What is Activity Based Working (ABW)?
Activity Based Working (ABW) is a modern workplace philosophy that promotes flexible working, including workspaces that align the worker with the task rather than aligning the work with assigned fixed work points.
The Key Features of Activity Based Work
ABW offers flexibility that is not only facilitated by the physical workplace such as offices, fixtures and office furniture but also, where and how an individual may work on a task-by-task basis.
Individuals choose where they are located based on which work setting is most suitable for undertaking their work and the tasks they want to perform.
The location will depend on the level of concentration and collaboration, the team members that need to be consulted, and broader issues such as work-life balance considerations.
The ABW concept of a ‘home zone’ is a designated area where project teams can gather and work. Within this ‘home zone’ individuals are free to choose where they wish to work. This allows for cross-fertilisation within project teams as well as whole-of-office communication.
A team member will generally sit with their team during the day but may move to another location depending on the particular task on hand.
In an ABW office fit-out, collaborative spaces are generally located on the fringes or spaces between ‘home zones’. This maximises the opportunity for collaboration within a project team as well as potentially at the higher whole-of-floor, office and organisation levels.
ABW also recognises and supports work outside the office premises. This opens up a new degree of flexibility for workers allowing them to shape their work and commuting patterns to maximise their work-family/life balance.
The Advantages of Activity Based Work Practices
The ABW workplace offers a range of standard and innovative work point options. The key benefit of an ABW workplace is that it allows the traditional office environment to become more flexible, linking different spaces to different tasks. Some other advantages of ABW include:
● The economic and environmental benefits of more efficient use of space.
● Greater staff satisfaction, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity.
● Increased ability to attract and retain staff.
● Increased collaboration, communication and information sharing.
● Dynamic and enlivened workplaces.
Activity Based Workplaces and Cultural Change
The introduction of ABW into you company is an opportunity to reset workplace cultures or bring together multiple established workplace cultures and transform them.
Cultural change allows technological advances and mobility to be fully embraced, silos can be broken down, collaboration can be enhanced and physical status-based structures can be moved out of the centre of organisation.
Implementing Activity Based Working
The implementation of a flexible style of working and the appropriate use of technology are two key factors which will influence its success.
The transition from a traditional, assigned office desk workplace to a new working environment should have a ‘whole-of-office’ input driven by an understanding of working styles, known constraints and significant consultation, rather than being driven only by senior management.
Interia can help you implement ABW into your workplace. Contact us or call us now on +61 8 9359 1288.