What’s your ideal work environment? Try asking this to your peers/colleagues and be sure that unless your office faces the ocean, none of them will say that they want to have the same view for eight hours a day.
The short-coming of a traditional office design on employee health and morale has spurred many companies to adopt a concept called activity-based working or ABW.
An ABW is “based on the premise that no employee ‘owns’ or has an assigned workstation. Rather, the broader workspace provides employees with a variety of predetermined activity areas that allow them to conduct specific tasks including learning, focusing, collaborating and socialising.”
ABW offers flexibility for work enabling employees to be more effective and productive.
Why companies are implementing ABW
The ABW work style benefits fast-growing organisations, offering them an effective workplace platform for growth. Adopting progressive agile workplace strategies offers considerable competitive advantage. Having a strategy for addressing the challenge of locating employees in an ABW office is important to ensuring process efficiency and communication. Employers considered ABW as an effective tool to attract and retain the employees.
Critical role of HR
To properly implement this concept, the role of the HR department is critical in understanding the work patterns of employees and of course, about the role of technology involved in their work. If you’re considering implementing ABW at your office, be prepared to face some roadblocks. Expect some resistance from employees. You can overcome this by being upfront and honest about the reasons for the change, sharing frequent updates with employees and asking for feedback along the way.
The role of technology
ABW relies on technology for its success. Collaboration tools such as video conferencing and cloud computing enable employees to work off-site, while apps enable staff to book meeting facilities, and smart sensors can help manage energy use of the space.
How are present big workplaces reshaping themselves to suit the needs of employees?
Employers believe that workplace is like a social hub where people congregate, socialise, and think on various issues. Such socialising factor acts as a catalyst in making a productive workstation.
Diving into ABW research
Studies reveal that ABW is likely to work best for employees who see themselves as mobile and independent. On other positive side, offices with ABW have the ability to avoid unwanted social interaction.
Looking at the flip-side, employees find ABW as their privacy breaker. They might not like to switch or share their workstation with others.
Contribute: Do write to us about any wellness program in your company that has led to noticeable gains for your employees, at firstname.lastname@example.org