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Stepping Up To The Workplace Diversity Challenge Smartworking Summit March 2016 Thought-leaders and top industry professionals were brought together by Quora Consulting to explore the positive impacts ‘Smart Working’ can have on the workplace.

“We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein

Connecting the dots

“Wow, what an enthralling day. I can now clearly understand that we’re at the beginning of a movement - a smart working one.”

We are interested in supporting schools to help their students become creative thinkers, confident communicators and empowered leaders. Burning2Learn attends business, education, technology and entertainment events all year round to learn more about career routes and post-education options on offer to young people in today’s job market. At each event we explore different pathways into a variety of industries and gather personal experiences and advice from professionals on the core skills needed to flourish within their respective fields. Our aim at this event was to learn from the key messages and expectations of industry leaders so that they can be transfered into a language that will engage 10-19 year olds. Our experience has proven this to be an authentic, relevant and effective way of preparing young people for life in modern Britain. Alan Dean, Managing Director Burning2Learn Media Team 01322 614000 schools@burning2learn.co.uk www.burning2learn.co.uk @burning2learn/Twitter.com

What is Smart Working?

Smart Working and The Paradigm Shift Bringing some of the hottest topics of tomorrow’s workplace to life, Quora delivers another pioneering summit. This year, their signature Smartworking Summits have moved to a stunning new venue in St. Paul’s, London, and this particular event explored the workplace diversity challenge. How can organisations become more diversified in order to remain competitive? In what ways can ‘Smart Working’ support this challenge? Quora’s action-packed agenda sought to find new responses to the fundamental changes set to take place in the business world. We call this the ‘paradigm shift’.

Alan Dean and Maria Peters of Burning2Learn were joined by young reporters Milana Nikolova and Sofija Basirova of Westminster College to report on the summit. Together we have gathered highlights and key messages to share with more young people.

About the organisation The Benefits of a ‘Smart’ approach Flexible Working: Health and Lifestyle Productivity & The Shared Workforce Responding to the challenge: HR Workplace Efficiency Protecting culture Technology and Data Security Round Table Discussions

Our thanks go to John Blackwell and Quora for inviting our team to take part in and report on such an insightful event. We would also like to thank the delegates for finding time to talk to our students at the event.

Smart Working

What it means in the workplace We love our buzz-words in business, don't we? From ‘Skills Gap' to ‘Human Capital’ and the HR-inspired ‘Talent Acquisition’, we seem to marvel in creating these trending phrases to define a way of working. There's a lot to be said about the overuse of some corporate jargon, but one expression that is deservedly making its way into boardroom discussions is ‘Smart working’. As defined by CIPD, the term refers to 'the variety of ways in which employers can build autonomy, self-control and development into jobs to pursue an interlinked agenda of employee productivity and business performance'. Many professionals now believe that this particular phrase could go on to define the way we work over the coming years. How is this approach different from what most businesses are doing today? A ‘Smart Working’ approach is less about how employees get results, and pays more attention to the results themselves.

Examples of Smart Working in practice: • • • • •

Flexible working (ranging working hours, locations etc) A greater degree of employee autonomy Increased mobile communications Aligning personal objectives with business objectives Creating the cultural conditions for Smart Working to be able to work

The workplace has vastly changed over the last few years, as we have all seen, and this approach offers a timely response to those changes. It enables businesses to effectively align with the shifting economic, social and environmental needs around them. However, in order to implement these work practices effectively, a fundamental shift in mindsets is required across the organisation.

Quora Consulting About the organisation Quora consulting is a forward-thinking organisation which inspires and motivates business leaders to optimize productivity through transformative workplaces and work practices. Founder and Director John Blackwell is a widely recognised thought-leader on the changing nature of work and effective business operation. Through his unique, unplugged Smartworking Summits, John aims to connect industry professionals with the solutions to some of their most pressing challenges in the workplace.

“...A superb day yesterday, head and shoulders above anything else I’ve attended in 30 years in business – thank you.” 4

The March 2016 summit was geared towards workplace diversity and welcomed a distinguished panel of multi-sector industry leaders. With a strict ban on PowerPoints and not a case study in sight, each panelist was invited to share their individual insights and responses to some of these challenges.

