22 October 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) has begun a research and development collaboration with Microsoft to explore a shared vision for the role of technology in high-performance workplaces.
A new programme on the theme of connected and smart workplaces will see the two organisations collaborate on research that could influence workplace performance.
Advancements such as the Internet of Things, AI and big data, combined with existing technologies such as building information modelling, analytics and workplace design can contribute to improved building and business outcomes.
Exploring the theme of workplace transformation in the technological age, the partners will jointly introduce new research intended to equip workplace and business leaders with tools and insights that could transform their organisations into connected high performers.
Research published last year by IWFM, Embracing Technology to Move FM Forward, explored the disruption and opportunities presented by technology and highlighted the opportunity cost of missing out on the digital upgrade.
It suggested that the opportunities to be derived from creatively combining existing and new technologies to support better outcomes leave workplace professionals well placed to help businesses to stay competitive and efficient.
IWFM's collaboration with Microsoft across this research builds on the challenges identified by the institute's research and will help organisations to create connected and successful workplaces. The alliance will combine the know-how of IWFM's industry experts with the cutting-edge capability of Microsoft's smart buildings team to explore the opportunities and challenges facing technology and workplace development.
The programme will generate more insights to help individuals and organisations understand and navigate the technology and experience matters that can combine to create people-centred workplaces capable of driving better outcomes.
The programme will run for an initial 12-month period and IWFM is developing partnerships with other leading organisations to deliver insight and perspective from across the industry.
Chris Moriarty, IWFM's director of insight and engagement, said: "We are taking, shaping and making future-ready the workplace technology conversation so it's relevant to today's businesses environment. The collaboration with Microsoft's smart buildings team will harness our rich knowledge and resources to offer workplace optimising insights for the future, building on IWFM's established research base. Working with Microsoft will not only speed that up, it can help us to understand the innovation most relevant for workplace leaders whose businesses will need a tech transformation to compete effectively."
David Williams, innovation architect at Microsoft Digital and its smart buildings worldwide community lead, said: "Technology innovation is a game changer to drive new models and transform today's businesses and workplaces. Working with IWFM, we have a unique opportunity to increase awareness of technology within the workplace. This partnership will enable us to empower workplace leaders to elevate the workplace conversation to senior levels and do more with the technology and innovation available."
The programme collaboration will be launched during Workplace Week on 14 November with an industry event, and continuing research, insights and guidance content will be shared throughout 2020.