How to Design a Workplace to Support Activity-Based Working

Activity based working employees

Designing a workplace to support activity-based working can be a challenge for CEOs, managers, and entrepreneurs. It takes careful thought and planning to create an environment conducive to productivity and creativity.

It’s no secret that today’s workforce is increasingly mobile, and employees are looking for jobs that offer more flexibility. In fact, more than half of workers say they would quit their current job if it didn’t offer flexible working arrangements. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to offer new ways of working, and that’s where activity-based office design comes in. In this blog post, we discuss how to design a workplace that supports activity-based working.

What is activity-based working?

Activity-based working (ABW) is a human-centric workplace that empowers employees by accounting for individual needs in work efficiency and productivity. The adaptable, professional, and flexible autonomous environment of ABW encourages a change in organizational mindset that embraces employee activity as an asset to company success.

Consequently, activity-based offices are becoming increasingly popular as they provide individual members of your team with a greater sense of control, freedom, and satisfaction. In addition to the inherent benefits for employees, ABW has been shown to lead to increased creativity, collaboration, and innovation.

It’s clear that ABW is not simply a passing trend but a new way of doing business that offers considerable advantages for both organizations and employees.

What does an activity-based workspace look like?

The activity-based working space is a relatively new concept in office design, and it represents a departure from the traditional cubicle-based layout. Proponents of this type of layout argue that it fosters greater collaboration and creativity while also offering employees more control over their work environment.

While the activity-based working space is not right for every organization, it can be an effective way to promote employee engagement and productivity beyond a mere employee engagement strategy into the real world.

So what makes an activity-based working space? First and foremost, it is designed to encourage movement and collaboration. The layout is usually open and flexible, with plenty of areas for small groups to gather and work together. There may also be dedicated spaces for individual work, as well as areas for socializing and relaxation.

The goal is to create an environment that supports both individual and team-based work.

Another key element of activity-based working spaces is that they are often equipped with the latest technology. This includes things like cloud-based software, allowing employees to access work files from anywhere. Additionally, activity-based working spaces often have large monitors or even projection screens, which can be used for presentations or group brainstorming sessions.

We’re talking about a full-on smart office that connects people with real estate to create a symbiosis of intent reflected in productivity.

Finally, these spaces often incorporate adjustable furniture, allowing employees to customize the space around them depending on their activity. 

What are the benefits of activity-based workspaces?

The key benefit of ABW is that it enables employees to work in the most effective way possible. However, there are many additional benefits associated with ABW, including increased employee satisfaction and productivity, lower absenteeism rates, and reduced office costs. In addition, ABW can promote creativity and collaboration by providing employees with more opportunities to interact with one another.

It can also help reduce company overheads by making better use of office space. If your business is looking for ways to improve employee satisfaction and productivity, ABW may be the answer.

Agile working and ABW office design

The traditional office space is no longer fit for purpose in the modern world of work. With the rise of agile working, activity-based workspace design is fast becoming the new norm. We’re looking at office 2.0 — having a deeper understanding of what the office is for, post-pandemic.

Agile working is all about being flexible and adaptable, and activity-based workspace design supports this by providing a variety of different areas to suit different tasks and activities. Creating agile working environments means thinking about everything from focused workstations to social spaces and breakout areas. A well-designed, activity-based office has something for everyone.

The demand for flexibility

The modern workplace is undergoing a revolution. Activity-based working, coworking, and hot-desking are becoming increasingly popular as businesses seek to create more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective workplaces. Activity-based office design is a particularly effective way of maximizing space and promoting collaboration, while hot desking can help reduce the need for unnecessary physical infrastructure.

Coworking spaces, meanwhile, provide businesses with the opportunity to rent workspace on an as-needed basis. These work arrangements are proving popular with employees, who value the increased flexibility and autonomy. As the workplace continues to evolve, these trends will likely become even more prevalent.

