Also known as
Real estate manager, workplace manager, building services manager, office manager
What does a facilities manager in the creative industries do?
Facilities managers look after buildings and the staff that run them. Most industries need facilities managers but the great things about facilities managers in the creative industries is that they look after some of the most interesting or treasured buildings in the county.
Think of the Google HQ, the 02 Arena, the Royal Opera House or the Royal Albert Hall. All these building have people who make sure the building is safe, that it’s secure, that it’s as energy-efficient as possible, that it’s clean and that waste is disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way. This is what facilities managers do.
As well as the day-to-day management, facilities managers make sure the building works for well for events. So in the creative industries they are involved in the planning of events like film premieres, concerts and fashion shows. They also have a role in thinking about how a building is best used and how to use the space in a way that makes people most happy and productive.
For smaller organisations with less glamorous buildings, it's more likely that the facilities manager will be known as the office manager. The office manager looks after the buildings but is more focussed on the staff. They manage the budget for running the office and deal with recruiting staff and ensuring they are properly trained and developed.
- What facilities managers do and why their role is so important
- How Google’s lobbies are designed, from the drawing board to execution
What’s a facilities manager in the creative industries good at?
- Communication: work as part of a team, listen to others and explain ideas clearly
- Organisation: manage a team of people, schedule a range of suppliers
- Accounts: handle a budget, record and document cash flow, plan expenditure
- Working well under pressure: think clearly in stressful situations, decide what to do when things aren’t going to plan
- Understanding of health and safety legislation: know the law around managing a building well, think clearly about how to comply with it
Where can being a facilities manager take me?
You can work for some of the most high-profile organisations in some of the most amazing building in the world, if you have the right passion and experience.
How do I become a facilities manager in the creative industries?
To become a facilities manager in the creative industries you need to combine your facilities management skills with your passion for museums, galleries, theatre or whatever creative industry you would like to be part of. So get to know that industry. Go to museums and galleries. Go to the theatre. Get to know people by volunteering. Keep up your interest.
While you’re doing that, get yourself qualified.
- Go to the National Careers Service: Facilities manager to learn how
- Or go to the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management to learn more
If you can’t find a job in the creative industries straight away, you could apply for a junior facilities role in another sector and then transfer your skills into your chosen area once you have experience.