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The Difference between Soft and Hard Facilities Management

The term ‘facilities management’ or ‘FM’ encompasses quite a large and diverse set of services, all intended to make your building operate with maximum efficiency, while keeping occupants comfortable and safe. Facilities management service providers offer solutions based on your business’s size, location, and objectives. These services are generally divided into two categories: hard and soft. What is the difference between the two?

Soft Facilities Management vs Hard Facilities Management – an overview

Soft FM services Hard FM services
Cleaning Access control systems
Security Building fabric maintenance
Pest control Heating and ventilation systems
General grounds maintenance Fire safety
Waste management Fixed wire and appliance testing
Concierge & front of house Planned and reactive electrical and mechanical maintenance
Catering services Water treatment


Soft facilities management

Soft facilities management services are intended to help create secure, efficient places of work for visitors and occupants. They help to make the work environment more pleasant and amenable, and keep a building clean and aesthetically pleasing, as well as ensuring that occupants feel secure within its environment. The services categorised as soft include:

Hard facilities management

Hard facilities management on the other hand is related to physical structures and materials that are attached to the building itself. These services are intended to ensure the welfare of a business’s employees. These facilities include the following:

  • Air conditioning
  • Plumbing
  • Energy utilities & management
  • Responsive repairs
  • Life cycle planning
  • Building design & project management

Workplace safety regulations

Many of the facilities that both hard and soft FM services deal with are mandated by the Safety Health and Welfare At Work Act (2005). This legislation aims to ensure that safety standards are rigorously and evenly applied across all workplaces, interpreted as a range of environments where employees and other facility users interact with a building or premises. The legislation extends beyond the immediate premises to include outdoor spaces within a property, as well as private roads and walkways.

Facility assessments

If you are unsure exactly what your soft facility needs are, we can conduct a soft facility assessment. This will benchmark the services you need in the context of your business and premises. Speak to Outsource Support about a facility assessment if you want to determine the following:

  • Are your facilities adequately taken care of?
  • Are the facilities as efficient as they can and should be?
  • What are the management requirements of your facilities?
  • Are there currently any duplicated tasks that you can audit and remove?   nch-industrial

Outsource Support offers a range of soft facilities management services for property managers and businesses across Dublin and the North East of Ireland. Our growing list of clients include The National Concert Hall, Savills Ireland and Fyffes Ireland, who partner with us for our tailored soft services. Working closely with each client, we strive to understand the management requirements of their facility, and create a tailored plan which may include, maintenance, security, cleaning, pest control and office support.

View our new  facility brochure here: Outsource Support Facility Brochure

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