What Is a Maintenance Work Order?

Patti Kate

A maintenance work order is typically a written request that lists maintenance work to be completed at a specified date and time. The maintenance work order may involve preventative maintenance work or repairs that need to be completed in apartment or office buildings. Maintenance work order forms are generally processed by maintenance supervisors or coordinators to inform maintenance workers which tasks need to be completed.

Work orders may be issued for routine maintenance work.
Work orders may be issued for routine maintenance work.

If a tenant in a rental apartment notes something that needs to be repaired, he typically will notify the apartment manager to have it fixed. Upon being notified, the leasing agent or manager will generate a work order form. Typically, the form will state the tenant's name, phone number, and address. The date the request was received will also be written on the form. A brief description of repairs or maintenance work that needs to be done will be stated as well.

Some maintenance companies specialize in maintaining office equipment, such as copy machines.
Some maintenance companies specialize in maintaining office equipment, such as copy machines.

Maintenance work order forms may be arranged in various ways. Some work orders are written as an agenda, with a checklist of tasks to be completed. Beside each written task there may be a field for entering any issues a maintenance worker may encounter. Work order forms may also include space for additional comments. The maintenance work order will then be signed by the person who completed the job, and a copy may be given to the tenant, as well as to the manager or maintenance supervisor.

Not every maintenance work order involves repairs of building structures. A maintenance order may be generated for repairs or preventative maintenance work on equipment. Office equipment such as computers and fax machines often require maintenance by trained technicians. If a machine or piece of equipment in a school, gym or hospital needs to be repaired or routinely serviced, a maintenance work order may be processed.

Tenants or building owner don't typically generate preventative maintenance work orders. Semi-annual maintenance evaluations for machines and other equipment will be typically be completed according to scheduled times and dates. Upon completion, the worker may enter pertinent information into a computer database.

Occasionally, a maintenance work order may include a field for configuration change requests. This enables maintenance workers to list any alterations that may be needed, either to a structure or piece of equipment. This may include replacing or otherwise drastically changing, rather than just servicing, some piece of equipment or building feature.

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