Workplace Evolution from different angles

Last week I was in Indianapolis as a speaker at the IFMA Facility Fusion conference. I’m inspired by the community of thought leaders in the arena of “workplace evolution,” which—no coincidence—is almost the name of the track that my talk was in.

Creating workplace strategy communities of practice: I have Kate North to thank for my part in this conference. Kate, a VP and practice leader of Workplace Strategy at Place Value, is the founder of the IFMA community of practice that is named Workplace Evolutionaries (WE).  Kate co-authored a book, “Work on the Move” for the IFMA Foundation highlighting best practices for developing and implementing workplace strategies.  I look forward to any type of collaboration with Kate in the future; such is the value of getting face-to-face in the right environment.

What jumped out at me from this conference track was the full circle of vision created when all individual perspectives were blended. I saw approaches that optimized work flow, work teams, the individual worker, and the workspace. Not claiming to report on that whole vision, I do want to highlight some examples.

Understanding how people work together as a workforce: I got to meet Kevin Schlueter of WPA. Kevin’s expertise is about understanding the work and the workforce within an organization, such as mapping work relationships. Kevin advocates for understanding and measuring the activities, the processes, the connectedness, and the work flow that gets the job of the business done, and then tying it all back to the bottom line. This is my interpretation; he might say it differently. You can watch a WPA webinar from last November on the IFMA WE site, Visualizing the Workforce to Create a Workplace Strategy.

Understand styles of work:  I also got to know the folks from Optimaze. They address the analysis and programming that architects need for big redesigns. They look at space occupancy, but also determine employee work preferences, heads down vs. collaborative. It was great to see ways that our respective offerings might support a project together.

Understanding the individual worker: Laura Hambley, of Work Evohlution, offered a session called “Let’s Stop Guessing! Exploring Personality Impacts on Distributed Workers, Leaders & Teams.” She focuses on the psychological perspective of the individual worker. She showed the value of testing employees to see their ability to do remote work, and for creating strategies for developing remote work skills, for both the knowledge worker and their management.

Understanding utilization of work space: This is where I came in. My mission with FacilityQuest these days is to make it easier to find the stories in workplace data that motivate change. One of the examples I gave, and I will go into this deeper in a subsequent blog, is that it’s good to see the occupancy of conference rooms, but it’s powerful to compare the number of people observed in a conference room with the capacity of that space. If you would like to see my presentation, I’m happy to offer it here, “The Power Of Using YOUR Data To Build And Evolve Your Workplace Strategy.”

How is your organization addressing workplace evolution? Are you experimenting with something not mentioned here? Five years from now, what do you think the thought leaders will be suggesting that gets the highest value from the workplace? Leave a comment here to round out my notes, or if you prefer, reach out to me personally. I’d love to connect.

BTW, the photo above, taken by Leslie Schneider in 2004, is of the National Building Museum, housed in the former Pension Bureau building, a brick structure completed in 1887 and designed by Montgomery C. Meigs. From Wikipedia: “Built before modern artificial ventilation, the building was designed to maximize air circulation: all offices not only had exterior windows, but also opened onto the court, which was designed to admit cool air at ground level and exhaust hot air at the roof. Made of brick and tile, the stairs were designed for the limitations of disabled and aging veterans, having a gradual ascent with low steps. In addition, each step slanted slightly from back to front to allow easy drainage: a flight could be washed easily by pouring water from the top.” It is truly workplace innovation that still inspires more than a century later.

 

Workplace Evolution from different angles

Last week I was in Indianapolis as a speaker at the IFMA Facility Fusion conference. I’m inspired by the community of thought leaders in the arena of “workplace evolution,” which—no coincidence—is almost the name of the track that my talk was in.

Creating workplace strategy communities of practice: I have Kate North to thank for my part in this conference. Kate, a VP and practice leader of Workplace Strategy at Place Value, is the founder of the IFMA community of practice that is named Workplace Evolutionaries (WE).  Kate co-authored a book, “Work on the Move” for the IFMA Foundation highlighting best practices for developing and implementing workplace strategies.  I look forward to any type of collaboration with Kate in the future; such is the value of getting face-to-face in the right environment.

What jumped out at me from this conference track was the full circle of vision created when all individual perspectives were blended. I saw approaches that optimized work flow, work teams, the individual worker, and the workspace. Not claiming to report on that whole vision, I do want to highlight some examples.

Understanding how people work together as a workforce: I got to meet Kevin Schlueter of WPA. Kevin’s expertise is about understanding the work and the workforce within an organization, such as mapping work relationships. Kevin advocates for understanding and measuring the activities, the processes, the connectedness, and the work flow that gets the job of the business done, and then tying it all back to the bottom line. This is my interpretation; he might say it differently. You can watch a WPA webinar from last November on the IFMA WE site, Visualizing the Workforce to Create a Workplace Strategy.

Understand styles of work:  I also got to know the folks from Optimaze. They address the analysis and programming that architects need for big redesigns. They look at space occupancy, but also determine employee work preferences, heads down vs. collaborative. It was great to see ways that our respective offerings might support a project together.

Understanding the individual worker: Laura Hambley, of Work Evohlution, offered a session called “Let’s Stop Guessing! Exploring Personality Impacts on Distributed Workers, Leaders & Teams.” She focuses on the psychological perspective of the individual worker. She showed the value of testing employees to see their ability to do remote work, and for creating strategies for developing remote work skills, for both the knowledge worker and their management.

Understanding utilization of work space: This is where I came in. My mission with FacilityQuest these days is to make it easier to find the stories in workplace data that motivate change. One of the examples I gave, and I will go into this deeper in a subsequent blog, is that it’s good to see the occupancy of conference rooms, but it’s powerful to compare the number of people observed in a conference room with the capacity of that space. If you would like to see my presentation, I’m happy to offer it here, “The Power Of Using YOUR Data To Build And Evolve Your Workplace Strategy.”

How is your organization addressing workplace evolution? Are you experimenting with something not mentioned here? Five years from now, what do you think the thought leaders will be suggesting that gets the highest value from the workplace? Leave a comment here to round out my notes, or if you prefer, reach out to me personally. I’d love to connect.