Here’s the Latest WE:Brief – WE keep you in the know – December!

WE are looking forward to all WE can do together in 2021!
Microsoft says it will make changes in its new Productivity Score feature, including removing the ability for companies to see data about individual users, to address concerns from privacy experts…
This is big win for employee privacy, but Microsoft’s isn’t the only creepy employee surveillance tool on the market. Marketed under the guise of helping employees improve productivity, the use of tools like this increased more than 60% between April and June of this year.
In a point/counterpoint, I wrote for SHRM, I tell the story of my daughter-in-law’s experience with keyboard tracking. She’s a 50-year-old Registered Nurse who makes decisions about whether medical procedures should be paid for by insurance. They give her two ten-minute breaks from her keyboard and thirty minutes for lunch. Outside those times, she gets dinged if her fingers aren’t moving fast enough. What about time to think? That’s important in her role, no? 
Amazingly, there are no laws against this. As IOT applications proliferate, we need to be the guardians for how they’re used. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
The future of remote work is likely to be hybrid in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, mostly for a highly educated, well paid minority of the workforce.
This new report from McKinsey, based on an analysis of over 2000 tasks and 800 jobs in 30 countries predicts which jobs could be done remotely with out a loss of effectiveness. If finds:
-More than 20% of the workforce in advanced economies could be just as effective working from home 3-5 days/week
-In fact, 48% of UK workers could be just as effective working from home just one (or more days a week); 27% could do so 3-5 days a week. (Other country breakdowns provided in the report)
-Employees in the Finance and Insurance sector have the highest potential for work from home followed by Management, Professional Services, IT, Education, Wholesale, Real Estate…
The report also covers the implications for commercial and residential real estate.


Researchers identified what they say — and how they say it.
This HBR article offers practical tips for communicating in a more inclusive way. It’s based on study by Quantified Communications, a group that combines data and behavioral analytics to improve communication practices. The most inclusive leaders:
– Take time to understand their audience and tailor their messages in ways that are relatable
– Use second-person pronouns (you, your, yours) instead of “I” to shift the focus on others
– Speak with authority, not opinion
– Behave authentically, which the article defines as “acting the same way whether or not someone is looking”
The article offers good examples of inclusive vs. non-inclusive language.
Of note, the CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, was rate #1 in authenticity. This YouTube video of an interview with her has had over a million views.


Many companies will employ a hybrid office model after Covid. It can go horribly wrong, say a Harvard remote work guru and CEO of telecommute pioneer GitLab.
Some feel strongly that a hybrid remote model is a recipe for disaster. The biggest problem with the mixed approach, they argue, stems from the potential for unequal treatment of remote workers. Instead, they recommend employers adopt either fully remote or fully in-office strategies.
Professor Raj Coundhury warns that making the transition to fully remote requires a wholesale transformation of work practices and processes; something that can take years to accomplish. His research and views are the subject of this month’s HBR cover story, Our Work-from-Anywhere Future
I think the reality is most large organizations simply won’t be able to make the move to either extreme, particularly those that had a strong in-office culture before the pandemic. While hybrid-remote can introduce problems with equal treatment, it’s probably easier to fix those than to try to execute a complete change in their culture.
A strong sense of purpose—who we are, what we value, what defines us, and who we want to become in the most challenging times—drives us forward, even when we are feeling the most fatigued.
I get a regular newsletter from Korn Ferry. They’re always interesting, but this one really struck home; so much so that I wrote to the author—not realizing he was the CEO— and asked if there was a web address so I could share it. Surprisingly, he wrote back with this link


I think what touched me most, aside from an adorable puppy picture, is that it was so well written and so effectively communicated the importance of having a sense of purpose, particularly in difficult times. Try it, you’ll like it.
Responses to a McKinsey global survey of 800 executives suggest a disruptive period of workplace changes lies ahead due to acceleration of automation, digitization, and other trends.
Among other trends, the McKinsey survey respondents expect a big increase in the use of on-site freelancers and temps. Surprisingly, far fewer (22%) expect to use more remote contingents. 
This is a typical uncertainty play. The use of contract labor generally increases prior to and during a recession. By shifting fixed salaries to variable costs, organization increase their resilience.
Since the majority are expected to work on-site, workplace planners should be thinking about how to best accommodate these workers and HR should be looking to deal with management and cultural issues.
Building Social Cohesion During the Pandemic Chaos
Allsteel sponsored a study several years ago that found social cohesion as the factor most highly correlated to knowledge worker teams’ productivity. And in light of the significant challenges the pandemic has created both for businesses and their employees, the importance of social cohesion has only increased.


