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What Is Activity-Based Work?

Incorporate building spaces that prioritize these 4 individual activities in your working environment.

Kyle Chandler

Client Relations

Activity-based working (ABW) is a productivity model whereby office space is designed to focus on accommodating particular tasks rather than specific members of your team. In the activity-based workplace, you have individual areas that facilitate activities like:


  • Learning

  • Focusing

  • Collaborating

  • Socializing


When you provide building spaces that prioritize critical activities, your team has the freedom to move around the office, adapt spaces to their needs, and take a more self-managed approach for day-to-day tasks. In addition, research has shown that employees with more complex workloads benefit from working in a mobile way that uses multiple settings.


Curious about some of the other benefits of ABW? Let’s take a closer look to help you decide if ABW may be a good fit for your organization.


Benefits of Activity-Based Working Environments


Simplified Communication

In traditional work settings, teams and departments are stuck working in one area. This approach can make it difficult for members of different departments to work together and collaborate. With ABW, your team isn’t fixed in one spot, making it easier to communicate, share ideas, and ask questions.


Increased Concentration

Because an ABW workspace provides various areas, collaborative spaces are balanced out with quieter spaces that foster focus. That way, you don’t have to worry about your team members becoming overwhelmed with activity or noise. Instead, they’ll always have a quiet space where they can withdraw from the bustle and concentrate on work. By offering separate areas, you can empower your team with an ideal environment to focus on the task at hand.


Attract and Retain Talent

In creative industries, employees value an engaging, energetic work environment. Implementing activity-based working can help you achieve an office space that attracts new talent while creating more sustainable workflows for your existing team. By 2020, organizations implementing a choose-your-own work style will boost retention rates by more than 10%.


Cultivate Trust

ABW is ideal for teams and organizations that prioritize self-management. Because there’s slightly less visibility than in a traditional office space, ABW shows your team that you trust them enough to take care of business without needing to be micromanaged.


Elevate Productivity

With ABW, you empower your team with the freedom to choose how and where they work. When you give your employees the key to their own success, they more actively take responsibility for their work, decisions, and mistakes. When employees feel in control of their work-life, they care more about mission-critical tasks, which can increase productivity. In fact, 65% of surveyed workers agreed that having collaborative spaces for smaller groups increases productivity. 


Reduce Operating Expenses

Transitioning to ABW can help cut out inefficient workflows and other barriers to communication that slow your organization down. For example, National Grid, a British utility company, reduced operating costs by $11.43 to $14.29 million each year by deploying an ABW platform. 


Want to Learn More?

If you’re ready to explore the possibilities of what an ABW office space could look like for your organization, contact the experts at DESIGN+BUILD today. 

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