3 Key Takeaways From IFMA’s World Workplace 2022

Taking place in the Music City, Work Workplace 2022 gave FMs ample opportunity for professional and operational development.

Photo: Adobe Stock – Touchr

By Jennifer Goetz

Facility management professionals gathered at IFMA’s World Workplace 2022 Conference and Expo in Nashville to build relationships, learn about new innovations, and attend educational training seminars.

As my first World Workplace, I didn’t know what to expect. Over the past few months I’ve spoken to facility managers about their biggest concerns, whether it be how to tackle space in a now-empty office, to succession planning, to coping with supply chain delays, and much more. Last week, I was excited to attend World Workplace to meet facility managers in person—and it was a pleasure speaking with so many kind and welcoming individuals.

From discussions with speakers, FMs, and fellow exhibitors, here are some of the main takeaways from this year’s World Workplace.

Hybrid Work Is Top Of Mind

From my conversations with FMs in particular, everyone is in the same boat when it comes to hybrid work. No one has a solid answer as to how best to manage this new, post-pandemic normal. The general sentiment was: We’re all in this together as we try to decide how move forward into the future with the hybrid environment.

Naturally, FMs have a lot of projects on their plates that revolve around encouraging employees to return to the office, and they need help. FMs are on the front lines of a work revolution, and they are crucial to the future success of their business.

Application, Not Knowledge, Is Power

To start off the show, Keynote Speaker Phill Nosworthy gave an inspiring introduction, challenging FM’s to consider everything they know and all the resources they have. One takeaway that stuck with me was the following: “Knowledge acquisition is not growth—knowledge is potential, and application is power,” said Nosworthy. “The cycle of knowledge acquisition without application is just professional procrastination.”

He encourages facility managers to ask themselves this: What do I know to do that I’m not currently doing? It’s a good reminder that World Workplace, or any education you receive, is an incredible opportunity to learn something useful that could improve your operations for all stakeholders—don’t let this knowledge just be potential.

The Value Of Building Relationships

From conversations on the show floor, this year’s World Workplace attendance appeared to increase significantly compared to last year, creating a greater opportunity for networking. Some attendees highlighted how important coming out to this show is to maintaining and building new relationships, especially given the ever-changing times we’re in.

Together, like-minded FMs from all different industries have a chance to share ideas about how they’ve problem-solved in their own respective industries. It’s comforting to know that everyone, even if we come from extremely different industries, are rooting for each other’s success.