More recently, Allsteel has partnered with Jeff Leitner and developed a series of presentations and workshops designed to help organizations identify and redefine their social norms so they are a more positive force for their employees. Uncovering an organization’s social norm, is a powerful way to evaluate the relative strength of an organization’s social cohesion. A norm like ‘if you’re not at your desk you’re not working’ is a big red flag.



Contact Information:
Jan Johnson
VP, Design & Workplace Resources
“IFMA’s Workplace Management Program (WMP) provides the first comprehensive curriculum / framework for delivering an effective Workplace Strategy and Experience aligned to strategic drivers and business goals.  This ‘Certificate of Completion’ Program complements IFMA’s other Certification Programs and provides unique, ‘interactive’ learning experiences around Workplace Strategy, Leadership and Management. “


The WMP program is designed for individuals with at least five years of professional experience in a relevant industry and a basic understanding of organizational structure but is open to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of how to successfully transition organizations into the new world of work.  Details about the various modules, webinars and workshops are provided here


Over 60 participants (including FM & RE managers, A&D professionals, as well as HR & IT leaders) have taken the program in the past year. Here’s what they are saying:


“I took the Introduction to Workplace Management webinar and came to the conclusion that this program would benefit my career and professional advancement.  So, I signed up for all the sessions and have shared with my NYC Chapter how valuable I am finding both the content and the interactive learning experience.’” Annette Vega, IFMA NYC Chapter President


Click here for a pdf with details about the course contents.
The next sessions begin in January, 2021.  Click here to learn more and register.  Have Questions? Email
Become an Official Member of WE! “Changing the world, one workplace at a time.” Workplace Evolutionaries (WE) is the world’s largest, multi-disciplinary global community of practice focused on Workplace innovation. WE are committed to the evolution, exploration and transformation of the workplace.”

Three Ways to Join WE! 

1)  IFMA + WE (International Facility Management Association + Workplace Evolutionaries) for current IFMA Members

With your IFMA Membership, you can join WE for only US $99/year. The fee will be prorated based on your IFMA join date. You can add WE through your MyIFMA account or by calling the Member Services at 1-713-623-4362!


  • NEW! Retired Members: Join IFMA for just $100 and add WE for $10/year 
  • NEW! Student Members of IFMA get a free WE membership 

2) WE (only) Membership 

 You can now join the Workplace Evolutionaries (WE) Community of Practice directly: Join WE Only where you register and create an account.


You can join WE and receive all the WE membership benefits but still get access to IFMA content. This membership targets multi-disciplinary leaders (HR, IT,  Workplace) who are deeply interested in workplace management and the impact on human performance in the workplace. Total annual WE (only) Membership is US $318/year.

3) RICS & IFMA DUAL + WE Membership (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors & IFMA + WE) 

With your RICS & IFMA Dual Membership, you can add WE for only US $99/year. You can add WE through your MyIFMA account or by calling the Member Services at 1-713-623-4362!


If you have any questions about WE membership or the signup process, contact the WE Administrator at or the WE Membership Chair: Angela Dettore at
This is perhaps the largest and most rigorous study of remote work since the start of the pandemic. It’s based on a nationally representative survey of 10,332 U.S. adults (including 5,858 employed adults who have only one job or have multiple jobs but consider one to be their primary) and was conducted Oct. 13-19, 2020, using the Center’s American Trends Panel.
This new report offers extensive demographic details about whose working remotely, who wants to in the future, and what is and isn’t working based on gender, age, race, education, industry, and income. It’s well worth reading and validates much of what we already knew or suspected from prior surveys. Some of the more interesting findings include:
– 57% of Asian adults say the majority of their work could be done at home, versus 29% of Hispanics, 37% of Blacks, and 39% of Whites
– 38% of U.S. adults say they can do most or all of their work from home. Compatibility is highest among Women, Asians, Millennials, college graduates, and those with higher incomes.
– Half of parents say they are struggling with interruptions at home; men and women are about equally challenged
– Only about a third say they are worn out by video meetings
There’s lots more data in full report. 



