Posts

The Workplace IS Strategic: Take it from a CEO (Part Two)

Last week I described how in 2001 Joe Hagan, the Chief Executive Officer of National Equity Fund (NEF) led a highly strategic workplace redesign and relocation project that had a major impact on the company’s culture and economic survival  (see “The Workplace IS Strategic: Take it from a CEO“).

Now, in 2014, NEF is getting ready to move once again. Why? The office still looks very much like it did in 2001, and the staff still likes working there. The company continues to be an industry leader; it’s not in need of a dramatic turnaround.

But – and this is both obvious and critical – much has changed over the last decade. The last five years have been a very tough time in the financial services sector. The “Great Depression” and the housing debacle have put incredible economic pressure on NEF and its competitors (to say nothing of publicly funded housing).

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The workplace IS strategic: take it from a CEO

Picture this: On the first day that a Chicago-based financial services company moved into a new – and dramatically redesigned – workplace, two employees bumped into each other in the hallway. One said to the other, “Who are you? Why are you walking around our office?” The other replied, “I work here – I’ve worked here for several years.”

They had never seen each other before, even though the company’s headquarters office is home to only about 115 employees.

Today that company – National Equity Fund (NEF), a nonprofit financial services organization that constructs deals to fund affordable housing projects across the United States – is an industry leader that enjoys low staff turnover, high productivity, and a reputation as a high-energy, compelling place to work. It’s characterized by open collaboration and a free-flowing, can-do culture.

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Flexible work remains a hot topic…and the conversation continues

It’s almost impossible to keep up with the global debate on telecommuting and flexible work these days. As my good friend and colleague Chris Hood of CBRE put it recently, “Marissa Mayer [CEO of Yahoo!] has done all of us who believe in flexible working a big favor.”

More people than ever are talking about it, debating it, and thinking about the pros and cons of requiring people to come to the office (or enabling them to work from other locations, including their homes). [continue reading...]

Jim Ware interviewed by Turi Ryder on the Yahoo! telecommuting kerfuffle

WGN Radio logoOn Tuesday evening, February 26, 2013, Jim Ware was invited to speak with talk radio host Turi Ryder (WGN 720 radio in Chicago, Illinois) to discuss his perspectives on the mandate issued by Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, that all Yahoo! employees would be required to come into the corporate offices every day rather than working from home.

That edict has clearly been highly controversial; it has generated an unusual, and unexpected, amount of press commentary. [continue reading...]

Free Webinar on “Leveraging Mobile Work to Engage Your Employees”

When: Thursday, March 7, at Noon Pacific Standard Time

Registerhttps://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/476196598

Please join me and my colleague, Pi Wen Looi of Novacrea Research, for a lunch-and-learn session to learn about “Leveraging Mobile Work to Engage Your Employees.” We’ll present our 2012 Mobile Workforce Survey findings and share ideas about how you can use these insights to engage and leverage your mobile workers. [continue reading...]

Does “Yahoo!” now stand for “bureaucratic dinosaur”?

There’s been quite a buzz building around Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s recent proclamation that all employees are now expected to be in their assigned corporate office every day. No more “telecommuting” or working from home.

There is no way I can summarize all the insightful commentary about Ms. Meyer’s edict that is all over the Internets and the mainstream media this week. [continue reading...]

Is the Future of Work Focused on Staying Home?

I was recently asked a question that I hear all too often:

You have been studying today’s most favored methods of working for many years. What are the big headlines about that? Just where are we going? Or rather, are we all going to stay home and work from there all the time ?

No, we’re not all going to “cocoon” and never leave our home offices! [continue reading...]

“Staffing Industry Review” Quotes Jim Ware

staffing industry logoShort-Term Growth, Long-Term Hiccups

Staffing Industry Review

January 2012

by Leslie Stevens-Huffman

This article about employers’ growing reliance  on contingent, or contract workers, included the following quote from Jim Ware:

“The migration of applications to the cloud and the growth of information-based jobs make it easy for contractors to telecommute,” says Jim Ware, executive director of The Future of Work Unlimited, based in Berkeley, Calif.

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WorkTech11 West Coast: A Report from the Trenches

WorkTech11 West Coast was the first event hosted by Unwired Ventures Ltd. in Silicon Valley. And it was a good day, time and money well spent. Great lineup of speakers, intriguing stories, and excellent opportunities for networking. I don’t know the numbers, but I’d guess there were about 150 people in attendance, from all over the U.S.

Randy Knox

The Conference Chair was Randy Knox, Senior Director of Workplace Solutions at Adobe. He introduced an impressive roster of speakers and panels, and wove the conversations together throughout the day.

Nokia Silicon Valley

The Conference venue was the new Nokia Silicon Valley headquarters, and the first speakers took us on a virtual tour of the building, including the story of how it came about. The innovative workplace design, primarily for software engineers, was led by Colin Burry of Gensler; he and Lisa Hsiao told us about how the design emerged from a focus on agile development and small teams. The facility is 100% open space, split between individual “I” workspaces (53%) and collaborative “We” spaces (47%), but it also includes substantial informal gathering areas for relaxation and recreation.

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Managing a Remote Workforce

We just posted a note on the workshifting.com blog about our latest research white paper, “Managing a Remote Workforce:  Proven Practices from Succesful Leaders.” The post is a highly condensed version of the full 20-page paper, which you can download for free from the workshifting site. Check it out. You won’t regret it. [continue reading...]