a close up of a green plant with leaves

Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is a 5 minute read, or about the time it takes to navigate self checkout at a grocery store.

This week our co-founder, Kayla, was invited to attend a presentation at the United Nations High Political Forum on Sustainable Development in NYC yesterday where IFMA, IFMA Foundation, and IEC presented their initiatives on the topic of “Sustainability in Action: The Role of Facility Management and Electrotechnology’s Impact on the SDGs – A New Story” and where they are tackling and supporting the United Nations SDG’s ( from a Facilities Management perspective.

Kayla is the IFMA Americas Young Professionals Chair and was joined by her Vice-Chair, Katerina Karasyova,. This is a huge milestone for IFMA to collaborate with the UN on the continued progress with our industry toward sustainable practices in our every day work and lives.

At Collective, we support all sectors and organizations who want to improve the way we work, operate, and create a more sustainable world.

In This Week’s Issue:

Events We’re Attending: The U.N. High Political Forum
Books We’re Reading: “Setting the Table” by Danny Meyer

As always, if you have feedback or questions please reach out.


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Three Things You Should Know

From The World of Work and Place

1.Companies and Employees Are A Mile Apart

In a recent survey from The Conference Board, they noted that,”54 percent of companies are mandating or strongly encouraging workers to be on-site. However, nearly 80 percent are still working either fully remote or hybrid schedules.” They also note that mandating workers to return can lead to dissatisfaction and potential churn. In their survey 28% of those mandated to return noted a decrease in their likelihood to stay. The survey showed a specific difference in how comfortable those who identified as men were with a mandated office return vs those who identified as women. They also noted large gaps in generational preferences as well.

A man standing at the end of a road

What We Think: Surveys like this one and many others we have covered have continued to show a large disconnect between employees and employees. One item we noted specifically from this survey was that less than half of companies are bringing employees together for either team building or celebratory events. How can we expect employees to be bought in if we are not investing in them and building those strong connections for our teams. Connection doesn’t happen by accident, and bridging this gap between employees and employees will take significant work. We highly recommend that if you haven’t brought your team together yet this year, you start thinking about how you can do that in a way that builds connection.

2. The Power of Eliminating Distractions

In her latest article for Collective Thoughts Jen Paxton provides some timely advice about eliminating distractions. She notes that while she’s the kind of person who is an excellent multitasker, she uses systems and specific techniques to make sure she’s staying on track and mostly distraction free. Her article is definitely worth checking out if you want to get more intentional about your work day in a world filled with so many notifications.

3. People Analytics and Flexible Work

In a recent post from FlexIndex by Scoop’s blog they outline some key points from their interview with Shujaat Ahmad, Director of People Analytics – Future of Work at LinkedIn. He noted that people analytics is like “Moneyball applied to companies.” The conversation and write up has a slew of insights but of note is the idea that this deep understanding of the make up of your team and their attributes is critical to setting up a flexible work model. They note that while previously decisions were driven solely by the input of executives – having a strong base of people analytics to inform decision making can ensure that companies are making data based decisions.

A man working on a laptop on a plane

What We Think: It can seem like a trope that we should understand all our employees and their unique needs, but we assure you it’s not. Understanding every persons unique needs or having knowledge of the needs of your employees saves your company money in the long run. Making data driven decisions is something that is vital for every other part of the business, but too often the decisions on How / Where / When we work are driven by sentiment. The entire interview is worth a read if you want to get started on switching from sentiment driven decisions to data informed decision making.

Together with

HqO, ranked No. 75 on the Inc. 5000 list, is transforming how people connect with each other and the places they work. The HqO Workplace Experience Platform and App makes it easy for companies and commercial property teams to create modern workplaces through world-class amenities and services that allow people to thrive and produce the best results. Active in over 250 million square feet in 25 countries, 57% of the Fortune 100 rely on HqO to enhance their workplace experiences, improve employee satisfaction, and drive operational excellence.

