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IFMA: Worker Mobility Showcased in New 'Service Center of Excellence'

Feb. 12, 2013 


Contact:       Jed Link
                     +1 281-377-5012

HOUSTON, TX – (Feb. 12, 2013) – The new global headquarters of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) showcases cutting-edge mobility strategies for people and ideas both internally within the walls of the office and externally around the world. The Service Center of Excellence officially opens in Houston Feb. 21, 2013. It features some of the best ideas and technologies drawn from the expertise of IFMA’s 23,000 facility management members and offers a unique example of what the workplace of tomorrow might look like.

“There’s a reasonable expectation that a global association of facility managers should run a state-of-the-art facility,” said IFMA President and CEO Tony Keane, CAE. “I’m proud to say that the Service Center of Excellence in Houston meets and exceeds this expectation. Over the last few years we’ve completely reinvented the way our entire organization supports the ability to provide the quality services our members deserve. With the new facility, we’ve put theory into action and we’re pretty excited about the results.”

A facility that supports human mobility offers a wide range of advantages. Operational environments change from week to week, while the day-to-day needs of individual employees change as well. By rethinking its traditional fixed office layout and liberating employees from assigned workstations, IFMA is helping to drive change instead of merely reacting to it.

Internal Mobility

The Service Center of Excellence abandons the traditional assembly line layout of an office where each employee has an assigned station designed for them to perform the same tasks over and over again. At IFMA, people no longer work like that.

Instead, the Service Center of Excellence employs flexible meeting spaces that can be used by individuals and groups to support a wide variety of different tasks. These spaces include unassigned work benches with computer docking stations, short-term touch down stations with computer connectivity, meeting rooms of various sizes and layouts, phone rooms for private telephone or Web-based conversations, focus rooms for solitary work and public spaces like shared resource centers, kitchens and document preparation tables.

For IFMA employees, no two work days are exactly alike, and internal mobility lets individuals and groups choose the best space for their varying daily needs. This, in turn, promotes collaboration across different departments and different levels of management.

External Mobility

Utilizing technological solutions including Web-based communication, smart phones, tablets and mobile computers, IFMA has taken big steps to allow remote workers to be as productive from home or on the road as they are in the office.

In addition to increased convenience for the employee, remote workers benefit the environment and save money by requiring less space and reducing the daily commute.

Notably, IFMA’s support for external mobility — in combination with the multiuse functionality of internal mobility — means the Service Center of Excellence can operate with nearly half the useable square footage compared to the previous location.


The Houston-based IFMA Service Center of Excellence is the first big step in a more ambitious effort to empower people by decentralizing the daily operations of the global association. An important, but often overlooked, aspect of a major facility evolution is that people adapt their behaviors to match their environment. As staff learns to operate in an adaptable workplace, new opportunities arise.

Mobile and remote employees will learn to collaborate from anywhere in the world as naturally as they learned to do it in the same building. Physical location will become less important as the world flattens. New Centers of Excellence will be opened around the world, duplicating the original format where appropriate and bringing unique functionality when necessary. Each center will host specific organizational responsibilities, all working together seamlessly. By sharing these efforts IFMA improves international collaboration and eliminates the need for useless duplication.