“...Every single individual on the panel was outstanding and ultimately left me with profound thoughts on changing my business.” To find out more about future Smartworking Summits, visit www.quoraconsulting.com

“Productivity has dropped by 17% How can we limit the amount of distractions we have throughout the day to improve productivity? ...Smart working breaks down traditional models and ways of working.”

Smartworking in practice Transitioning into a new style of working can be a daunting and disruptive task for any organisation to undertake, but is that any less reason to do it? Panelist Simon Morys described the government’s experience of Smart working during the ‘Whitehall Campus’ transformation for the Cabinet Office. As Head of the process, Simon was able to explore new ways of working that employees would find attractive, and that would improve outputs. “We need to work more effectively. We need to make the civil service an attractive place to work, and this is where Smart Working comes in... We are encouraging people to work in a different way.” According to Simon, the government believes that ‘trust is the most important word on this agenda’. He continued to explain that managers and leaders need to trust their staff and believe in their relationships; as it gives people choice, empowers the workforce and encourages people to do their jobs more effectively. These are the benefits of Smart working that Simon put forward from his own personal experience:


The benefits of Smartworking Increased Productivity: Whist it’s easy to get swept up in what everybody else is talking about, not all practices will work as effectively in every working environment. For example, Simon believes that ‘open plan’ workspaces aren’t always helpful and often lead to more distractions. Whereas working from home is having proven positive impacts on productivity for civil servants. Lifestyle: Simon also spoke about the importance of identifying how engaged employees are in the company and adapting to suit their lifestyles. Taking into account how employees feel about their work is something that should be a top priority for all business leaders. As individuals we are dynamic, we change our minds and we have different preferences to others. Smart Working caters for each fluctuating preference as it enables employees to work in enviroments that suit them the most. “It is well evidenced that people feel good about working from home and it is a large bonus in regards to recruitment and retention.” If it works for them, they’ll work for you! Adapting to environmental shifts: The UK workplace is an ever-evolving environment that continues to shift more and more, just as we think we are getting the hang of it! As organisations, we need to be able to keep up with those shifts in real-time. Simon revealed that latest figures estimate an additional 4.4 million people in the UK by 2026. Imagine how much more difficult that would make it to find a seat on a train during the morning commute? As a country, we simply do not have the infrastructure for people to continue to work in the same way as they do today. So there is an essential need to explore new work practices now, before we reach a tipping point later. And that’s where Smart Working comes into play, as it offers alternative choices and work practices. Diversity: This has become an increasingly significant factor in where new employees seek to find employment. The government already employs more females at senior level, and has a great deal of diversity amongst staff. “If you have Smart Working you open the pool of talent much wider and will become more attractive.”

”We’ve got evidence of what needs to be done and we need to get on with it.”

Impacts of Flexible Working On Health and Lifestyle Acquiring talent will overtake cost as a priority:

How ‘flexible’ is your organisation prepared to be? For employees across the country, spending a week behind a desk from 9-5 is nothing more than a hazy memory. Ever since the business sector first coined the phrase ‘Flexible working’, our attitudes as employees about our workplace preferences and how we feel about time allocation has completely evolved. We like to have more of a say in how we work, where we work, what time we start and finish and what kind of environments suit us best. Flexible working describes a type of working arrangement which gives employees a degree of flexibility on each of these environmentals. CEO for NearDesk, Tom Ball has taken the topic beyond increased human choice alone, and is looking into the impacts that flexible working can have on human happiness and health as well. Tom revealed that the average commute in the UK takes 8 and a half hours per week. That’s not just a London problem however, as 50% of commuters travel up and down the country by car, far away from London. What’s more, when you factor in the time used up getting into the office against the time you spend in the room working, the desk that you sit at actually costs more than you do! The commute is having negative impacts on employee happiness - and for Tom - it is time for change.