ABW and hybrid workforces

The traditional office is no longer the only place where work gets done. With the rise of activity-based working, employees increasingly engage in work-related activities outside of the office. This shift has led to the popularity of hybrid working, which combines activity-based working with traditional office-based work.

Hybrid working offers many advantages, including increased flexibility and productivity. For activity-based workers, hybrid working can provide a more efficient way to get work done. And for traditional office workers, hybrid working can offer an opportunity to take advantage of activity-based working practices — they work in the way that best suits them, in the environment that best meets their needs.

Designing the activity-based office

This type of office design considers the different activities that take place within an office environment and tailors the space to accommodate those activities. By tailoring the office space to the needs of its occupants, the activity-based office can provide a more comfortable and efficient working environment. But what does that look like?

Physical reminders

Activity-based office design can be challenging to implement, as it requires a shift in the way employees think about their work environment. In particular, employees will need to be reminded (and encouraged) to find a task-suitable area away from their desks.

Fixed desks are traditional and recognizable. They feel safe, especially if the employee is not used to alternatives. The result is that they will stay at their desks, even when it’s not in their best interests to do so.

Physical cues in the workplace will remind teams of their work environment options. By providing employees with the resources and information they need to make the most of an activity-based office, you can create a productive and enjoyable workspace.

Considering office furniture

When considering office furniture for an activity-based office, the preference is for work zones and rest areas, along with contemplation and brainstorming spaces. Fixed desktop computers are now a hindrance, so look for furniture with integrated power and ample sockets for mobile technology. 

Multi-purpose furniture, partitions, panels, or even moveable walls can be used to create different zones within the office. Storage units are also important to consider, as they help keep the workspace tidy and organized. By thinking carefully about the furniture you choose, you can create an activity-based office that is both functional and stylish.

The loss of connection

One of the key challenges of activity-based office design is ensuring employee engagement. In more traditional office setups, employees can personalize their workspace and develop a strong sense of connection to the company. However, it can be difficult to maintain the same level of engagement in a constantly-changing environment.

One way to overcome this challenge is to create opportunities for social interaction and collaboration. 

For that, your office needs to be collaboration ready. For example, you can encourage employees to take breaks in communal areas or organize regular team-building events. By fostering a sense of community, you can ensure that activity-based working doesn’t come at the expense of employee engagement.

Another way to support this type of environment is to provide secure storage for employees to keep their belongings. Lockers, movable storage units, and cloakrooms can all be used to create permanent spaces where team members can store personal belongings or technology. This allows for an always-moving environment that is less cluttered and more conducive to creativity. 

In addition, it helps to ensure that important paperwork, notebooks, and accessories are never misplaced or lost. Secure storage is a simple yet effective way to support activity-based office design and promote a more productive workplace.

Activity-based working is the future of the office

The traditional office model, with its cubicles and rows of desks, is increasingly seen as outdated and ineffective. In today’s fast-paced business world, employees need to be able to move around and collaborate with ease. Activity-based office design is becoming the new standard, as it facilitates a more flexible and productive work environment.

Activity-based office design is the future of office design, as it helps employees be more productive and provides a more comfortable and enjoyable work environment.

The future is now

To successfully create an agile workspace, you need the right tools and technology. With activity-based working becoming more popular in recent years and flexible or hybrid office spaces being used across all sectors of business, the right tools are essential.

Cloudbooking software helps make activity-based working (ABW) more successful. Employees can book their desks, meeting rooms, and parking spaces in advance. It also allows them to find each other quickly with a cloud-based workplace management system that is user-friendly for all levels of experience.

With cloud-based technology, employers can optimize their ABW environment with live insights and data on productivity. These insights allow businesses to find new ways to work that benefit team members as well as the bottom line of the business!

Cloudbooking offers a wide range of features that can benefit businesses with activity-based working practices. Our solutions are tailored to meet all needs and budget requirements, so contact us today for an obligation-free demo. With Cloudbooking, you’ll have everything you need to get your team up and running with the latest collaborative working practices.

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