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A day in the life of…Laura Newnham, Contract Manager, Atlas Workplace Services

25 June 2024

Each month, we take a look at the daily life of a different FM professional. 

When do you start work?
My working day officially begins at 8:30am, however as my client is a bank which has offices nationally, the day can begin a lot earlier depending on trains or planes. I do enjoy the travel aspect of my role as I get to be in a different environment each day of the week and work with a variety of team members and client contacts.

What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s a cliché to say but in facilities no two days are the same – we can plan a week and sites to attend in advance, but the reality is often completely different. The unpredictable nature of the role is what I thrive on – preventing issues is the aim but there’s always a broken lift or a leak that you can’t foresee. We are really fortunate to have a great client who has a “one team” approach to our partnership, and that coupled with my core team of fantastic women makes any obstacle easy to overcome. I am so grateful to be able mentor and see the team flourish in their careers and they never fail to make me laugh every day – particularly through their use of terrible puns.

How do you organise your work on a daily basis?
Trackers, trackers and more trackers! It is a bit of a running joke in our team that we have a tracker for everything, and I need a tracker to keep track of my trackers! As we work on an IFM contract, much of our work isn’t based within our CAFM system so we must keep an eye on everything somehow. 

We do try and make the trackers a bit more exciting with lots of colours and a star rating, based on how many actions are completed in a month. We also have a healthy sense of competition in the team with an hour back for the person who completes the most actions in a month. For the reactive, planned and remedial maintenance we create dashboards so it’s blindingly obvious what our focus needs to be to ensure we deliver on our KPIs. We review these as a team weekly and problem solve together.

Are you happy with your work-life balance?
I am happy with the balance. With a team that works staggered hours from 8am-9pm it does mean there are some long days when I am trying to touch base with the cleaners, as well as our front of house or account co-ordination teams. However, the ability to work from home weekly gives me the opportunity to go for a run at lunchtime or pop to my favourite coffee shop, so it really does balance out. 

What do you do to relax?
I have recently got back into reading on the recommendation of some of the team – we have even started a book club where we discuss our latest reads and recommend similar ones. There is also a competition to see who can read the most in the year (can you see a theme here?!) and I’m currently in the lead…not that I’m smug or anything!

Image credit: Barbara Obsitos

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