One Big Thing

“Workers are looking for opportunities to connect with their colleagues,” Robin Erickson, VP, Human Capital, The Conference Board

Someone You Should Know

In The World of Work And Place

Nellie Hayat was born and raised in Paris, France. However she is not your typical parisian (even parisian people think she is not) because she smiles too much (according to them). By the age of 22 years old, she had already visited more than 30 countries and done solo backpacking in Brazil, China, Europe and the Middle East. 

Her love for people and her desire to make a contribution in the world led her to the workplace industry. She had herself suffered from bad workplace environments and got excited to make the experience of work better for everyone. Since her debut in Silicon Valley 10 years ago, she’s worked with the most innovative companies on their workplace and employee experiences and in the last 2 years she’s been recognized multiple times as a Top Workplace & Remote Work leader. 

Today, you can find her at Density where she holds the role of Workplace Innovation Leader to help Density’s customers learn how to design workplaces for flexible work and happy and productive distributed teams. She is also the host of the Beyond work podcast and her thoughts have been published in Fast Company among other publications. 

In her own words 

I have been passionate about work ever since my first internship in NYC at the age of 22. However it was not the work that was interesting to me but it was the way people work, how different teams function, and how the office environment affected our work. Although it took me many detours (in the fashion, aerospace and VC industry) to find my way, I finally found my calling in building workplaces about 10 years ago.

When I got my first project to design an office in Paris for a major tech company, I felt that I was coming full circle. In France, people have a very challenging relationship with their work and a lingering marxist mentality makes most French people think that their boss is exploiting them. By bringing a silicon valley mindset to the Paris office, I was hoping to change the local mentality. The office in Paris was designed with soft and curved lines, warm tones and comfortable seating. It had a large kitchen and dining room to welcome customers, candidates and visitors. The goal was to make people feel cared for, welcome and safe. Employees reported feeling happier and more engaged with their work and the company’s mission. It was a big success and it led me to work on many more projects in Singapore, Japan, New York City, San Francisco, Mexico City and Berlin among other places.

The pandemic has fundamentally changed our relationship with work and the role of the office and I am glad that in the last 3 years I have been recognized as an emerging voice and a top workplace leader leading the future of work movement; but at the core of my work, little has changed. I am designing places and experiences where employees feel honored, engaged and empowered to do their best work. I am not pro-office or pro-remote, I am pro-choice and I believe that this is our role as workplace leaders to design different journeys for various employees. 

I am excited that the pandemic created a catalyst for us to reinvent the office and rethink its role and purpose. I believe that the office will play a major role in the near future as a hub to connect with our community, to find inspiration and respite and to enable employees to create and innovate. I see a surge of companies opening offices on the ground floor where customers and fans can interact with employees and learn more about the product. It is a more fluid environment where people come and go and have access to spaces like a creator corner, a wellness center and an innovation lab.

I am also excited to lead the movement toward a more async and collaborative way to work. Talent is everywhere and thanks to better ways of working, we can finally empower teams to work in a more distributed way where the information flows more easily. Studies have shown that it benefits neurodivergent people as well as under-represented groups like working mothers but it also showed that everybody is happier and more engaged when they have the trust and flexibility to choose where they want to work from without impacting their impact or performance. 

The future of work is multi-modal and I could not be more excited about it.

Know someone Incredible?

A Product We’re Into


At Veris, we’re not just creating workplace solutions; we’re designing the future of work itself. Spanning across 20+ countries and trusted by marquee names such as Nestle, EY, Genpact, Barclays, BCG & many more, our three powerhouse suites – Workplace Security, Workplace Experience, and Workforce Identity, redefine what’s possible. Driven by innovation, Veris delivers more than just services. We are your partner in delivering delight to your employees & guests, making every interaction count. This is Veris – your ally in sculpting the workspaces of tomorrow, today!

That’s It For This Week

We Appreciate You

As one of our over 750 weekly readers we appreciate you being an early subscriber. Together, we believe we can enable workplace professionals to move beyond conversation.

Until next time – Omar and Kayla