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Low Occupancy or Not, Property Service Workers Remain Vital

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate.  Ben can be reached at

New York, NY – Current tensions in the workplace are causing concern for the future — and there is reason for the building trades and the maintenance workers who maintain commercial properties to be concerned. The question, in the age of COVID-19, is how workers substantiate the need for their services when commercial occupancy is low?

Office buildings are largely unoccupied and with much of the office staff working from home, maintenance crews and engineering staff are looking to avoid layoffs and workshare programs to remain fulltime and stay employed.  At an impasse between the economy and management, workers are strategically utilizing their maintenance systems to conserve energy and cut down on unnecessary costs that an inexperienced or untrained eye would possibly overlook.

Critical staffing has been deemed essential throughout the shutdown. To quantify their positions during the pandemic, the essential staff has directed their focus on energy efficiency and overseeing the properties as a whole. Workers have secured their systems to accommodate the shortages of staffing and low occupancy rates across the board. 

Making use of their time, building staff has taken the initiative to benefit their properties by making rounds of the equipment rooms to improve systematic output with duties that range from basic, routine maintenance to critical systems in need of necessary repairs. Some repairs are timely and were previously unaddressed, due to tenant occupancy or hours of usage.

In spite of Covid’s uncertain timeline, upkeep and maintenance must still be addressed to ensure property efficiency. JVM Property owners are paying special attention to air purification units and filtration systems throughout the buildings.

There are sanitizing stations placed throughout the property.  Proper signage is posted with updates. Temperature sensors are offered in lobby vestibules and loading dock checkpoints to monitor visitors with fevers or to those who might display symptoms of a possible Covid infection. 

In times of crucialness, reducing teams and team players can certainly affect team efficiency, sustainability, and progress. However, workers are asking the ever important question: What can I do to stay employed? Unfortunately, there are no guarantees but there are things a worker can provide as a sense of confidence to an employer.

Here are some tips:

  • Look to show a team-wide sense of system improvements and cost effectiveness to validate and justify worker positions.
  • Utilize experience and talents to grow a sense of importance and dependability.
  • Do not be afraid to take a look for or take on energy saving projects.
  • Stay safe and keep the workplace healthy. (Remember, self care is essential to teamwork.)
  • Create a list of systems that need attention and systematically show a list of improvements and workmanship.
  • Promote self-efficacy amongst co-workers and work to execute projects both together and on an individual basis.
  • Keep a personal log of your work and daily projects.
  • Accomplish short-term goals which are geared towards long-term achievements that sustain and mutual benefit the employees and their employer.
  • Don’t be afraid to take the extra steps. Remember; thoroughness and efficiency speaks volumes to supervisors.

Salaries are a mutually beneficial agreement in which the exchange validates a trade of services. Therefore, by keeping services efficient, employers have a better understanding of their essential workers and how crucial they are to corporate stability.

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