Facilities managers have to spend a lot of time looking into ways to save money, particularly in the current economic climate. Maintenance budgets are being scrutinised and anywhere that a saving can be made is worth looking into, although cost savings must always be balanced against health and safety. So what are the most obvious areas to consider when you are trying to reduce your building maintenance costs?
Reduce Decorating Costs
Keeping premises in good decorative order is time consuming and expensive. Unfortunately, areas of high traffic such as corridors and communal areas are usually subjected to far more wear and tear than the average domestic environment. One way to reduce your decorating costs is to use low maintenance PVC cladding in corridors and other areas of heavy traffic. Proclad PVC is easier to clean and a lot tougher than a painted wall; it will also help to slash your decorating budget.
Reduce Energy Costs
Energy bills are one of the biggest expenses for any business. Light and heat are not free, although if you work in a hot country you might be more concerned about air conditioning rather than central heating. But there are ways businesses can reduce their energy bills, including:
- Low energy light bulbs – It might sound obvious, but swapping your light bulbs for a low energy equivalent could save you a lot of money in the long term, especially if you have a large office building.
- Change energy suppliers – Never assume that your current supplier is offering you the best deal. Swapping energy tariffs is quick and hassle-free these days, and if you spend a bit of time looking for the best deal, it could dramatically cut your energy bills.
- Renewable energy – It is always worth looking into renewable energy if you need to make big cost savings in this area. Solar panels are relatively cheap to install these days and if you own the building, adding solar panels could make a big difference in the long term.
- Turn off lights and electrical equipment – How many people leave electrical equipment on stand-by at night? We are all guilty of this, but office workers are even more thoughtless. Make sure vending machines, computer equipment and anything else that can be turned off is turned off at night. And don’t forget to install motion sensors in rooms so that lights automatically switch off when nobody is in there.
Move into Serviced Office Space
One way to reduce your maintenance costs is to relocate into serviced office accommodation. Once there you won’t be responsible for any costs other than the monthly rent. Communal space and your office will be maintained by the building’s owner, so decorating, utility bills and spending money on coffee machines and water coolers will be a thing of the past. However, this is really only an option for small to medium sized businesses since most serviced office space is relatively small.
Don’t forget to consult employees before implementing a cost saving exercise or you could end up on the wrong end of a mutiny when you make an executive decision to remove the coffee machine from the communal kitchen.