Using space to support collaboration
3 Tips for Successful Activity Based Working Implementation
- Create team neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods are a range of work settings, considering the different activities that employees undertake, catering for all types of work to be completed by that team. For the sales team neighbourhood, it could involve isolating noisy sales reps who are only in the office for a limited time each week, and only require a desk space for 1-2 hours a day where they will not distract other members of the team like their support staff who are working on proposals for the sales team. An employee has a specific point where their locker and storage is, this results in an agile approach that allows employees to be mobile to move within zoned neighbourhoods.
- Design for balance between different workspaces. Determine the right mix of flexible working spaces, private working areas and breakout spaces for collaboration. Lawyers may want private space where they can meet clients and discuss confidential matters. The HR team will need a soundproof meeting room for discussing confidential and sensitive information. Some employees may prefer to work from the kitchen/café area, whilst another may want an assigned desk. Some spaces to consider including to maintain a balanced workspace:
- Private Spaces: Everyone wants privacy at some point during their workday, whether it’s to make a private phone call or to eliminate distraction and improve concentration. Collaboration Areas:
- Meeting Space: These can be both informal and formal spaces for client and internal meetings.
- Breakout Spaces: Often adjacent to kitchen and café areas. Provides a space for people to eat lunch, read, check emails and function area for Friday drinks.
- Print and mail room facilities: Collating and storage area. A great week to encourage employees to store excess paper and stationery in a dedicated space, rather than their desk.
- Workstations: Workstations will make up a part of a neighbourhood. These could be touchdown spaces for remote staff or height adjustable workstations.
- Use the right technology to support change and new ways of working. A shift to Activity Based Working needs to be supported by the correct technology to allow employees to move freely in different workspaces. Think about the following technology to get right for your space:
- Laptops and tablets: Laptops and tablets are critical for Activity Based Working and can be used in any work setting in the space.
- Remote access: Activity Based Working also includes employees who may home and remote working. To make ABW for these employees, you will need remote access to the business operating systems, like servers and CRM’s.
- Wifi connectivity: The Wifi coverage in your new workspace needs to be very strong for employees working in a variety of settings every day, and who do not plug into a data point.
- Go Cloud Based: Store company information and files on the cloud, ensuring they are available to whoever needs them, wherever they need them.
- Telephones: Mobile phones allow staff to work remotely and from various locations within a workspace. A traditional desk phone limits the flexibility of employees, and it should be considered whether the company should use mobile only.