Globalisation and technology has not only changed how we work, but where we conduct our daily work activities. According to the Telsyte Australian Digital Workplace Study, the growth of Activity Based Working in Australian organisations will grow from 28% in 2015 to 66% in 2020. It also found that 43% of Australian organisations see smart office environments including cloud, mobility and the Internet of Things as being part of the future of Activity Based Working.
If you’re planning changes to your workplace, it’s a perfect time to consider whether Activity Based Working is right for you.
What is Activity Based Working?
Activity Based Working (ABW) is a style of workplace design that allows employees to customise their environment to their individual working style.
Rather than giving staff one place to complete their work, such as an office desk, they are provided with a choice of environments that are designed to support different activities. These may include conference rooms for formal meetings, quiet areas for focused work, open-plan areas for collaboration and casual areas for impromptu cross-team conversations.
Many people confuse ABW with hot-desking, which removes allocated seating in an attempt to encourage mobility and maximise office space. But it’s more than that (in fact, hot-desking on its own has proven to be unpopular and somewhat dysfunctional over the years).
ABW is about supporting employees while they’re in the office, so they perform at their best every day. It’s not one size fits all, and it’s about flexibility for people to do their best work for the teammates and the organsiation.ABW is about helping employees do their best work & be their best self while working. Click To Tweet
Benefits of Activity Based Working
Incorporating ABW into your workplace design offers a range of business benefits including:
- Improved workplace productivity & efficiency
- Support for new agile business initiatives & objectives
- The ability to quickly create and dissolve teams for specific projects
- Greater collaboration between different people & teams
- Enhanced communication with management
- A more positive, creative & innovative workplace culture
- Higher employee satisfaction from recognising individual working styles
- Increased face-to-face interaction, reducing email & paper documentation
- Improved talent attraction & retention, by supporting preferred generational working styles
- Support for environmental sustainability desires
- Optimised real estate & building management costs
- Enabling technology preferences such as mobility & connectivity
Read more: Technology trends impacting the workplace
Implementing Activity Based Working in your workplace
ABW is not a one-size-fits-all solution and requires careful planning and implementation. The most challenging aspect is how your people, technology systems and existing space (unless you’re planning an office move) will adapt to a transformation of your working style.
You’ll need to ensure an ABW strategy aligns with your overall business vision and suits its needs into the future. You should also consider the age demographics of your employees, any social or cultural factors that will impact how employees choose to work, and whether you have the right technology to successfully implement an ABW environment.
If you are looking for an Activity Based Working (ABW) design that helps you achieve key business objectives, then you need a workplace design partner. Find out more in our ebook: What to look for in a workplace design partner.