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Facilities Manager Sheds Light on Giving Workplaces the Edge


People working in the office with sunlight coming through
Image: alphaspirit -
When it comes to getting employees back into the office after nearly a year and a half of working remotely, workplaces need to have “that little edge, that wow” factor. So says Adelphine Williams, senior facilities manager at Informa, WorkSpace Connect’s parent company.
Williams shared her perspective during a Digital Workplace Sessions video interview hosted by Omdia analysts Tim Banting and Adam Holtby. Though aspects of the future of work still need to be resolved, Williams noted several key things already seem clear, and she shared her insight on how facilities leaders must work with HR and IT to bring about the needed changes.
First, flexibility is "very much key” in designing physical workspaces that can handle multiple types of uses. Workplaces need “ways of working that can be changed and adapted very very quickly,” Williams said. But at the same time, teams will also need spaces that are defined enough to reflect their individualized style of work, Williams said. She went on to say that, following years of incremental changes, the facilities she manages reflect a style of work associated with high-tech companies like Google or Amazon.
Moving forward, enterprises need facilities that are both highly functional and also aesthetically appealing, Williams said. She pointed out the need for “excellent furniture, fixtures, and equipment” to draw people back into these spaces, and also stressed the importance of having the right technology infrastructure, which allows employees to communicate and work regardless of where they are located. Not only are these technologies helpful for employees looking to communicate and collaborate, but Williams found applications like Yammer and employee portals instrumental in understanding the real estate requirements. With this information, she can better plan and design her spaces to meet the expectation of the people that use them the most.
Additionally, HR plays a major role in pulling this all off, Williams said. Through her partnership with HR, Williams is aware of people joining the organization and thus has insight into how to prepare spaces. HR also allows employees “to open that dialogue with more confidence about what are their unique differences and [working] preferences,” Williams said.
Ultimately, creating these future workspaces is about helping employees feel comfortable to do the best work they can, Williams said. “I want people to … come into work feeling good about it and leave feeling confident that tomorrow is going to be a similar day,” Williams added.
For the full conversation, make sure to watch with the widget below:

Are you looking for more workplace strategies? Then make sure to attend Enterprise Connect 2021 this fall and attend the "Workplace Strategies" track. As a WorkSpace Connect reader, you can save $200 off the current rate by using the promo code WSCAL200 when you register.