“I think the version of working we’ve got at the moment is pretty poor.” Tom is an avid supporter of enabling people to work in different places, and presented some alternative flexible


“People will be looking for interesting work and for people who inspire them, so you need to create those environments.”

working environments that could improve employee happiness and engagement. Rent workspace by the hour: As it stands, there are not many opportunities for workers to dive into a work ready environment for a few hours during the day. Office space tends to come in predetermined time frames that are made up of full day or monthly structures. Tom is interested in creating more opportunities to make it easier for employees to work in alternative environments. He referred to the idea of an ‘Oyster card for renting office space by the hour’, for example. Flexi furniture: Flexible working can also refer to the style of the environment around you, which again impacts happiness levels. Some people like to work at a fixed desk, others favour furniture that can be moved and changed around easily. In a recent survey, the majority of employees rated ‘kitchen tables’ as the most popular choice of table, and the least by far was a desk. It doesn’t have to be an ‘either or’, why not make spaces available for both?

“If it makes sense to the people coming into the talent pool then surely that’s what’s going to wash through?”

Productivity in new environments Adjacency and The Shared Workforce How much does it really matter where employees sit in the office? According to Managing Director of Workplace Innovation, Chris Hood, it matters in a different way that perhaps you might think. Office environments are typically set out so that different departments neighbour each other appropriately. For instance, you would expect to find marketing and product development next to each other in the company floorplan. However, Chris supported the view that these ‘safe’ and ‘conservative’ options deliver safe and conservative outcomes. What would happen if you changed things up a bit, and put the HR team next to the finance department? Business leaders should encourage employees to reach out and get to know others in various departments, and reward those who make an effort to do so. Chris explained that cross-disciplinary adjacency enables organisations to tap into an even bigger pool of thoughts, and is a proven driver of breakthrough thinking. Therefore if we can begin to blend the lines of the boxes we operate in we can unlock new ideas and solutions on a whole new level.

“Isn’t that why we build workplaces... So that people can link up and communicate together? How, where and when you work doesn’t really matter, it’s what you achieve. There should be a choice.”


Chris highlighted the benefits of several smart working practices: The shared workforce: According to a workplace report, by 2020 as much as 50% of the members of a shared workforce will no longer work for the organisation itself, and will instead become self-employed. As such, it will become essential to start organising work in different ways, as appose to organising workers. Looking at cost differently: Traditional corporate models measure success based on the bottom line. As Chris pointed out, what these models did not look at was productivity. He states, “When we look at cost now we need to think very differently about value and what that cost is trying to achieve”. Adjacency and layout: Latest generation of offices say you can sit anywhere and are beginning to organise themselves in different ways with different logics to who sits where. In Chris’s view, it is more about ensuring that people come into the space and actually enjoy the experience. Co-working Environments: It is becoming more and more evidenced that people begin to feel a sense of belonging and part of a community when operating in co-working environments. You start to see a break-down of tier barriers, people begin to mingle and there is a lot of cross pollination. Co-working environments enable ideas to take off and you can completely reinvented what it means to go to work as you become part of a community.

The Role of HR Responding to the challenge We are all familiar with the role of HR within an organisation. It is there to manage any people related issues and ensure employee welfare. During her five years in HR at the BBC, speaker Lucy Adams witnessed unbelievable change in the organisation’s business model, and in the role of HR. Lucy described why she believes the changes she saw at the BBC are a microcosm for what’s going on in most organisations today. The whole way in which people consume media has changed, and that’s had a massive effect on the industry. As viewers, we time shift, dual screen and constantly message others about what we are watching. This social shift has caused a huge change in the industry’s competitive landscape - and that’s something that the BBC had to wake up to survive.

“The leaders you work with need to be able to think differently about the people they work with, as well as the new models.” From new online competitors who were producing their own original content, to turning old rivalries with ‘enemy’ channels into new partnerships, the task of adjusting proved to be very difficult. Lucy remarked that there aren’t just physical barriers to collaboration, there are mental barriers too. It’s about getting people to work together in different ways. She referred to a case when Sky and the BBC came together to share the rights to the Grand Prix. For years, the two industry giants would have seen each other as competition, so you can imagine how the organisations would have both needed to change their outlook and expectations of each other. The BBC also went through enormous structural changes. These include, job losses, pension reform, rise of social media and media hostility. Lucy pointed out that there was no ‘magic remedy’ to the problems that they faced. In fact, “A lot of the learnings have come out of what my daughter would call an ‘epic fail’,” she added.


