IFMA’s WE RE Workshop on Workplace UX: Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Enabling the Occupant Experience
At IFMA’s inaugural WE RE Workshop, professionals from Workplace, Real Estate, Human Resources, and Technology joined forces to discuss the future of designing for experience.
The two-day workshop was appropriately held at Nike’s Beaverton, OR headquarters, a college campus-meets-national park, where Nike’s Workplace Design + Connectivity (WD+C) team has lead a experience-focused approach to its real estate. In an experiential fashion, Mark Ellis, a leader on the WD+C team and President of IFMA’s Corporate Real Estate Committee (CREC), led a tour of Nike’s campus of over 10,000 employees. From the company store to the orange bikes zooming by, bright-eyed and sneaker-clad employees radiate the contagious Nike experience.
The WE RE workshop, the first collaboration of IFMA’s Workplace Evolutionaries (WE) and CREC communities, was truly an unconference, bringing together experts and practitioners who might not otherwise find their conversations overlapping. For instance, our own Melissa Marsh discussed the future of coworking on a panel with the founder of the International Blockchain Real Estate Association and an expert on the transformation of lease accounting standards mandated by new FASB regulations. Evocative of the Applied Brilliance conference series, the workshop was an important reminder that emergent ideas often take shape in forums where disparate concepts can cross-pollinate. As one Facilities Manager noted, "We are constantly looking for resources to predict the future, and I think we found them here!"
Similar to the IFMA Foundation 2014 Summit, the unconference provided an interactive forum for exploring the opportunities and challenges of enabling the workplace experience, all in a retreat setting. Unlike the sometimes overwhelming nature of large professional conferences, the WE RE workshop enabled small and diverse groups - from thought leaders to practitioners - to exchange openly in breakout and round table sessions. One attendee remarked, "I learned more at one day of this unconference than at three days of a large conference." Full of whiteboarding, post-it notes, and real-time documentation, the outcomes of the workshop provide exciting opportunities for application and influence in the workplace and facilities management professions.