Agile Work News

  • Workplace News is an exclusive benefit for WE members.

    Please feel free to share an issue or two of this newsletter with colleagues, but as it’s a WE member-only benefit, we hope you’ll encourage them to join WE here: At $55 dollars, it’s a steal!

    Insights are provided by WE:Research leader, Kate Lister. Kate is president of Global Workplace Analytics, a research and consulting firm dedicated to making the business case for workplace change. The opinions expressed herein are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of IFMA or the WE community.

    Kate is not responsible for anything including, but not limited to, earthquakes greater than 4.0, crying babies, barking dogs, car alarms, and singing minstrels.

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  • Allsteel white paper points to identifies the need for a combined tactical, strategic, and business focus

    "How does mobility factor into an organization’s real estate or workplace strategy within the context of increasingly collaborative work processes, an emphasis on positive workplace experiences, and new definitions of engagement and productivity? It all starts with creating your own definition of what mobility means that is aligned with the organization’s critical business goals, work processes, and culture."


    The paper stresses that before embarking on a mobility program, organizations need to understand how and where people are working now, managers’ attitudes toward remote work and experience with remote teams, the workspace itself and how mobility might support critical work processes and business goals. Optimal results only come when tactics, strategies, and business impacts are aligned. It ends with a useful Mobility Assessment Tool and Program Checklist.

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  • Wow WE: 2018 at a Glance


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  • Check out all the great WE and Friends of WE upcoming events.

    WE is everywhere! Join us for one or more of these upcoming live or virtual events! Stay up to date on all our events at


    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM   January WE:binar – Organizational Analytics

    Date: Thursday, January 17, 2019 Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT Hosted by Megan Campbell Organizational Analytics Management is too slow. It can take months or years to evaluate the efficacy of management decisions, from org charts to training programs to workplace designs. This has fostered a myopic focus on cost and making the […]

    4:30 PM – 8:00 PM   The Cultural and Physical Transformation of McDonald’s HQ: Panel Discussion & Tour
    McD HQ, Chicago 

    Don’t miss this WE Hub, Chicago event – a private tour/presentation/networking event at the new McDonald’s Headquarters in the West Loop. Located on the former site of Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios, the new McD HQ is symbolic of the company’s journey to transform its culture and brand with a workplace that supports the ideas of innovation, growth […]

    02/25/2019 – 02/27/2019   Work Rebooted Summit
    Julia Morgan Ballroom 15th Floor, San Francisco CA

    For more information and to register, visit:

    03/20/2019 – 03/22/2019   World Workplace Europe 2019
    Amsterdam, Amsterdam 

    For more information visit:

    04/08/2019 – 04/10/2019   IFMA Facility Fusion 2019
    Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta GA

    For more information visit: To register for this event visit:

    9:00 AM – 6:00 PM   RICS World Built Environment Forum
    Conrad New York, New York NY

    For more information about this event, click here.

    10/16/2019 – 10/18/2019   IFMA’s World Workplace 2019
    Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix AZ

    For more information visit: To register for this event visit:

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  • Parking garages gearing up to morph into offices, housing, retail as autonomous cars loom large

    "At a 13-story office tower under construction in Hollywood that will soon serve as the headquarters of Netflix, two floors of parking are designed for a different future: As the need for parking dwindles, that parking space can be easily converted into new office space."


    It’s a parking lot. No, it’s an office. No, it’s affordable housing. No, it’s all three. At least it should be if the garage owner expects to make money in the not-too-distant future of autonomous vehicles. The article explains that some cities are eliminating their parking ratio requirement. One high-rise in Oslo was built for no parking at all, except the two-wheel human-powered ones. 

    Older structures will be much harder to repurpose that newer ones. Underground lots may be similarly challenged. But if your new building includes parking, think about what you might turn that space into when cars will no longer have to sit anywhere.

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  • McKinsey offers a wake-up call for connected building hardware and software players. Evolve or die.

    While connectivity represents a substantial opportunity for both incumbent infrastructure companies and new tech-focused entrants, they need to act quickly. Many players are already attempting to establish themselves as leaders in the connected building space, so competitors that delay may never regain their lost ground.


    Aside from giving the reader a good understanding of where connected buildings are headed, this McKinsey paper challenges software, hardware, building owners/occupants, and service providers to think about what role they will play in the evolving value chain. 


