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20 March 2019
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Simone Fenton-Jarvis
Simone Fenton-Jarvis

05 April 2018 Simone Fenton-Jarvis

Simone Fenton-Jarvis, chief workplace officer at Twinkl Educational Publishing, shares her thoughts on 'workplace' as part of facilities management. 

Think back to the last time you were explaining something to someone who wasn’t understanding it, then boom! – the moment arrived when they experienced it for themselves – and you sat thinking, ‘I told you so.’ 

Recent developments have probably left some people feeling just like this;  I’m talking about the emergence of workplace. 

Following BIFM’s announcement of its name change it was interesting to watch social networking explode with defensive and attacking responses.

Change management is at the heart of what we do and this change is long overdue recognition of a discipline that has always been present. 

FM and workplace are symbiotic and not in any way in competition with each other. FMers ‘do’ workplace in some form every day, but have we understood what it is?  

Thanks to the 30-year identity and definition struggle, we know what FM is. But sometimes when something is so innate it’s difficult to communicate it in a way that engages with somebody else’s perspective. Workplace as a complement to FM doesn’t need to be an identity and definition struggle. 

The Elemental Workplace by Neil Usher provides the language for the conversations and actions needed. No clichés or photographs of the ‘perfect’ workplace, but a demystification of what the term workplace really means.

Pinterest is full of lovely photographs and it’s easy to follow trends, but do those designs suit your organisation? Is it functional? Are your team members effective and happy? Can they make choices? What is the technology like? Are wooden pallets really that comfy to sit on?

The point of a great workplace is get the best out of your company’s biggest asset – its people. 

In the words of Neil Usher, “everybody deserves a great workplace”. So how will you, as an FM professional, evolve, recognise and embrace the discipline of workplace?

Simone Fenton-Jarvis is chief workplace officer at Twinkl Educational Publishing