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


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! Student and Retired Member Rate: $100 to join IFMA and $10 to join WE Click HERE!


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: Glenn Dirks at


Willis Towers Watson’s evidence-based model of employee experience (EX) identifies the factors of EX that characterize successful companies and establishes EX as a predictor of business performance.

Willis Towers Watson’s (WTW) new research quantifies just how much employee experience (EX) matters. It shows that organizations with a positive employee experience grow faster, are more profitable, and produce superior shareholder returns.
They found two standout factors that contribute to a positive experience. One is freeing employees to be themselves at work —giving them voice, an inclusive environment, helping them work across boundaries. The second, and more impactful factor, is having an organizational mindset that inspires, drives agility and innovation, and fosters employee growth and trust in leadership.
Only 30 of WTW’s 500+ clients met the criteria of being high performing both financially and in terms of employee experience, suggesting it’s not easy. 
Also, as you might expect, poor EX had a bigger (negative) effect than strong EX had a positive effect. 

Today and for the foreseeable future, organizations that expect to survive and thrive will do so because of superior human capital performance.

The case for workplace change may have an interesting ally. The SEC.


Some of the largest institutional investors in the world are pressuring the SEC and its international counterparts to require that companies report their human capital metrics alongside their financials. Known as “Environment, Social, and Governance” (ESG) reporting , ISO and others are suggesting standards including: 


  • Compliance and ethics
  • Costs
  • Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Organizational safety, health, and well-being
  • Productivity
  • Recruitment, mobility, and turnover
  • Skills and capabilities
  • Succession planning
  • Workforce availability


Let’s use this movement to show how workplace practices, policies, and design can help move the needle on many of these.


From opening your smartphone to unlocking your car to paying for groceries, biometrics is becoming the go-to method for identification.  

Biometrics, including facial and voice recognition, fingerprints, eye -prints,  DNA, and even behavioral patterns are becoming mainstream. Smart cities and smart buildings will rely on them heavily. This CB Insights article previews how biometrics increase efficiency and improve security in 11 industries including automotive, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, retail border control, education, and law enforcement.


Full transparency and robust privacy policies will be critical to gaining public trust. 


“Independents are the 41 million adult Americans of all ages, skills, and income levels…who work independently to build businesses, develop their careers, pursue passions, and/or supplement their incomes. Over the past year, independent workers generated roughly $1.28 trillion of revenue for the U.S. economy—equal to about 6.2 percent of U.S. GDP (2018)…”

Forecasts for the rise of the alternative workforce abound. Also known as the independent or contingent workforce, many predict more than half of all U.S. workers will fall into this category by 2020 (yikes, that’s only a few days away).


Much of the confusion over the numbers stems from the question of who is a contingent worker. The counts may or may not include part-time workers, Etsy and Craigslist occasional sellers, staffing agency workers, Uber drivers, government contractors, etc. And when they speak in percentages, the denominator matters. Is it the U.S. workforce, the whole population, workers 15 and over, all full-time workers? No wonder everyones confused.


We’ve looked at them all and found Emergent Research (who writes the MBO Partners annual report) to be the most robust. They estimate about about 41M Americans are full and part-time consultants, freelancers, contractors, solopreneurs, temporary, or on-call workers. 


– 33% are Boomers, 29% are Gen X, 38% are Millennials

– 54% are male

– 81% are independent by choice (up from 66% in 2012)

– About 40% are full-time (oddly, this includes those working 15 or more hours a week)

– About 20% of full-timers make over $100k/year

– No single profession accounts for more than 11% of the population

– 53% of full-timers feel more secure as an independent worker (up from 32% in 2011)

– 24% have used an online platform to secure work (up from 3% in 2012)
Compared to traditional employees:
– 57% say they have interesting work (compared to just 37% of traditional employees)
– 79% say they have control over where and how they work (vs 24% of traditionals)
– 38% say they get paid well (vs. 48% of traditionals)
– 77% say liking what they do is more important than money (vs. 56%)
– 72% say having flexibility is more important than money (vs. 46%)



WeWork’s failed attempt to IPO led to a slashed valuation and diminished ability to invest in growth. Co-working rivals may spy an opportunity. Learn more!

