The Great and Powerless OZ

Meet OZ the Office Zombie. OZ walks around the office usually with a blank stare and sometimes walking into glass walls and doors. You may have seen OZ walking down the hallway at your own office - with either a cellphone or laptop computer in one hand. Don't bother saying hello to OZ, he won't hear you... which is good (since he's a zombie).

I recently gave a speech at a "TedTalk-like" event at the Chicago chapter of CoreNet and was only given 3 minutes to share an idea with the audience - so I conducted an assessment to help everyone establish their ZOMBIE IQ. After asking everyone to stand up (in their best Zombie pose of course), I revealed a number of items hidden in plain sight including a message taped to the revolving entrance door to music playing in the lobby. One-by-one, the room of over 100 people sat down due to their failure to notice their surroundings until two people were standing.

The power of awareness is the fuel for facility management excellence. Like many of our multi-tasking coworkers, OZ is half-dead and unaware of his surroundings, how to develop customer relationships or even how to be a good listener with his core family members. OZ is preoccupied with his TO DO list, overdue "dead"lines and other daily zombie rituals.

Thank goodness OZ is not a facility manager or else he would be truly powerless. Have you ever noticed those little white dots on glass doors and windows in your office? These are called "distraction dots" and an easy fix to a common facility risk exposure. If you have not noticed these, you might look like a zombie with a bloody nose and cracked eyeglasses.

FINAL ZOMBIE QUESTION: [asked audience to close their eyes]

"If an active shooter entered the room right now, how many exit doors could you use to escape?"

And with that question, the "great and powerless OZ" was born as a reminder to workplace professionals everywhere that we have a duty and an opportunity to make a positive difference in our office environments through the awareness of how people engage in the office. Awareness could save you from a bloody nose, a potentially failed relationship and even your life.