Another week is nearly in the books, but before the weekend begins its time to squeeze in another Feature Friday.
Julia Kitchen is an experienced Workplace Consultant and Change Manager specialising in workplace consultancy, agile working, change management, business furniture, relocation, flexible working, storage and more.
We discuss Julia’s varied role and get some insightful tips for those wanting to follow a similar career path.
WOD: We’re excited to hear from you. Give us a summary of your background and what your current role entails…
JK: “I was a Facilities Manager for a US corporate in Europe but chose to start my own consultancy and change management business 25 years ago when my children were small to give me greater flexibility. I thought it was a temporary measure until they went to school. I have a degree in French and Spanish! I first became involved in the workplace sector as a young civil servant sent to work in the Accommodation team. I spent three years as part of the interiors team at GMW Architects before going into FM.
Over the years I have managed to distil down the answer to the question “What do you do for a living?” into one short sentence. I manage change in organisations. Sometimes that is project managing the implementation of change and sometimes it is consultancy about what the change priorities are and helping to develop the strategy. Often it is both. I typically embed in the client’s team and work collaboratively with them to define and deliver the change.”
WOD: And what exactly does a typical working day in the life of Julia tend to consist of?
JK: “I am often in meetings or on calls most of the day so my first priority each morning, no matter how early, is to get on top of email and write myself a priority list for the day. A typical day would involve leading project team meetings, consultation with stakeholders and colleagues and writing plans, meeting notes and action lists. But there is always a lot of email!”
WOD: And – it might seem like a silly question – how has the global pandemic impacted you in terms of work? And how will the workplace be affected in terms of it’s design?
JK: “I have always done some of my work from home so was able to increase that seamlessly. Like everyone I am concerned about the impact of the pandemic on my future workflow. So far it has been a mixed bag – a couple of projects have been put on hold but some others have materialised mainly wanting help with a Covid-friendly workplace strategy.
I have long advocated that workplace furniture should be more flexible, easier to reconfigure or store and be more responsive to users’ changing needs. I believe that the pandemic will have accelerated the recognition of this and that there will be a sea change in how we manage space and furniture in the workplace.”