The concept of activity based work (ABW) is becoming increasingly popular as organisations are adopting flexible workplaces and practices. This includes creating virtual offices through implementing the latest technology such as unified communications and high capacity wireless networks enabling their staff to work almost anywhere.
Some benefits of this style of working include:
- increased staff collaboration, productivity and efficiency
- flexibility in where and how an employee chooses to work
- focus on outcomes not effort
- reduction in power, paper usage, real estate costs
- improved work environment and job satisfaction
- freedom and choice for staff
- breaking down silos
- modern work environment and practices
- employer of choice
Generation-e’s strength in Unified Communications enables the technology that makes ABW a success. We work with your business, architects and fit out companies to deliver the technology that makes ABW work.
Initially Activity Based Working mainly involved switching to flexible workplaces and drastically reducing the number of desks and offices required. Some of the budget saved in leasing and fit out was invested in a higher spec working environment and IT.
Over time the focus on individual offices disappear, and increasingly staff were meeting with employees from other departments or units. As a result teamwork, cross-functional collaboration, employee satisfaction and consequently business performance improved.
Today, organisations continue using Activity Based Working to achieve quantifiable operational targets, however increasingly its introduction is being linked to cultural change programmes with ABW providing a platform for transforming the business.
We also see the dynamics of the talent market and the technologies that support business are shifting. A growing number of employees are able to (and expect to) work efficiently and effectively regardless of time or location. They make their own decisions about their work and make the necessary arrangements with their co-workers to achieve the outcomes they are accountable for. Activity Based Working has shifted from a fringe idea to something every organisation should consider as part of their work culture.
Activity Based Working leads to new insights that focus on the core of the organisation: it reminds them that motivation is about more than setting targets; connecting means more than interlocking individual choices and rules; and commitment involves more than attending the Friday afternoon get-together.
What you want Activity Based Working to do for your organisation determines the journey your organisation will need to take. In very broad terms organisations choose to implement Activity Based Working for a combination of three core aspirations: Sharing, Connecting, and Transforming.
Sharing breaks old habits and customary patterns around the ownership and allocation of space. The main aim is to improve the services offered to employees by offering more choice and options to suit the way individuals work, while gaining efficiencies which come from sharing the workplace. By letting go of the old, we also create more room for people to interact in ways they haven’t before.
By combining this view of the office with an increased effort in enabling and promoting flexible working (working from home, etc.) results in a sharp reduction in your outlay on facilities, and more budget available to improve the quality of IT to enhance the effectiveness of the working environment.
Information from Veldhoen shows that their clients have experienced a number of significant benefits when implementing ABW. A few of these include:
- 10% increase in productivity
- 30% reduction in square metres required
- 40% decrease in the cost of churn
- 10% increase in engagement scores
- 28% saving on fit-out costs
- 43% of staff feel ‘More effective’ in the new ABW environment
- 43% agree that work is more enjoyable as a result of the workplace change
- 44% of staff believe the new ABW workplace will assist in becoming an employer of choice