Work and Place

What is really going on at Yahoo?

by jimware on March 1, 2013

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. However, I can point you to several really good starting points for understanding what all the buzz is about.

And I’ll humbly start with my own interview with talk show hostess Turi Ryder on WGN 720 radio (Chicago) on Wednesday evening: “The Perks and Catches of Working Remotely.” It was a fun and provocative conversation.

Here’s a one-paragraph summary of that 20-minute conversation, brilliantly written by my good friend, colleague, and “pioneer” in the the field of remote work, Jessica Lipnack. Her post is titled “Jim Ware to Yahoo: ‘You have a management systems problem.'”

But for a really thoughtful and passionate statement on the issue, you’ve got to read Jessica’s lengthier and far more important note, “Marissa, we need to talk. This genie is way out of the bottle.”

That is the most articulate statement about remote work and its benefits that I’ve ever seen. Read it and bookmark it. I guarantee you will want to come back to it whenever your company starts wavering or waffling about the pros and cons of flexible work.

It’s not a simple or straightforward issue. If you have the time, read through the many Comments (both supportive and dismissive of Marissa Mayer) from readers that accompany Jessica’s posts, and this one additional article on Kara Swisher’s AllThingsD blog, which is where I believe it all started:

Yahoo CEO Mayer Now Requiring Remote Employees to Not Be (Remote)


Kyra Cavanaugh and Jaime Leick, founder and writer respectively, from LifeMeetsWork, discussed “Work, After Sandy” in the latest issue of Work&Place (vol.2, issue 1). They gave some great real-life examples of people just getting on with things, making do, and working in the ways we used to do before we were glued daily to the ‘cloud’ or a laptop!

Of course, “Sandy” was a large storm that wreaked havoc as it tore through lower Manhattan, New Jersey and elsewhere on the US east coast. It is not the first, and will not be the last. But, the very fact that it hit this densely populated part of the US made it particularly newsworthy.

This last year has seen many “storms” of natural and man-made origins. From hurricanes, to political unrest and civil warfare, to terrorism. And even on the very positive side, the disruption (arguably massively over-hyped) that came with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012. Those of us that did venture into central London, against the advice of the government and other authorities, found it pleasantly un-congested as so many people were working ‘elsewhere’ (mostly at home).

What we are seeing is, every time that there is a “storm” of natural or man-made origin, more people work elsewhere. Call it agile working, distributed working, or (not always) home working, more people experience it. Work gets done. Life goes on. More previously resistant middle-managers, with entrenched views on “if I can’t see them, they will not be working”, start to see agile working for what it is – a more sustainable way of working and living.

Chipping away gradually at the old guard, like those hammers on the Berlin Wall, sense eventually prevails and the barriers come down. Agile, distributed, home working, all varieties of ‘third spaces’ – all are gradually coming of age….one storm at a time!

@paulcarder  @occupiers  @WorkAndPlace



Work&Place: Our new Journal

by jimware on September 12, 2012

Work&PlaceOJL’s new journal, is now out! The first issue is available online free of charge at this link:

Paul Carder, the editor and Managing Director of Occupiers Journal, describes Work&Place this way:

“Work&Place, published quarterly by Occupiers Journal, is different. For a start it’s international. The team behind it is based on three different continents with a wider team covering two more.

“The journal is promoting a dialogue between its contributors and readers. Every article includes extensive links to further information and readers are encouraged to join a special online discussion for each issue:

“Our journal will be relevant to the creators and managers of ‘places’ (corporate real estate, construction, facilities management and workplace development).

“It will be equally relevant to managers of ‘work’ (business leaders, and functional specialists who have a key influence on corporate ‘places’ – human resources and information technology and others such as branding/marketing).”

The first issue was published in August, 2012, to rave reviews. Here’s what some important thought leaders are already saying:

Diane Coles Levine, Director of Workplace Services, SCAN Health Plan; and IFMA Foundation Trustee:

“I read Work&Place cover-to-cover on the plane ride home [from the IFMA Foundation Workplace Summit]. Wow! This is the best periodical I have read in my field! Congratulations on an outstanding job.

Every article has some information that I can directly apply to my job. This never happens when I read trade journals I can’t wait to share it with the FM team at SCAN Health Plan. I just wanted to thank you for providing us FMs with this valuable information.