The one vulnerable area in this paradigm shift is HR, and how complacent it can be when responding to these challenges.

Lucy’s Proposed Three-Tier Model for HR: Adult to adult: “We’ve set ourselves up as the mum and dad and it is unsustainable for us to continue to present ourselves as the adult; if we set all these rules and policies and processes, we reduce judgment”. We are at a time where we need more intuition, more judgment. Millennials will seek autonomy and adult-to-adult relationships. “What does that look like? It looks like a place with trust,” Lucy concluded. “Productivity and innovation does not come from people who are treated like children.” Seeing our employees as we would consumers: Using expressions such as ‘employees are our greatest asset’, are wrong. As Lucy pointed out, an asset is a building, table, or a car; something that is tangible and that typically behaves the same way over and over again. “Whereas we are messy, we are different, we have preferences, we have likes, we have dislikes...” There are huge advances in consumer personalisation and that’s what will be expected from HR in the future. The idea of human: The main leadership attributes as identified through a global survey are resilience, engagement, insight, curiosity and humility. Who are the leaders that you would get out of bed for? Who are the ones that really inspire and motivate you? “They know my name, their doors are open, they ask me my opinion and they are prepared to admit it when they got it wrong – just human stuff”. The role of HR is shifting towards giving leaders the confidence to be human at work.

“90% of employees said that they were proud of the organisation’s sustainability record and also confirmed that they were taking an active part in it.”

Workplace Efficiency Exploring the role of Facilities Management A workplace is very dynamic, sometimes you need spaces for silence, other times you need resources for collaboration. Panelist Michael Roper put forward several key benefits that FM can bring to the workplace in order to improve efficiency:

Add value on a human level: It can be very refreshing to hear that facilities are about customer experience and the different perspective that they have. If you can show that you are taking that on-board then you are immediately adding more value. “If we create a great place to work, in any location, the impact on the market is huge.” This is usually something that the board are very interested in as well as they will often see a great partnership opportunity. Boundless creativity: From writable walls, floors, ceilings and windows to furniture that is as tall as a human being, there are some really dynamic ways of working. “When we first looked at this concept we had our concerns about fire exits and health and safety too”, Michael shared. He then went on to say that there were lots of simple solutions to the concerns that arose. Design thinking: In FM, design thinkers use intuition, imagination, system reasoning and logic to explore broader possibilities of what could be, and to create the desired outcomes that benefit the client/organisation. Design thinking is solution based and combines analysis with imagination to inspire true innovation.

“If we create a great place to work, in any location, the impact on the market is huge.”


Sustainability: A lot of people talk about sustainability, but if you can actually become an organisation that values and prioritises sustainability, you can become a more attractive place to work. “Young people coming in took great pride in working for a sustainable company.” Client Collaboration: “Some of our best ideas have come from our clients, and some of our proudest ideas too... Make sure you’re sharing great ideas and that your clients are doing that too. It’s incredible when you plant a seed, and you can’t believe sometimes what grows from that seed so quickly.” Michael Roper is Vice President & EMEA Region Head Global Facilities Management at SAP. He is responsible for 120 locations in 50 countries and a team of over 90 people. His thought-provoking presentation mapped out some great approaches for creating a more efficient workplace, and the role that FM can have in achieving that.


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Protecting the workplace culture The significance in the workplace Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell delivering a keynote at the Moscone Center during the Oracle OpenWorld 2011. AFP Photo/Kimihiro Hoshino | Credit: AFP

From dorm room startup to global technology leader, the underlying thread to Dell’s triumphant journey is something that Executive Director and General Manager for Dell UK, Sarah Shields, describes as a ‘pretty special culture’. “What Michael (Dell) has done is bring culture, and that culture remains constant. It makes employees want to stay, it makes customers want to buy and it makes partners proud.”

pride in their work and managers will have a measurable mechanism to track productivity, results and actual engagement as well. They’ll also be able to reinforce how much their employees are valued.

