Agile Work News

  • Chris North, Gabor Nagy, and Kate Lister hope you’ll join them at World Workplace 2018 for their “Highlights from Global Workplace Benchmarking Study” session

    Workplace Evolutionairies, a community of practice within IFMA will once again offer a full three days of great content at IFMA’s WWP in Charlotte NC, October 3rd through October 5th.


    This session is not to be missed. It will offer insights into workplace trends across the past decade from “The Once Alternative Workplace Strategy Fifth Annual Benchmarking Report (2018).” Based on 10 years of trend data, covered topics will include: workplace strategies, workplace design, work practices, change management practices, where work is conducted, executive sponsorship, and more. The report was developed by a trio of Workplace Evolutionaries (WE), Chris Hood (Advanced Workplace Associates), Kate Lister (Global Workplace Analytics), and Gaby Nagy, Ph.D. (Haworth, Inc.) and additionally supported by WE/IFMA. Check out this month’s FM Journal for more information. It will be held in the WE room (room 208) from 3pm to 3:30 on October 4th. #wwpchar18 #ifma #weworkplace

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  • World Workplace 2018 – WE’s Week @ a Glance

    IFMA World Workplace 2018 is right around the corner and the Workplace Evolutionaries Community (WE) has a line-up you won’t want to miss. Be sure to come early. The fun and learning begins on Wednesday, October 4 at 8 a.m. (Charlotte NC).


    Wednesday 10/4 kicks off at 8am and includes:

    – A year of insights from the the industry’s top workplace innovators (led by renowned podcaster, Mike Petrusky from iOffice)

    – Workshop: The Discovery that Forever Changed the Future and How we Work (led by best-selling author Bill Jensen)

    – Explore the fascinating Erste Campus case study with workplace strategist Martin Ruppe

    Shift Happens: IT, REAL, ESUS and WE come together for a cross-functional look at the Top 3 "Big Shifts” 


    Thursday 10/5 look forward to:

    – WE HUB Workshop: Share experiences with HUB leaders from around the world and learn how to start a HUB in your area

    Seven great sessions on topics that include: Evolving Technologies and New Innovations, How FM Can Drive Culture and Engagement, Findings from the 5th Biennial Global Workplace Benchmarking Survey, Demystifying the Workplace Experience, Revelations and Calculations about Circulation, and Making the Change Process Predictable

    -WE Tour, WE Learn, and WE socialize with IA


    Friday offers a lineup worth staying for:

    Six great sessions on: Redefining Experience, The Need for Focus, Quantifying the Impact of Workplace Change, Quantifying a Great Experience, The Future of Work Through the Lens of HR, IT, and CRE/FM, A New Landscape of Work, Cracking the Code on Unassigned Seating, and Hacking the Workplace.


    Come Early and Stay Late so you don’t miss out!

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  • Journaled study measured a 70% reduction in face-to-face interaction after the introduction of an open office

    Organizations’ pursuit of increased workplace collaboration has led managers to transform traditional office spaces into ‘open’, transparency-enhancing architectures with fewer walls, doors and other spatial boundaries, yet there is scant direct empirical research on how human interaction patterns change as a result of these architectural changes."


    In two separate field-based studies, the researchers documented a 70% reduction in face-to-face interaction after the introduction of an open office environment. Email communications increased by 25% to 50% during the same period. Co-located teams suffered the same decline as those that were not.  


    Pulling from other research, the article stresses:

    – the relative richness of face-to-face over email and texting

    – the importance of intermittent, rather than constant social interaction on collaborative work and problem solving


    It concludes that open offices have the perverse effect of reducing, rather than increasing productive communication.


    This claims to be the first study to empirically measure both face-to-face and electronic interaction before and after the introduction of an open office environment.


    The measurement tools included sociometric badges (equipped with microphones, infrared sensors, accelerometers, and bluetooth sensors). Digital communications were collected from company servers. All participants were volunteers (52 in one case and 100 in the other). HR data indicated no bias.

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  • 17 Reasons you should formalize your mobile, activity-based, or unassigned desk program. Plus dozens of tips for how to do it.

    New research shows strong trend toward formal workplace policies around activity-based working, unassigned desks, mobile work, and telework. Here’s what you need to know.


    If you’ve been running your workplace program without formal policies, practices, and training, this is a must read. It’s based on a new benchmarking report sponsored by IFMA’s Workplace Evolutionaries.


    The ‘Tips’ section offers dozens of must-have policies and guidelines for:

    • Space usage
    • Tools and Technology
    • Remote or mobile workers
    • And more
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  • WE:Hub are springing up all over the globe! Check the schedule for events in your area. 

    WE is a truly global community and thanks to our WE:Hubs the list of local events continues to expand.


