November 2012: What’s Happened/Happening

November 28, 2012

Fall in North America is always an incredibly busy time. This year was no exception. Here are a few brief notes about the major activities  that we have been involved in over the last several months, plus a quick look ahead.

Raising the Bar

As you may know, in addition to my leadership of The Future of Work….unlimited, I am also a co-founder of Occupiers Journal Limited (OJL). I serve as Global Research Director for OJL.

And OJL has just completed its first 2012 research project, “Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management.”

The research was sponsored by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, RICS. The final report was published on November 1; we presented our findings and recommendations at World Workplace in San Antonio, Texas, on November 2.

The study addressed these basic questions:

  • How is facilities management currently organized and governed?
  • What are the most common organizational structures and reporting relationships?
  • How well are FM and workplace strategies aligned with the business, with financial strategies, with CRE, and with functional peers?
  • How is the FM function measured and managed?
  • What issues and challenges are FM managers facing in 2012?

You can view or download the presentation slide deck from World Workplace at this link:

And you can download a free digital version of the full report from the RICS website at this link (free registration is required to access the report):

Talking About Tomorrow

We have long wanted to engage more directly with smart practitioners and independent experts, as we all drive in parallel towards the future of work. Now we have found a way.

We took a first step towards creating an active community of workplace/workforce futurists last February, when fifteen very smart people joined me for a one-hour free-wheeling conversation about the future of work.

Our subsequent calls have been equally engaging, and we now also have a LinkedIn discussion group limited to “alumni” of these calls. Participant feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, so we are continuing to host these conversations, about once a month, for the foreseeable future.

The conversations are limited to no more than fifteen people who have registered in advance to ensure that they become active, meaningful conversations rather than one-way “pontifications.”

To sign up for the next conversation, on December 13, just send an email directly to Jim. Please tell us your company name and position (to help us know who you are). We will then reply with a call-in number and related information. We look forward to exploring the future together!

Workforce Mobility 2012

We have just completed our 2012 Workforce Mobility Survey, conducted this year in partnership with Novacrea Research.  We asked online respondents to tell us about the various locations where they worked (and how much time they spent in each place), what tools they used to work remotely, and how their remote work affected their organizational engagement, satisfaction, and work-life balance.

Here are the basic headlines:

  • Mobile work is the “new normal.”
  • Work has become highly collaborative.
  • Email is the most commonly used communication method, followed by smart phone.
  • Social networking tools and online collaboration applications are seldom used.
  • Fax, large-scale video conferencing, and overnight delivery services are rarely used.
  • Commonly used communication methods differ by company size.

Those might not sound like “radical” or even surprising findings, but there are some very interesting and important details behind these one-liners.

You can download our free executive summary report at this link:

Facility Fusion 2013

Looking way ahead, mark your calendar now for IFMA’s Facility Fusion 2013: Redefining FM, a high-energy gathering of thought leaders and practitioners from several of IFMA’s most important Councils, including of course the Corporate Real Estate Council, led by its president, none other than Jim Ware. The Conference will be held at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Los Angeles.

The agenda is still being shaped, but I can promise you it will be  powerful experience. I’ll be there, and I certainly hope you will too.

And please follow us on Twitter for more current updates on the future of work and our future plans: and

You can always check on our travels and conference participation via our online calendar of events, right here on the website (, in the right-hand column.

Download "November 2012: What's Happened/Happening" as a PDF

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