Right size, Right fit
An employee arrives at the office and begins their working day with a team meeting in a conference room before moving to the café area to greet a new client. From there, they settle down in a private work pod to make some important phone calls. All they have is a laptop and maybe other mobile devices connected to the company network.
This employee does not have a designated desk and can move freely around the office space according to specific work needs. This is activity-based working (ABW) – a flexible approach to modern working practices where an office layout and environment reflect the variety of roles performed by staff.
The term ‘activity-based working’ was first referenced by Erik Veldhoen in his 1995 book, ‘The Demise of the Office’. The author argued that people are more efficient and productive when they are given the freedom to move around a building and choose where they sit and work.
The fact is, employees have grown to expect more and more from their corporate office space, particularly since remote working became commonplace during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adopting an activity-based-working approach can result in better working relationships, a more engaging office, increased productivity and reduced costs.
We understand the numerous benefits activity-based working brings to a corporate facility, and our bespoke facilities management services are tailored to support these flexible working environments.
It’s widely considered that four main factors must be present in an activity-based working space: design, sensory experience, behavioural reinforcement, and analysis.
The thoughtful design of an office building is vital to achieving activity-based working. Variety is essential as the needs and requirements of all employees must be considered and catered for.
Whether it’s a quiet area for staff who need to focus and concentrate without distraction, a conference room for hosting client meetings, or a private booth for making phone calls, there’s a space available to suit every activity. We can also incorporate the latest room and desk booking technology to reserve a specific space required.
Employees should be able to quickly and easily identify the correct space to match their specific work needs. This could be in the form of high-energy areas where group chats take place and music could be playing, to those of low energy where concentration and focus are the dominant factors. Sensory signposts like furniture and appropriate lighting should be clearly visible.
The right lighting balance for different areas is important – which is why we balance artificial and natural light appropriately.
All employees must ‘buy in’ to activity-based working for it to work for a business. Employees should be given freedom to move around with confidence. If they are met with resistance from their colleagues, the concept may not be suitable.
Data and feedback should be used to ensure employees are comfortable in their working space. Making regular adjustments and improvements will result in an ever-changing workplace and a successful environment.
To keep on top of how often your different workspaces are being used, we can incorporate sensors that monitor traffic. Not only does this give you valuable insight to make adjustments, but it also alerts cleaning teams to specific areas that require attention.
Employee creativity has the potential to flourish under activity-based-working. Empowering employees with the choice of where they wish to work can lead to increased productivity and innovation and a better work-life balance.
According to Deloitte, 84% of millennials benefit from some degree of flexible working, which strongly suggests the provision of activity-based working helps recruit and retain staff. Shared values among your workforce can lead to better engagement and communication and can reduce running costs due to the flexible nature of staff working patterns and the elimination of assigned workspaces.
No two days of activity-based working are likely to be the same due to the very nature of its flexible approach. A range of support measures must be factored into the process for activity-based working to work for your business.
At Anabas, our Floor Captains ensure your activity-based working space is always ready and prepared for the working day ahead. This involves daily inspections that cover everything from health and safety to ensuring that any paperwork left on site is disposed of appropriately.
Anabas has the expertise and experience required to help companies mould their office into the ideal space for activity-based working with comprehensive facilities management support.
We can help support a successful activity-based working strategy from Mechanical and Electrical maintenance to cleaning and environmental services and from reception to corporate security services.
Contact us today – we look forward to hearing from you.