    Come to one of our great local events:


    Date/Time Event 07/26/2018
    5:30 PM – 7:30 PM WE Hub NYC Cocktail Party
    Allsteel Showroom, New York NY

    WE NYC HUB Event

    3:45 PM – 7:30 PM William Blair Tour & Case Study: Leveraging Performance Metrics to Impact the Workplace
    William Blair, Chicago Illinois

    WE Hub Chicago Event

    4:00 PM – 6:30 PM WE: Hub Southeast Wisconsin Launch Event
    Eppstein Uhen Architects – Rooftop Terrace, Milwaukee WI 

    Hub Launch

    4:00 PM – 7:30 PM WE Hub SoCal Wine Tasting
    Long Beach Yacht Club, Long Beach CA

    WE Hub SoCal Event

    09/19/2018 – 09/21/2018 WE Finland transdisciplinary workplace research conference
    Tampere University of Technology, Tampere 

    WE Finland and the Transdisciplinary Workplace Research (TWR) network welcomes participants to the 1st Bi-annual Conference on work environment research

    9:00 AM – 4:30 PM September UK WE:Hub: Smartworking Summit
    Smartwork Summit, London 

    September WE:Hub UK: Owning the Mindset Change

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  • Don’t miss the July 14-15 WE/CREC INNOVATION WORKSHOP – Designing for the Experience (Nike Campus, Portland OR)

    Members of the WE and CREC communities are collaborating to design a unique, experiential conference that engages participants around the challenge of: Designing for the Experience.


    Important Details:
    Where: Nike Campus in Portland, OR
    When:  July 14 -15 2016
    Cost:    $299; limited to 90 attendees

    What is the Innovation Workshop?

    Members of the WE and CREC communities are collaborating to design a unique, experiential conference that engages participants around the challenge of: Designing for the Experience.

    The conference will spark a dialogue on various forms of disruption – digital, customer demands, finance, worker preferences – facing our industry and their impact on how we design to meet evolving demands.

    Expect to experience conference disruption in various ways and to interact on how the shake up changes your own perceptions and practices!

    Why Attend?

    Now is the time for this special event! “WE|RE in a moment of tremendous and diverse disruptions.”  How do we think, interact and react in order to Design for the Experience?

    Participants will benefit from a new conversation that talks differently about the impacts of disruptions on how we design for the experience.  Different tracks will enable active, thought-provoking learning to take back and apply in your daily work.



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  • A comprehensive and proscriptive report on job loss due to automation from McKinsey

    Demand for technological, social and emotional, and higher cognitive skills will rise by 2030. How will workers and organizations adapt?


    If you or your clients are worried about how automation will impact the future of jobs, this 84-page report is a must-read. It includes breakdowns by industry, geography (US vs Western Europe), and extent of adoption. 


    It devotes many pages to what organizations are doing to prepare. Key strategies include:

    • More continuous learning
    • The creation of new business units
    • More cross-functional collaboration
    • More agile ways of working
    • More team-based work


    Dividing organizations into three buckets: extensive, moderate, and limited adopters of automation, it reveals substantially different views of the future world and in how each group is preparing for it. Of concern, is that the slow adopters will not invest in the preparation strategies outlined above and that, at the macro level, will create significant economic hardship for the most vulnerable.

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  • A wellness program with bragging rights—It can work, but it has to run deep

    This Palm Beach hotel has some of the happiest employees and guests in America. That’s because they’ve made wellness a business imperative.


    Wellness programs get mixed reviews, but Breakers Palm Beach, an upscale Florida resort, shows they can work. The bragging rights they’ve earned with their programs includes:


    • A 4:1 return on investment based on healthcare savings
    • Turnover that’s 55% lower than peers
    • A 30:1 ratio of applications received to jobs posted
    • 92% of employees calling it a great place to work


    The difference, according to Leigh Stringer the author of this Slate article, lies in management’s deep commitment to the belief that happy employees make for happy customers.


    Support for its broad-based health and wellness programs comes from the very top of the organization, the family who owns the resort and its top executives. It takes more than just offering gym privileges, flexible hours, and remote work options, reports Stringer. It takes a culture that gives employees permission to take advantage of the offerings.  

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  • New study establishes link between autonomy, mental health, and turnover2

    The objectives of this study are to 1) examine the direct effect of psychosocial work characteristics (as measured by job autonomy and work-related pressure) in relation to self-reported psychological morbidity symptoms and early retirement retentions, and 2) to investigate burnout as mediating variable of these postulated associations. The study involved 593 NHS consultants (Male = 63.1%) from hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales. 

    The study concluded that high job autonomy negatively predicted anxiety, depression, and intention to retire. While this may be intuitive to those familiar with the link between autonomy and employee engagement, this offers additional fodder for the argument against micromanagement and in favor of performance-based outcomes.

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  • GSA’s free “Buildings and Health” tool offers a wealth of research

    GSA’s Sustainable Facilities Tool was designed to help federal agencies and the general public build and buy green.


    GSA’s SFTool (Sustainability Facilities) just got better with the addition of four new tools:

    • The Buildings and Health Module highlights the financial benefits and shares best practices in making buildings healthier for their occupants 
    • A synopsis of how biophilia impacts health outcomes
    • A primer on Circadian Light
    • An interactive Health and Wellness Guidance Crosswalk which provides an easy-to-use way to compare sustainability and wellness rating systems across a broad range of criteria

    The site also offer a wealth of research citations and additional resources all for free (well, sort of, if you don’t count your tax dollars.)

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