Over the past 32 years Founder Michael Dell has prospered a culture across the organisation that is centred around trust. Sarah discussed the benefits of this, and the impacts that smart working can have on culture.

What impact does more flexibility have on culture? Though the impacts of introducing the smart working concept ‘working from home’ have been extremely positive on productivity for Dell, Sarah also talked about the negative impact that it can have on workplace culture.

Due to smart working, employee engagement has increased, outputs have improved and Dell has seen a growth in productivity. “60% of the workforce are remote workers, which has had an incredible impact on productivity.” However, smart working comes hand-in-hand with an autonomous culture, and in order to make that work, there has got to be reciprocated trust. “As a manger of employees who you don’t see very often you need that element of trust both ways”. Sarah emphasised the importance of having regular dialogue with employees as you can lose contact if you don’t have structure. So managers should encourage regular one-on-ones and opportunities to touch base. This allows employees to keep a sense of ownership and


“If 60% of your office are not based in the workplace, the impact on your culture is massive. So you have to invest in keeping the culture.” So whilst many employees enjoy working from home or in coffee shops, you need to reinforce the thread that pulls them back into the company. Dell’s response to this challenge was to increase engagement with charities and local communities. Every employee in Dell is encouraged to volunteer, and for every 10 hours of voluntary work they are given $150 to give to a charity of their choice. Hosting activity days such as ‘bring your kids to work’ is another simple way that Dell keeps their employees engaged.

The Evolution of Technology A useful enabler in Smart Working? Technology has created a fantastic forum for collaboration and an incredible opportunity to create some really pioneering stuff! From typewriters to touch screen, desktops to pocket-sized wrist straps and floppy disks to clouds of data, technology has been a superb springboard for innovation. Great technology can also be a key enabler in the efficiency and productivity of any workforce - and doesn’t just have to be something we use to unwind at the end of the day. Whether you are a fan or not, the presence of technology in the workplace will soon be indisputable. For the talent pool coming in it is no longer a question of ‘do you use technology?’ Its simply, ‘which software will I have a choice of using?’ That being said, there are still many business leaders who do not know what pioneering is, and who do not trust technology. Dell’s Sarah Shields spoke about the importance of looking into how we communicate the

effectiveness of technology when talking about the benefits that smart working can deliver.

“You can’t have Smartworking useless you’ve got decent ICT...We are learning very, very quickly and there is good investment going in, let’s not let a distrust issue hold us back.” Sarah encouraged the summit delegates to think about how to reassure the people who are afraid of the things that they do not understand. Sarah believes that communication becomes extremely important here, as you won’t always get things right the first time around. Mistakes have to be made to make things better, but secure collaboration shouldn’t be held back by lack of trust in people or technology.

“If I asked people what I wanted they would have said faster horses.” – Henry ford

Data Security Are your devices protected?

The use of smartphones and mobile devices has become habitable and automatic to most of us, from mobile banking to posting our latest adventures on social media - but how many of us every think about data security? During her presentation, Sarah Shields also laid out the criticality of protecting both professional and personal data.

“It’s not if you get hacked, it’s when! Really look at your security, look at firewalls, phone security and encryption.” 11

“From a non-techy person’s point of view, the session on the need for secure smart cities and organisations was inspiring. I found the experiences, problems and success stories very thought-provoking and it was refreshing to be part of something so open-minded and forward thinking. The round table

session on data security was lead by Brett Lovegrove of TriTectus Ltd. To hear that large corporates

have had their latest products copied before they were launched was shocking... There was good news too as we looked ahead at new buildings in London that are having drone pads built into the specifications. After this session, for me it’s clear that we can empower our youngsters with a different and more collaborative mindset.“ - (Attendee from B2L)

Attracting and Retaining Talent What do future workspaces look like? As the main focus of large corporates shifts from the bottom line (the total on the balance sheet) to talent acquisition, how can they best prepare their workspaces for the generations coming in. Moreover, what is going to make the millennials stay?

Panel’s response to ensuring future talent: Sewing the seeds: Young people will be entering a market place that is getting - and will continue to get - better at communicating. If we start talking positively about individuals, our skills/talents and who we want to work for, we get into a much more positive conversation and it changes the paradigm slightly already.

up with an old school style of thinking, but we’ve got to have a shift in that thinking.

