I saw this article today on Gigaom by Jessica Stillman as she writes on the changes in the future of work and cautions Facilities Managers not to get left behind (NFMLB?). Walker Engineering provides professional facilities management and we agree with Jim Ware that it isn’t keeping the lights on but supporting work wherever it occurs, and in a much more flexible configuration including employee involvement in selecting where they will perform work. It is going to be fun.
I have a reprint of some of the article below, make sure you head over and read the full text at Gigaom.
The wired, more independent future of work is necessitating changes to how managers coordinate, facilitate and monitor their teams’ work. It’s changing our expectations of HR and our ideas about recruiting and how talent and organizations’ needs can best be matched up. But perhaps there’s one more broad category of professionals that need to wake up to the changing realities of how we work: facilities managers (aka workplace professionals).
She quotes Jim Ware, the founder and executive director of The Future of Work, in a fascinating recent article for Workspace Design magazine. In the piece, Ware says workplace professionals need to shake up their conception of their role to keep up with the times.
I believe it starts with rethinking—from the ground up—the role of a workplace professional. I’ve recently been tracking several debates about the definition of “facilities management” as discussed across a number of LinkedIn groups…. most of the contributors seem to have a very limited view of their jobs. They focus on keeping their buildings open and clean, on controlling costs, on ensuring business continuity, and sometimes on improving sustainability.
In contrast, I believe your job as workplace professional is to support work, wherever and whenever it takes place. And for me “support” means focusing on the work itself, and how it’s being done, almost more than the workplace.
As one senior executive commented to me several years ago, “The most expensive cost of any workplace is the salary of the people who use it.” Thus, the most important measure of workplace effectiveness is workforce productivity, not simple cost control.