    Among other things it predicts:

    • As building technologies increasingly focus on human outcomes over efficiency and cost savings, making the business case and measuring results will become more difficult.
    • The security/privacy challenge will multiply as hardware and software solutions increasingly talk to one another.
    • The value proposition will vary greatly across owners/occupants. This will force vendors to offer a menu of choices and step-wise implementation options.
    • The C-suite will increasingly become the sales target as only they will be in a position to appreciate the value of holistic solutions.
    • Successful building hardware and software providers will buy, build, or partner with other value chain players to offer end-to-end solutions.


    The paper ends with recommendations for what industry players should be doing, right now, to ensure their survival in the coming years.

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  • HOK Releases Insurance Industry Workplace Report

    "The New Insurance Workplace" 2018 offers an investigation of the forces reshaping the insurance industry and how workplace design can position companies for success.


    This report offers a treasure trove of insights into how insurance industry workplaces are evolving.


    Among other things, this 28-page report covers:

    – factors that are driving change

    – space standards and benchmarking data

    – sustainability, mobility, technology, and amenity trends

    – case studies


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  • JLL’s Annual Occupancy Benchmarking Guide

    JLL survey reveals latest work styles require new planning methods


    JLL’s Annual Occupancy Benchmarking Guide came out in December. The whole report is a must-read, but here is some data to wet your appetite:



    – 69% Report occupancy benchmarking and metrics

    – 51% report density (rsf/seat)



    – 52% report density of 150-225 rsf/person (highest in N.A.)

    – 72% report 150-225 rsf/seat (100% in Latin America)

    – RSF/person is highest for Utilities industry and lowest for Communications (263 sf and 158 sf respectively)

    – 41% have office-to-workstation ratios at 10+% (down from 57% in 2017)



    – 66% track space utilization (72% for EMEA)

    – 43% use a combination of technology and observation

    – 30% track utilization on an on-going basis

    – 38% utilize their office space less than 60% of the time

    – Highest utilization among non-profits, lowest in utilities



    – 30% of global respondents (and 64% of APAC) have more than 20% of employee population designated as mobile (not needing an assigned desk)

    – Mobility highest in N.A. and lowest in LA/SA

    – Of those with mobility programs

      – 80% Utilize neighborhoods

      – 80% Use IWMS or CAFM to track mobility

      – 61% Have mobility space standards

      – 36% Have work-at-home programs (down from 45% in 2017)


    The report additionally offers industry and geographic breakdowns, and data about space standards, workstation size, visitor workspace, case studies, and more.


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  • Survey show strong link between office design and job satisfaction in Europe 

    Kinnarps Next Office® consultancy surveyed over 5,300 employees from over 60 of their clients across Europe to discover what agile looks like when it moves from paper to practice.


    When asked how important the office design and environment was to their job satisfaction, the 5,600 employees surveyed in this Kinnarps study answered 5 on a 6 scale. Though the survey results did not include any statistical significance data and was comprised of only Kinnarps customers, the findings are still worth noting. Respondents across six industries (individual reports are available) also answered questions about, among other things:


    How they spent their day:

       – 34% writing

       – 29% of the time in meetings

       – 16% planning

       – 12% on the phone

       – 10% other


    Where they preferred to work:

      – Three highest answers were personal workstation, concentration workstation, and small meeting room

       – In agile environments, preference for the personal workstation went from 58% to 18%


    Preference for meeting room size:

       – Those wanting small meeting rooms outnumbered those wanting large ones by 3:1

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  • What you can learn from the office grump about being happier, healthier, and more innovative

    Being bad-tempered and pessimistic helps you to earn more, live longer and enjoy a healthier marriage. It’s almost enough to put a smile on the dourest of faces.


    With all the focus on happiness these days, this BBC article may come as a bit of a shock. It turns out the office Eeyore or Chicken Little are likely healthier and more creative than the folks doing their happy dance. They’re also likely to earn more money, be better negotiators, be less selfish, and stay married longer. 


    Citing numerous studies, the article offers reasons for these counterintuitive findings, such as:

    • People who suppress their anger and unhappiness have three times the number of heart attacks compared to those who hold it in
    • Pessimists don’t have very high expectations so they are happily surprised when things go well
    • Being slightly down enhances social awareness
    • Happiness hormones can reduce our ability to recognize threats
    • Pessimists plan for the worst and are therefore more prepared when it happens


    Have you hugged the office grump today?



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