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COLUMN: INSIDE FACILITY MANAGEMENT

COLUMN: INSIDE FACILITY MANAGEMENT

THIS MONTH’S TALK OF THE TOWN: WORKPLACE MANAGEMENT VS. FACILITY MANAGEMENT

Time flies! It’s the end of the month again and you know what that means: a brandnew Inside FM Column. Every month, we keep you updated on the most interesting and fun articles in facility management and boy – did we have some this month.

Workplace management vs. facility management

April had barely started when Frans van Eersel published an interesting article on Linkedin. Van Eersel recently made a move from Google to Netflix and even before he started his first day, he proposed quite a change. Instead of Director of Facility Management EMEA, he wanted his title to be changed into Director Workplace EMEA. Obviously, Van Eersel didn’t’ necessarily care about the title but more so about the thought that went into it. He explains that from his point of view, facility management has never been a sexy name and many people tend to have a wrong perception of what we do in FM. Then he shares a description of the term workplace management: Activity or job of planning and executing the workplace experience to enable strategic business performance”.Van Eersel also provides us with why he feels the term workplace management suits our profession better than facility management:

  1. Workplace focuses on business impact
  2. Workplace is embraced by the world
  3. Workplace attracts talent
  4. Workplace focuses on the full experience

So this is quite some food for thought and of course it didn’t take long for others to respond to the article. Andrew Mason didn’t quite agree with Van Eersel and shared his vision, which we feel complements Van Eersel’s statements well. Mason states that workplace management and facility management are two disciplines that cannot be seen separately any longer. Van Eersel feels that workplace management is a very extended management discipline fueled by input from real estate, HR and IT, but Mason states that facility management is much more an independent ecosystem that keeps on developing itself. Mason compares facility management to a special forcesteam (we’ll happily take that compliment!) that is educated to lead large movements for example without others noticing it. Mason continues to state that workplace has a much more extensive role, also outside of the organization as nowadays is makes a difference in the hiring process too. With that, Mason tries to highlight the differences between the departments and says these two cannot “just” be merged. To read more, we would definitely recommend to read both articles in full length!

And where there’s a new month, there’s of course a new article about the working environment. This time around it is consultancy firm Hospitality Group that sheds a light on the workplace and performed research in the Dutch market on what Dutch employees find attractive when it comes to the workplace. To get inspired, Hospitality Group also visited the early adaptors of amazing workplaces in Silicon Valley. Following their visit they conclude that it is very important to create a feeling of belonging: a close, strong and diverse community feeling. Apparently free breakfast, lunch and dinner, 24/7 access to healthy meals, yoga, on-site dentists, hairdressers and doctors give you that community feeling – as Hospitality Group gushes over the amenities that were available in the popular Silicon Valley headquarter buildings. Of course this is also a major key factor in attracting the best talent and it could really be a competitive advantage. Coming back to the results from The Netherlands, it appears that employees mostly value a dynamic working environment with a modern workplace layout concept, healthy food, a close and open culture and state-of-the-art services and amenities.

Last but not least, we want to share a very interesting research with you which was performed by Harvard University in collaboration with WeWork. The researches have looked into the hypothesis whether or not co-working spaces influence the professional entity of the tenant.

The research concludes that when organizations take the time to choose a coworking space that aligns with the image they want to project — about their employees and about their business — employees will experience higher levels of thriving, and the organizations will benefit as well, causing employees to identify even more strongly with their purpose and values. The following three main themes were highlighted:

  • Coworking spaces give some members a sense of professionalism and credibility that traditional remote working does not.
  • Workers with company-subsidized memberships feel that their employers take their needs seriously — regardless of where they are located.
  • Coworking spaces help new businesses make a positive impression on potential clientele.

 

A highly interesting article if you ask us, with a great outcome that will only strengthen the immense growth that the co-working sector is going through at the moment. This concludes our April round-up. We hope you enjoyed reading and hope to update you again next month!

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