“...The younger generations to a certain extent will drive what we do, so we need to work towards that.” (Panelist)

“In every industry, one company is going to go Leaders will need to talk about where they have first, another will go second and then the rest will successfully leveraged talent acquisition and how follow, and when it goes it will be a wave.” they can turn things around through creativity, Smart working startups: Sarah Shields is European Sponsor for Dell’s entrepreneur programme and illustrated the growing need to create more jobs in all sectors. “There is a global population explosion that’s happening now and we need to create a lot more jobs in order to keep people out of poverty”. As startups begin to overtake large corporations in the rate of business creation(the figure sitting at 60%), Sarah calls for a focus on smart working for startups and entrepreneurs.

“80-90% of startups fail in the first 18 months, their major costs being office space. If you take that cost out and bring that failure rate down that’s success!” Attraction and retention of talent: If you can provide a space that responds more to the desired type and preferences of the talent pool that you are looking for that’s a big pull. Organisations will need to look more like coworkers that bring together people of different disciplines, and where people who wouldn’t usually meet can become connected. Many CEOs have grown


innovation and new thinking. That’s what we need to become more proud of over the cost element.

“When you look at your long term plan it has to be around your staff – how do you attract them, how to you retain them. What motivates them to go into the office?” (Panelist) If you can really hone in on those motivators and offer them to your staff, those will become the offices that the employees want. Up to 75% of newly hired people are leaving within 2 years and the two reasons were that the workplaces were just not productive, and that they felt they couldn’t get enough done. Peer respect is a big driver and these simple, simple changes can make life much easier.

“The average six year old is learning things that are completely irrelevant by the time they get to work.” – Lucy Adams

Round Table Breakout Session Shifting Mindsets and Eroding Silos On 15 March 2016, a round table discussion was lead by Dominic Jackson, Business Development Director for Quora Consulting on The Future of FM (Facilities Management). The discussion was one of five afternoon breakout sessions to take place at Quora’s first Smartworking Summit of 2016. The aim of the breakout sessions was to delve into the topics in more detail, explore and debate the specific topic ground ‘what’s the future of FM?’, and determine ideas, solutions and positive outcomes to take forward from the discussion.

Topics of discussion:

• • • • •

What is FM? What does the future of FM look like? What FM means to different people Sharing collective knowledge and experience to take away and help other organisation A new paradigm to our approach on the market

How many people get the chance to shape the future working environment and do such interesting things with interesting people?

Outcomes: • • • • • • • • •


Define FM clearly; to customers and the board Clearly layout FM skill sets and contributions Become valued as thought-leaders; driving change and cutting down silos Develop a stronger and renewed brand identity Attract and attain future talent; develop opportunities for engagement with millennials as a possible career path from a young age Link better with finance to reinforce benefits Leverage technology and data analytics as an enabler for progression; transform the value of what FM does with evidenced data Simply complexities to reduce confusion by taking a holistic view on the building Harness and share existing success stories that recognise the difference FM makes (in 21st century terms)

• • • • •

Be the leaders and demonstrate how a company can be innovative; encourage them to do something disruptive and create a new market Stop talking to ourselves and start engaging with other professional bodies; talk to them about the benefits FM provides to the things that matter to them (e.g. top line, mental health, well being) Promote FM Apprenticeships and Degrees Impact on culture; business transformation Become better story tellers; apply an externalized view and communicate in the language of business (as appose to the language of FM)

Key Themes and Comments A look back on the summit Key themes and comments: • • •

If you listen to them (employees) they’ll own it, take pride in it and will want to actively engage in it moving forward Design the workspace with the people who are going to be operating within it and have great change management We spend a lot of time trying to improve what we do today, instead of looking ahead. What we ought to be doing is thinking about how we are going to be doing work in five or ten years time, regardless of how uncomfortable that may make us feel as leaders. The skill or challenge for us all is to think about how we can anticipate the future, not just put an envelope around it!

