The structures or buildings may be a part of a complex or office park or campus."The key is to define the facility as a physical place where business activities are done, and to make facility management plans in accordance with the needs and demands of those business activities.
After all, the facility needs of a movie theatre, a museum, a delicatessen, a plastics manufacturer, and a bank are apt to be considerably different, even though there will likely be certain basic needs that all will share (furniture, office space, air conditioning systems, light fixtures, etc.).
The ADA dictates a list of requirements related to disabled employee and patron access with which most facilities must comply, while clean air laws impose standards for indoor air quality and hazardous emissions.
Similarly, other laws regulate energy consumption, safety, smoking, and other factors that fall under the facility manager's umbrella of responsibility.
Analysts have suggested that evolving business realities in the realms of process improvement, cost containment, speed-to-market accelerations, quality control, and workplace arrangements and concepts will all have a big impact on future notions of facility management.
The challenge for facility managers will be to integrate knowledge workers into a dynamic business environment of global competition, technological developments, security threats and changing values.
"A 'facility' may be a space or an office or suite of offices; a floor or group of floors within a building; a single building or a group of buildings or structures.
These structures may be in an urban setting or freestanding in a suburban or rural setting.
Of course, many other factors have impacted on the challenges of facility management in recent years.
For example, the newfound corporate cost-consciousness that emerged during the 1980s has generated an emphasis on operational efficiency. Price summarized the facility manager's situation thusly: "Facilities professionals are being asked to contain costs while achieving maximum beneficial use—that is, to achieve more with less." In addition, philosophical changes such as increased reliance on teamwork, cross-functional teams, and telecommuting have created new spacing and infrastructure demands.