IFMA World Workplace 2022 review

At the start of this month, Jo Sutherland and Shahlia Nelson-Rogers headed off to Amsterdam for IFMA World Workplace 2022. ESG was the hot topic and with employers recognising a need to focus on the health and wellbeing of their people, it’s no surprise that the theme of the conference was “FM for a Sustainable Future”. 

Rather than recap the full conference, because there was A LOT, we’ve picked out a few of the sessions that the team found particularly interesting to give you a flavour of what went down in the ‘dam.

Circularity and the User Centricity

An impressive panel of speakers including Professor David Greenfield, VP of CEI and CEC Circular Economy Institute, debated the circular economy and its value in extending the lifecycle of a buildings and assets. They also stressed the importance of the FM function being present at the design stage, of designing for maintenance. The session reviewed the 10 R’s of the circular economy highlighting that the biggest focus is still on lower value R’s like reuse and recycle. The panel concluded that the solution lies in a combination of state and market-led initiatives, industry cross-collaboration and a focus on circularity becoming accepted in the mainstream.

Workplace Experience in 2022 and Beyond 

Dec Horgan, software specialist at iOFFICE+SpaceIQ introduced the audience to technology that is making managing hybrid work easier. He explored how these solutions can provide the answer to everything from utilisation, wayfinding and even leasing unused space. Dec stressed the importance of data in decision making. The data harnessed from sensors and other devices can be used to streamline processes, improve the employee experience and save space / money

HR Drivers for Future Sustainable FM

2022 was heralded as “the year of the worker” by Harold Coenders, Director – Partner at Colliers. He described how the worlds of FM (workplace experience) and HR (employee engagement) are merging. He cited hybrid working, the shortage economy and an ageing society as the three key developments that are defining HR in FM. While he acknowledged that hybrid working practices are probably here to stay, Harold also recognised that while close teams are riding the hybrid high, new teams with no existing relationship are facing significant challenges.

The Global State of Work

Pa Sinyan, Managing Partner – EMEA for Gallup enthralled the audience with the latest Gallup data on the workplace. The key gasp moment came from the revelation that when asked who respondents want to spend time with, the bottom three positions were taken by 3) Customers, 2) Colleagues and 1) The boss! The upshot of all the statistics and charts was that in the workplace, managers are the driver of engagement. People want clarity, coaching, they want to feel valued. The key takeaway? Listen and lead with wellbeing or you will lose talent.

The IFMA World Workplace 2022 conference gave valuable insight into how we move forward in our businesses, no matter what industry.

We attend FM and workplace events throughout the year. Head over to our sector news blog section for recaps from events we attend.

Shahlia Nelson-Rogers