Throughout our careers, we have all come across the term “Workplace” in various contexts. It is often understood as the physical space where we perform job-related tasks. Dictionary.com defines it as any location where employees are employed. While commonly seen as a simple noun, the concept of a workplace encompasses much more. It can represent a team, a career, a passion, and a community. With that in mind, let’s delve into the multifaceted concept of the workplace and the people who manage those workplaces.
Workplace, You Say. What Is It Exactly?
A workplace is a dynamic setting where individuals engage in job-related tasks, collaborate, and pursue professional objectives. It encompasses a wide range of locations, including commercial offices, co-working spaces, virtual and remote setups, as well as retail, and manufacturing environments. Within this space, employees actively participate in their work activities, interact with colleagues, and contribute to the organization’s overall goals and productivity. The workplace extends beyond its physical infrastructure, encompassing resources, social dynamics, culture, and experiences that shape the professional environment.
The significance of the workplace becomes evident when we consider various aspects. Reflect on your current workplace: Do you find it enjoyable, or do you think it could be improved? Do you have the flexibility to work from different physical or virtual locations? Are there amenities like coffee, snacks, or employee resource groups to support your work? Do you appreciate a clean, well-maintained, and inspiring work environment? Are your laptop and applications reliable, or do you often encounter frustrating delays? The questions surrounding the workplace are endless, but regardless of their nature, they directly impact your daily work experience, even if their influence may not always be immediately apparent. Behind these efforts lies the dedicated work of individuals or teams who strive to create a positive and effective workplace environment.
Who Is the Workplace Team?
Let’s unveil the team who is behind the magic at your workplace. This function encompasses a multitude of job titles, including:
- “Office” Manager, Office Coordinator, Office Administrator
- “Workplace” Manager, Workplace Operations, Workplace Experience, Workplace Coordinator, Workplace Design & Construction
- “Facilities” Manager, Facilities Coordinator, Facilities Administrator, Facilities Operations, Facilities Project Manager
- “People” Manager, People Operations, People Experience, People & Culture, People Coordinator
- “IT” Manager, IT Coordinator, IT & Security Manager
- “Real Estate” Manager, Real Estate Coordinator, Real Estate Portfolio Manager, Real Estate Analyst, Real Estate Project Manager
- “Human Resources” Manager, Human Resources Coordinator
- “Experience” Manager, Experience & Culture, Experience & Events
- “Remote” Manager, Remote & Experience, Remote Events Manager
- “Operations” Manager, Operations & Facility Manager, Operations & Engineering
The job titles mentioned above are merely a glimpse into the wide array of roles found in today’s job market. With each company having its unique structure, the composition of a Workplace team may vary, encompassing one or more of these positions. Navigating this function across different companies can be perplexing, leading some departments to be unaware of the comprehensive scope and responsibilities of these roles and Workplace team.
Irrespective of specific job titles, the primary role of the Workplace team is to serve as the “scaffolding supporting the employee ecosystem” (as eloquently stated by Omar Ramirez, Co-Founder of Collective). This overarching purpose can be described in the following key work responsibilities:
- Creating and fostering a positive work culture, promoting teamwork, and collaboration
- Oversee day-to-day operations of either a physical or virtual office in line with organizational resources and goals
- Manage employee engagement and development
- Front-line contact to resolve employee or organizational conflicts impacting the experience or physical assets
- Oversee the safety and well-being of employees
- Lead or support organizational strategic initiatives to drive growth
- Project manage an office move, build, renovation, or event
- Work cross-functionally both internally, and externally with vendors
- Manage CapEx and OpEx budgets
- Provides change management support with organizational initiatives
- Manage data, information technology, security tools and resources
Members on the Workplace team are versatile and are known as the “multiple hat wearers”. Much of their work happens behind the scenes, which can be both advantageous and challenging. It’s wonderful because, like the scaffolding supporting a building, their efforts provide a solid foundation without drawing attention away from the beautiful architecture. However, it becomes less ideal when the Workplace team becomes visible only during times of issues or conflicts.
It’s important to acknowledge that the Workplace team is dedicated to crafting an exceptional employee experience. They tirelessly work to anticipate challenges and mitigate risks, striving to stay ten steps ahead. However, they are also human, and despite their best efforts, minor issues may arise on occasion. Remember that their unwavering commitment remains focused on creating a thriving workplace environment for everyone involved.
Why Workplace Teams are Essential and How to Join Them
Creating a positive workplace and enhancing the employee experience are top priorities for company leaders who seek to attract and retain the best talent. To achieve these goals, it is crucial to have dedicated workplace teams that can effectively create and manage the work environment. Companies that lack a specialized Workplace team often distribute workplace responsibilities across different roles, resulting in decentralization, detracting from core business functions, and creating suboptimal employee experiences and engagement. Workplace teams play a critical role as the scaffolding supporting the employee ecosystem, and investing in this area is essential given that employees are a company’s most valuable asset.
If you are currently part of a Workplace team – Thank you for all that you do! If you find yourself intrigued by the impactful work these teams accomplish and the value they bring, joining the field of Workplace as a career path may be a great choice. Many individuals stumble upon a Workplace team accidently, unaware that they are already involved in executing workplace tasks. So don’t worry about joining this career later in life! It is a versatile career path that offers opportunities for growth, starting from a coordinator role and progressing all the way to a C-suite position. Additionally, there are various educational options available such as formal degrees, credentials, and courses, to enhance your knowledge and skills. Consider exploring organizations like IFMA, CoreNet Global, or Collective for valuable information and resources.
By recognizing the important of Workplace teams and actively pursuing opportunities in this field, you can contribute to creating exceptional workplace environments and fostering employee satisfaction and engagement. Join the journey towards building outstanding workplaces and shaping the future of work.
Learn more about our Author: Kayla is an advocator and leader within the world of workplace and is the Co-Founder of Collective. She has studied and practiced within workplace for over fifteen years leading space transformations, creating inspiring spaces, driving business innovation, and leading teams with some of the best in class companies such as Haworth, Steelcase, Designtex, Newell Brands, FullStory, and Cobuilt. She is IFMA’s Americas Young Professional Chair and is passionate about getting students and other professionals interested in the Workplace career. To learn more, check out her feature in Collective’s Bookmarks.
*Disclaimer: This post was not generated by A.I. It is indeed written by a real life human. A pretty cool human in fact.