This venture capital newsletter offers a round-up of 11 co-working companies that may be poised to capitalize on WeWork’s colossal stumble. What’s interesting is the variety of business models:


– One has actually been profitable since day one (gasp!)

– Several earn a substantial portion of their revenue from services such as shared staffing and technical support

– One has a 90% profit margin in set-up fees

– Several partner with the building owner, rather than sublease

– One is expanding through franchises

– One offers space exclusively for women (is that even legal?)

– One focuses on social impact

 -And one, valued at $3B, is funded by a U.S VC firm, operates primarily in China, and plans a public offering in the U.S. this month.


We live in Interesting times!



Here are some of the great WE events coming up. 

March 18 – 20, 2020
Amsterdam, The Netherlands


April 7 – 9, 2020
Singapore, Asia


April 14 – 16, 2020
San Francisco, California, USA


The workplace experience is increasingly being recognized by business leaders as a critical tool in the battle to recruit, retain and energize employees who are critical to enterprise success. Managing flexibility along with infrastructure cost is key to operational effectiveness in an ever-changing …

IFMA/WE’s  Workplace Management Program (WMP) is the first certificate of completion program in our industry! It is comprised of four (4) modules, each of which includes three (3) live Webinars and one (1) on-site Workshop.  The completion of all Modules and final Workshop will lead to a certificate of completion in Workplace Management.


We recommend you take the curriculum in sequence, if possible, but you can also pick and choose topics as long as you take the Introductory Webinar first!  The Certificate of Completion is only awarded to those who complete the entire curriculum. For pricing and additional details about the curriculum, click here.


7:30 AM – 12:45 PM  

Module 1 On-Site Workshop – Introduction to Workplace Management in San Francisco
Hilton San Francisco Union Square, San Francisco CA

Module 1 On-Site Workshop taking place at IFMA’s Facility Fusion Conference and Expo in San Francisco is now available for registration!


07:15 AM – 12:45 PM  


Module 2 On-Site Workshop, San Francisco
Hilton San Francisco Union Square, San Francisco CA

Module 2 On-Site Workshop taking place at IFMA’s Facility Fusion Conference and Expo in San Francisco is now available for registration!



If you opened an HBR article titled “The Truth About of Open Offices” you would probably expect to find august research to support the main tenet, that “open offices reduce collaboration.” Unfortunately, in the case of this one that ran in the December 2019 issue, you’d be disappointed. … Read More

The open-office bashing has begun again. This time it was fueled by an article in Harvard Business Review (December 2019) that claims it reduces collaboration. There are so many things wrong with the research we felt compelled to share them here. 

For starters:

  • Only 150 people were involved in the two experiments on which the conclusion was based
  • The author of the article owns the company whose technology was used to measure collaboration
  • The term ‘open office’ was not defined
  • No information was provided on how the change was managed

Wouldn’t it be nice if the media actually read what they’re reporting on before pounding out their sensational headlines? This is actually round-two of coverage for this particular study. The first came more than a year ago when the research was originally published. 

Perhaps what’s most frustrating about this new round of sensational headlines decrying the open office is that the industry moved on years ago. We know open office environments can work when properly deployed and when occupants are given a choice of spaces and places to work. 

Join the conversation that’s attracted over 10k LinkedIn viewers here and read the full post here.



“In the future, you will be able to take control of your avatar, and experience what it senses in real time. Shake hands with someone in Tokyo, and you feel the firmness of the handshake in Los Angeles. Scoop sand in the tropics, and feel the grains run through your fingers in Central Europe.”

Imagine you could actually shake hands with the people in your next videoconference? In just two years, XPRIZE expects to reward someone $10M for the development of an avatar-based system that will transport a human’s sense, actions, and presence to a remote location in real time. Virtual healthcare and disaster relief are among the most talked about applications, but it’s not hard to imagine how the technology might play out in meeting rooms around the world.


DeskMag is the leading source of longitudinal data on the coworking industry. With comparative data back to 2012, the 2019 report is chocked full of interesting information.