• • • • • •

“…The panel were excellent in the content, diversity and delivery and I found it very stimulating. The two discussion groups were completely different, instructive and well managed so in short – a great day! While I can apply some of the points to the business I’m in, I am intrigued by some of the aspects and will be thinking how I can transfer my skills in this area…”

“…A great day. It made me realise that Facilities Managers have a fantastic opportunity to seize the day and realise the true value they can bring to an organisation through stepping up and realising the part they play in retaining and attracting talent…”

“…Thank you for a completely fascinating and absorbing day, clear takeaways for me were trust & engagement = productivity…”


When you say ‘we’ve done flex working’, that’s like saying ‘we’ve done brushing our teeth’. Invest in the culture. Invest in data security Transfer trust across your organisation and treat them like responsible adults Recognise that this is a transformation, it isn’t a change project, by definition it is embarking on a journey where every interaction that you have and every change you have will have a knock-on effect Buildings and technologies are enablers; it’s about the people! “The biggest thing that corporates can do is just try it. Instead of talking about it.”

“…A superb day yesterday, head and shoulders above anything else I’ve attended in 30 years in business – thank you…”

“We are all in this together, those silos have been eroded after the last twenty years and no one has noticed.”

Our Experience Student Reviews For me, as for many young people it is very hard to decide that career to do in future. The Burning2learn programme helped me to expand my knowledge on business. At the event I was warmly greeted by business people what were keen to share their experiences on ‘smart working’ and wished to listen to my opinion as a young person.

- Facilities Management (or FM for short). It is unbelievable how much impact FM has on productivity at the workplace. I had the great experience of talking to some of business people at the event. They shared their opinions about the future of FM and how to start a career in business. Burning2learn helped me to expand my knowledge and discover careers I never thought to be interested in.

We had listened to speakers’ stories. They all covered different aspects of smart working, providing different point of views and fueling my knowledge of the business world. I learned about a side to Written by Sofia Basirova, Student at business that nobody had ever told me about Westminster College (16)

Facilities Management as a career option Facilities Management (FM) is not a career option that many of us consider while in school or college. I myself had not even heard of that profession until I visited the Quora Smartworking Summit. The summit gave me an inside into what facilities managers do and the issues they face. Defining FM Despite rarely being discussed in the classroom, FM is one of the fastest growing professions in the UK. The job itself is hard to define, the professionals at the summit even had a debate about what FM actually means. The definition found on the British Institute of Facilities Management states that, “Facilities management is the integration of processes within an organisation to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities”. In simple words, FM is in charge of the services that increase productivity and make the workplace work effectively. Facility managers deal with everything from cleaning services to support services and property services.

field, who all came from different backgrounds and got to where they are in various ways. What they all agreed on was that their career presents them with a truly diverse and interesting working life that is different every day. A career in FM also requires imagination and innovative thinking, an ideal profession for the creative person. Smartworking The idea of smartworking is somewhat new and what some would describe as the future of FM. Its aim is to liberate the work life of office workers and to decrease the amount of ineffective 9 to 5 jobs. Speakers at the summit explained that Smart working can take different forms. Tom Ball, founder and CEO of NearDesk, pointed out that on average Londoners are “the least happy when commuting”. He made an argument in favor of working from home instead of in an office. He explained that some people are more productive at home and others are more productive in an office environment, therefore workers would be able to make a decision for themselves.

‘What is a career in FM like?’ A career in FM is a career that truly has the Written by Milana Nikolova, Student at opportunity to grow and develop. At the summit Westminster College (17) I had the opportunity to talk to experts in the 15

Join the Junior Media Team at events in 2016 If you are interested in taking part in a Burning2Learn Media Team Experience this year, get in touch with our team via the details below. Explore new career paths, chat to professionals and get top tips from the experts on how to make it in their industry!

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Profile for The Acorn Hub

Stepping up to the Workplpace Diversity Challenge  

Bringing some of the hottest topics of tomorrow’s workplace to life, Quora delivers another pioneering summit. This particular event explore...

Stepping up to the Workplpace Diversity Challenge  

Bringing some of the hottest topics of tomorrow’s workplace to life, Quora delivers another pioneering summit. This particular event explore...