The first book in 20 years to provide an accessible insight into the significance of the workplace, at a time when COVID-19 dominates the agenda. 
With the current debate about office versus WFH, why have offices and their commercial delivery model remained unchanged for decades? The pandemic has proved that traditional office space no longer serves the needs of the modern workforce. Could it be the case that we have reached a real inflection point today? The author of Where is My Office, Chris Kane, provides an optimistic and crisply argued case for a better future along with a compelling call for change.


Chris is offering a special 35% discount for WE members through Jan. 31. Click here: and use code WWF35
Research findings are based on responses from 344 organizations in North America employing 4.83 million employees. The survey fielded between October 6 and 21, 2020.
There’s some great information in WillisTowersWatson’s just released Flexible Work and Rewards Survey. It’s worth a full read, but of particular interest:
– Respondents anticipate 52% of staff to be working from home (WFH) through at least January 2021, a small reduction from 59% who do so now
– Respondents expect 30% will WFH over next three years
– 25% are allowing work-from-anywhere or flextime but anticipate only 4% of jobs to go offshore
– 57% anticipate reducing real estate costs over next three years
– 26% plan to increase WFH allowances/subsidies in 2021
– 26% will adjust pay based on location; 61% will pay the same regardless
– A third of respondents do not have a formal WFH policy in place and 25% recently created theirs; 60% will adopt one in coming years


Click here for the rest of the findings.
The emerging office is a utility, purposely designed and intensely used, for activities that cannot be accomplished elsewhere.
WE Advisory Board member, Chris Hood and Advanced Workplace Associate, Tanisha Krishnan ponder the role of the future office as one that is designed to support:
– Complex, fast-moving exchanges of information
– Hands-on creativity and innovation initiatives
– Specialized work that requires specialized equipment and technology
– People who can’t or do not want to work from home
– Social interaction, unstructured learning and knowledge transfer
– Hands-on help services
– Branded experiences with customers
But they also challenge the assumption that all of these activities require a traditional office setting. Instead, they offer suggestions for making more sustainable decisions around the place of work in the post-Covid-19 world.


This year’s report reveals answers to questions about remote work during and after the pandemic that other surveys have not probed.
Global Workplace Analytics collaborated with OwlLabs on a 4th annual State of Remote Work survey. In addition to the usual questions, they gathered insights on issues that had not been answered in the numerous other surveys particularly the issue of where employees stand on potentially divisive issues around:


– Remote monitoring
– Cost-of-living pay adjustments
– Who should be responsible for home office expenses
– Not being allowed to work remotely when the pandemic is over, and more
The survey also asked about:
– Top difficulties working from home 
– Fears about career progression 
– Money saved working from home
– Whether respondents would move if they were able to work from home permanently and whether they’d move to a suburban or rural area
– What training they need most


For some of the questions, the survey also looked at the difference in answers based on gender, age, and self-reported personality type (introvert or extravert).


Over 2k U.S. employees participated in the survey distributed by Qualtrics. You can download the 26-page report here.






“Many organizations already recognize that what got them to this point will not get them to the next, and a left-field event like this will result in people asking ‘What can we do better?’” 
There are three ways companies will emerge from the current crisis, better than they were before, the same, or worse. This article from Korn Ferry offers some great nuggets about the special importance of leadership and organizational culture right now. I especially like their idea for creating internal centers of excellence to share insights about technology solutions, managing remote workers, organizational purpose, and other concepts that will drive value.
“…respondents say it would have taken more than a year to implement the level of remote working that took place during the crisis. In actuality, it took an average of 11 days to implement a workable solution, and nearly all of the companies have stood up workable solutions within a few months.”
McKinsey queried 700+ executive about the impact of the pandemic on timeframe for adoption of various business changes. On average, it accelerated them by a factor of 25. In the case of remote work, they did in 11 days what would have otherwise taken them over a year. More than half think the shift will stick when the pandemic, but 23% expect work to go back to ‘normal.’
12/17/2020, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Join us for our December WE:binar The Regenerative Workplace: Beyond Sustainability Toward Circularity


1/21/2021, 11:00AM – 12:00 PM EST


2/18/2021, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST


WE Love our 2020 Sponsors!   THANK YOU to our GREAT WE sponsors! Your generous support makes our Community, Programs and Events possible. 


To learn more about sponsorship, contact Susan Spiers. View the WE sponsorship benefits for further details.