Freedom and Flexibility for the Workforce, Profitability and Sustainability for the Workplace

The Agile Workplace Blog

Welcome to the blog! The blog is a great way for you to hear different perspectives, or hear a new perspective for the first time.  It is where we have the opportunity to express our thoughts about many of the issues facing workplace professionals and our CEO is a regular contributor.  Keep up to date by checking back here on our website, or sign up for our monthly newsletter to have the articles delivered to your inbox.

Continuing to support your customers even during extreme weather with Business Continuity/COOP

How much revenue has your organization lost this winter due to weather shut downs?

Earlier this month was Telework Week, and this week was Business Continuity Awareness Week (March 17-21) - two events that really share some common themes. With the extreme weather making headlines all winter, the issues of business continuity and flexibility in the workplace have been in the spotlight. Atlanta recently shut down because of 2 inches of snow. What could happen if you aren't prepared? The loss of millions in revenue because of lost productivity can be at stake.

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Snowstorms and icy roads are no problem for Teleworkers

While much of the country is blanketed in snow and treading carefully on ice-covered roads, the nation's Teleworkers are comfy in their homes, sipping hot chocolate and keeping their businesses and agencies running as if nothing had happened. The timing for this year's Telework Week, an annual showcase promoting remote work options, couldn't have been more perfect!

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Guest Blog: Designing for Agility

by Naomi Stanford, PhD

During the past week someone alerted me to the Oxford Futures Forum. I'd not heard of it before but I'm constantly looking for perspectives and insights on what the future might hold. Since all organizations I work with are looking to be 'agile', 'scalable up or down', 'adaptable', 'future fit', and similar words/phrases – it would be good to know what they think they might be facing in order to meet the future. When organizational members say 'agile' they are generally neither talking 'Agile' or 'Lean' in terms of specific methodologies nor why these two techniques might go together. They are talking about a more nebulous organizational capability required in turbulent situations.

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The Sharing Economy: The New (Old) Buzz

Robert Fulghum, author of "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten", listed as his #1 learning: Share Everything.

Maybe something old is new again?

There's a new buzz term to add to Cloud, Big Data, Social Networks and Mobility; it's called the Sharing Economy.

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Key Factors for Successful Smart Occupancy: Continuous, Consistent, Systematic Measurement

by John Vivadelli, CEO

If management is impossible without measurement, then facility management is an oxymoron. Facilities cannot be managed without knowing actual occupancy continuously, consistently and systematically every day, in every work setting, throughout the entire portfolio.

If management is impossible without measurement, then financial management is an oxymoron. Occupancy costs comprise 8% to 10% of a company's Profit & Loss and 20% to 30% of its Balance Sheet. FASB 13 changes will only increase the impact of real estate on the Balance Sheet. Finances are not truly managed when management has no auditable measurement system (remember Sarbanes Oxley?) to determine the actual use of their second largest expense and a huge chunk of their capital. Financial analysts take notice; does this pass your test for senior management's responsibility to allocate resources to maximize shareholder value?

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GSA's new floor plan eschews desk-jocky culture

In response to the Washington Post Article: The federal office space of the future? GSA's new floor plan eschews desk-jockey culture.

GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini is leading a transformation of the government's workforce and workplace supported by AgilQuest's Smart Occupancy technology and expertise. The real estate savings this article addresses is real – six leases eliminated resulting in 50% reduction in costs to support the GSA HQ employee base.

What is not mentioned is the following:

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Measuring Utilization in Washington - What will actually get measured?

There is raft of new and interesting legislation being proposed in the House of Representatives to cut federal spending by reducing federal office space. One such bill, H.R. 26121: Public Building Savings and Reform Act of 2013, was introduced on July 8th by Reb. Lou Barletta [R-PA11]. Section 12 of this bill calls for the Administrator of General Services to develop and implement a method of measuring actual utilization rates of its buildings and a plan for incorporating such utilization rates into performance metrics. The method shall be based on actual utilization by “rentable sq ft per person”. Two important points should be considered regarding this bill; refinement for the definition and intent for Actual Utilization Rate and acknowledgement of the measurement method.

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Key Factors to Successful Workplace Strategy: Part 3 - Manager and Staff Buy-in

You know it’s true.  The time has passed for the timid, waffling and toe-in-the-water new workplace strategy pilots that seem to rule the day. 

You see the impact of broken workplace policies, empty boxes of air we call office buildings and roads choked with a hell called commuting.  You know your organization must do the right thing; broad and bold adoption of mobility and hoteling that improve productivity, profitability, agility and sustainability. 

But achieving rapid and successful organization-wide adoption – the kind that involves tens or hundreds of thousands of people across continents and millions of sq. ft. of office space – causes you pause.   How can I get my enterprise up and down the ranks to buy-in to this new strategy? 

Fear not!  You are not alone in your quest, not the first to undertake it and you can be successful in your implementation.

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Key Factors to Successful Workplace Strategy: Part 2 – Gaining Executive Commitment

How do we go from 'our department's great idea' to 'the organization's top strategy'? This is the challenge when one innovative group or leader in the organization clearly sees the benefits, the far-reaching value of workplace change, but the other departments are too busy with their own projects and goals to embrace any new initiative. Every week we hear "how do we get executive support?" Support (money) and sponsorship (power and authority) of the executive team is a key factor in any broadly-implemented organizational initiative. So, how do you gain commitment from the executives, the partners, the right level of management, to begin change and sustain it through implementation and institutionalization?

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Cutting through the Yahoo!

Much has been written in response to the edict declared by the CEO of one company (Yahoo's Marissa Mayer) to ban home-based work (sometimes called telecommuting). But telecommuting is just a small component of the broader trend to work from anywhere (sometimes referred to as mobility, telework, virtual work, etc.).

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Key Factors to Successful Workplace Strategy: Part 1 - The Business Case

"What does it take to roll out a new workplace strategy and get broad acceptance... quickly?" This is the question nearly every organization asks when they reach out to experienced practitioners and advanced organizations. We've heard businesses, global enterprises and federal agencies all ask the same question. This first article in a series will tackle the first of what we call the "Key Factors" in new workplace strategy.

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