The air physically changes as soon as you step into the space – and as you inhale the pure, cool and filtered air, the 30-degree heat and the hubbub of the NYC traffic melts away. One can breathe easy in Delos. Literally. I felt myself de-age with every breath.

Joining the Workplace Week line-up was Structure Tone, a global leader in construction management. Learning from and applying the DELOS insight, in the spring of 2017, Structure Tone’s Manhattan headquarters achieved the first WELL Certification in New York City. Designed by Gensler and developed with the health and wellness of employees at its core, the 82,000 sq ft office space incorporates innovative wellness features and designs throughout to make the space more collaborative, and to provide the best opportunities for employees to interact with the built environment.

“Experts offered insight into how facilities professionals can link

space, design and technology to drive a positive and productive workplace culture.”

Investment management firm Neuberger Berman was another popular tour among the 12 organisations that wanted to tell their workplace story. In addition to being named “Best Place to Work in Money Management” by Pensions & Investments each year since 2013, Neuberger Berman’s new global headquarters earned the firm a 2017 International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Award nomination and a 2017 Avenue of the Americas Association’s Avenue Architectural Award.

The head office, which has been designed for function as opposed to merely form, enables people to work individually and collaboratively, and the flat organisational structure helps to empower people and improve access to senior management executives. The tour also included a sneak peek of “new mother” and relaxation rooms, complete with mattresses to encourage a daytime nap as and when needed.

Everyone’s championing wellness it seems. But unlike some organisations where it’s clearly treated as a ‘nice to

have’, these facilities teams have embraced and embedded the wellness agenda into the design and management of the workspace. For these guys, it’s not a mere box to tick. It’s about helping people be the best that they can be.

These tours prove that the FM industry can have a hugely positive impact on people and broader business performance by understanding emotional and spatial journeys, and by funnelling this crucial insight into curating workplaces that support the employee experience.

Also supporting this hypothesis was the Workplace Trends conference, which marked its Stateside debut during Workplace Week. Featuring neuroscientists, psychologists and workplace specialists, the impressive speaker line-up offered delegates the chance to become familiar with the latest research containing the clues to effective, evidence-based design and management.

“The air physically changes as soon as you step into the space - the

30-degree heat and the hubbub of the NYC traffic melts away.”

Andrew Mawson, the leader of AWA, set out the research that supports the rationale for transitioning to modern ways of working. Arjun Kaicker, from Zaha Hadid Architects, looked at how algorithms and machine learning are creating unprecedented opportunities to design workplaces that enhance wellbeing and performance.

Following Neil Usher’s entertaining breakdown of his book, The Elemental Workplace: The 12 Elements for Creating a Fantastic Workplace for Everyone, Leesman’s Tim Oldman took the audience through a data-dive of the world’s largest workplace effectiveness database containing more than 300,000 employee responses.

In November, Workplace Week London will be back for its seventh year. Expanding on the learning from across the Atlantic, the programme will explore how the real estate and facilities community, in partnership with the design, architecture and human resources spheres, can boost productivity and improve the workplace experience through being playful with space and bolder when it comes to pushing for change. TOMORROW’S FM | 21

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