All About ABW (Activity Based Work Areas )

Posted on: June 20, 2017

Take a look around your office, is the design meeting everyone’s needs? When a workspace is designed to suit the needs of your employees, your outcomes will be exactly what every organization is looking for.  Your space will maximize efficiency, increase engagement and enhance your organization’s brand and culture.  If you haven’t quite found an office design producing all of these outcomes, you may want to consider activity based working.

What is Activity Based Working?

Activity based working (ABW) is when specific areas are designated for specific activities like meeting, collaboration, focusing or socializing. By eliminating assigned desks, not only will ABW maximize the square footage of your workplace, but employees will feel empowered and engaged by having the flexibility to choose where they will work best depending on the task at hand.

What are the Benefits of ABW?

When employees are able to choose where and when they work, it allows them to be more efficient and engaged in their jobs.  When employees are more engaged, your workforce becomes more productive and effective, helping your organization reach its corporate goals.

Further, having a variety of areas to work and providing employees with flexibility to collaborate and share ideas, will drive innovation.  Innovation within your organization, will not only push you ahead of the competition, but make your company stand apart from the rest.

Another added benefit to ABW is that it forces employees to get up and move around during the work day. Research supports that when you provide an alternative to sitting all day long, employees are healthier.  It elevates moods and creates a more productive staff.

Ways to Incorporate ABW into Office Design

Offer a variety of seating options

Offices have turned to practices such as hot desking or hoteling to allow workers the flexibility to work wherever they choose on any given days. Couches, large kitchen-style tables and other types of furniture are often arranged comfortably, similar to how furniture is arranged in a home or a hotel lounge, to accommodates everyone’s needs.

Movable, reconfigurable furniture

Flexible, reconfigurable furniture will provide spaces to conduct small meetings, phone calls and even casual conversation.  It will fit the needs of all your employees, because it is easy and quickly changeable for private work or spur-of-the-moment collaboration.

Technology Integration

As employees no longer have their own desks, it is important to include furniture that has integrated power.  Laptops, tablets and phones will need to be charged and powered for work to be productive.  Technology should be easily accessible throughout the workspace.

Storage Solutions

When employees no longer have a dedicated space, it is important to consider storage solutions. Some options include individual lockers, mobile storage boxes or shelving units.

ABW is not designed to be a one size fits all approach.  Through careful evaluation and analysis of your business, you may find that ABW will be the right fit for your employees and can be a factor in helping you reach your corporate goals.