documentation of legal documents such as waivers.  With traditional pen and paper systems, these records are often lost and or inaccurate.  A visitor management system creates a single source of truth and can generate a log with a single mouse-click.  

Compliance is a team sport, and everyone in the company has a role to play. By incorporating workplace technology, the facility management team can prevent incidents before they happen and streamline the inevitable audit process.

What does compliance mean for your company, and what can you do to ensure you’re meeting the requirements? Get the essential guide to workplace compliance now.

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AUTHOR BIO
Manager, Content Marketing and Media Relations

Dawn is passionate about writing content to help educate and inspire workplace leaders. She covers everything from the visitor and employee experience to space management, to the workplace tech-stack that keeps it all running.

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