It’s impossible to do this report justice in a few paragraphs, but here are some of the more interesting findings for the 2019 Global Coworking Report:


– The rental of private offices continues to grow as a percentage of revenue (17% in 2016, 30% in 2019) 

– Desk rentals have fallen as a percentage of revenue (40% in 2016, 31% in 2019)

– Rent accounted for 37% of expenses in 2019 (vs 43% in 2016)

– 43% of coworking operations were profitable in 2019 (39% in 2012)

– 26% lost money in 2019 (38% in 2012)

– 71% of spaces over 7 years old are profitable (only 9% are 7 years or older)

– Only 27% of 1-year-old spaces are profitable (these account for 26% of spaces)

– Larger spaces and those with multiple locations are more profitable than smaller single-space operations.

– 13% of spaces have greater than 20% annual churn; 16% have zero churn

-Spaces located in places with populations > 1M are, by far, the most likely to be profitable (55% report profits), but those in areas with the smallest populations (<100k) have the highest profits

– Average time to breakeven is 12.2 months

– The business model of having a management contract with the location owner has the highest likelihood of profitability (57% are profitable compared to 41% of those who rent or lease the space)


And there’s so much more in the full report! Geek out WE members!



Leaders create the conditions that lead to burnout — or prevent it.

The World Health Organization (WHO) now recognizes burnout as an occupational phenomenon and responsibility for managing it has shifted away from employees to the organization. “Leaders take note: It’s now on you to build a burnout strategy,” according to the Harvard Business Review article on the topic of employee retention and the cost of workplace stress.


What are the top five reasons for burnout?


  1. Unfair treatment at work
  2. Unmanageable workload
  3. Lack of role clarity
  4. Lack of communication and support from their manager
  5. Unreasonable time pressure


“…picture a canary in a coal mine. They are healthy birds, singing away as they make their way into the cave. But, when they come out full of soot and disease, no longer singing, can you imagine us asking why the canaries made themselves sick? No, because the answer would be obvious: the coal mine is making the birds sick.”


Every quarter Randstad publishes a Workmonitor report which covers local and global trends in turnover, job satisfaction, work-life conflict, economic outlook and more. It includes separate data for 33 countries around the globe. 

Here’s an example of the employee data from Randstad Q4-2019 Workmonitor report:


– 56% say their employer expects them to be available outside working hours (89% in China, 37% in Japan)

-35% feel pressured to respond to work while on holiday (75% in India, 17% in Czech Republic)

– 70% think their employer’s financial performance will improve in 2020 (93% in India, 46% in Japan)

– 56% expect a bonus and 61% expect a raise this year

– 26% have changed jobs in the last six month (highest since Q1-2018). Most have taken a similar position with a different employer

– In the U.S., only 39% say they are not looking for or wouldn’t be open to a new job; 6% are actively looking

– 74% of employees in the UK and Canada are very satisfied in their job; 78% in the U.S.; 89% in India


Psychometric tests like Color Code, Myers-Briggs and DiSC have become a goofy part of corporate life. But what happens when we take them seriously?

The article points out that most of the personality tests we commonly use are void of scientific rigor. And as they are increasingly being used in ways they were never intended, such as in employee screening, it might be time to examine whether being labeled an INTJ, ENFP, green, or yellow, means any more than being born a Capricorn or a Sagittarius. 


While the article allows that Color Code, Myers-Briggs, DiSC, or the like may serve some useful purpose, it stresses that it’s critical for users to be skeptical. People are simply too messy to be reduced to a rainbow of colors or four letters of the alphabet.


It’s one thing to play with these tools in a team-building exercise, but’s it’s another thing altogether when these and other unscientific measures start to find their way into algorithms that have the potential to change the course of people’s lives. 


WE are a proud bunch; proud to be part of WE. proud of all WE’ve accomplished, proud to be changing the way we work one workplace at a time. 


Thanks to our GREAT sponsors WE are able to bring our members even more value. 

To learn more about sponsorship, contact Glenn HodgeDavid Burden, or Susan Spiers for questions. View the WE sponsorship benefits for further details.