It’s fantastic! It’s stimulating! it’s easy to read and jam-packed with critical information I can apply. Can’t wait for the next issue. “

Michael Schley, CEO, FM:Systems; and Chair, IFMA Foundation Knowledge Management Committee:

“I was very impressed with your inaugural journal. It is very rewarding to see a publication that is both interesting and serious. I hope that you have success with the venture. It is making an important contribution to the conversation.”

Debra Dailey, Vice President, Human Capital Solutions & Outcomes, Sodexo:

“Paul, It was wonderful seeing you [at the Workplace Strategy Summit] and seeing the output from the Journal…congrats again! It was a great idea to get it printed and distributed at the conference. On the way home I sat next to someone who was reading it, underlining comments, and excited to post feedback.”

Don’t wait any longer; read Work&Place today, and send your comments to Paul Carder. We welcome your views on any of the articles, and on what you want to see in future issues.


BOMA’s Annual Conference

by jimware on June 28, 2012

This week, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) took part in the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) annual conference, which was this year held in Seattle, Washington. This three-day event attracted over 3,000 attendees, including 400 trade stands, and covered a broad range of topics including measurement and international standards.

Global Commercial Director Johnny Dunford presented at the meeting on the role of RICS and the RICS vision for International standards. BOMA floor measurement standards are currently used extensively in the US real estate markets and to a lesser extent outside the US. BOMA employees and members recognise the fragmented nature of the US real estate market and believe that RICS is well-placed to deliver global standards, which has the potential to improve the way the market operates.

Following Johnny’s presentation, the BOMA Board of Directors agreed to establish a three-man task force to work with RICS on International Measurement standards. Johnny says, ‘The 2012 BOMA conference in Seattle marked the 100th anniversary of BOMA in the city. This was the first conference attended by the RICS and it was fitting to find BOMA employees and members to be enthusiastic supporters of RICS standards, membership and vision. The future for joint working between RICS and BOMA looks promising.’

Posted by Guest Johnny Dunford of RICS


… and receive a complimentary Executive Summary of our findings.

As part of OJL’s first GRID study, “Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management” we are conducting a brief online survey to help us understand how organizations (both private and public sector) are organizing, governing, and measuring the performance of the facilities function.

If you complete the survey in the next two weeks (before May 18) we will send you a free copy of the summary of our findings once the report is completed in June:

Please help advance the profession of facilities management by participating in the survey. We are addressing questions such as:

  • How is the facilities function organized? Where does it report in the organization?
  • How is the performance of the facilities team measured and evaluated?
  • Which facilities functions are performed in-house, which are outsourced?
  • How does your organization achieve strategic alignment between facilities and the business? Between facilities and peer functions such as finance, HR, and IT? What mechanisms are in place to accomplish such alignment?
  • How does the head of facilities balance demands between day-to-day operations and longer-term strategic activities?

Please invest 15 minutes today to complete this simple survey:

Thank you!

Please direct any questions or comments to Jim Ware, Global Research Director for OJL.


Principles for turning ideas into reality:

  1. Look – keep your eyes open; attach stories to what you see. Use the eyes of a child; look up; be curious
  2. Be wiling to do champions’ work – it’s lonely – use the time to practice and become great. We all get 86,400 seconds a day; use them well
  3. How’s your “want to”? Don’t talk about it, be about it. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Lead with courage. Courage is action, not words.(watching a video of a swimmer in 29 degree water at the North Pole! Why? To call attention to global warming) Be willing to fail, to learn
  4. Connect on a human level. One random act of kindness can change the world
  5. Five ingredients to a DREAM – dedication, responsibility, education, action, motivation. No dream is microwaveable.
  6. Be bold, be audacious, go after something that scares you a little bit.

Kevin Carroll – very inspiring!


Corenet Summit – Workplace Community

by jimware on May 1, 2012

Live blogging the Corenet Workplace Community: What’s the Future?

Come back for updates over the next 90 minutes

Kate North opening up,  welcoming people, explaining the concept of WPC

Brady Mick – introducing panel

Jan Johnson, Steve Hargis, John Hampton, Georgia Collins, Julie Seitz, Melissa Marsh, David Barban, Roy Lopinski

Intention to have quick conversations on topics, poll the audience, reveal results immediately

[Read more…]