If the phrase “Activity-Based Office Workspace” rings a bit like a corporate buzzword – well, you actually aren’t that far off-base.
Its concepts take a unique shared-workspace concept and extends its core concept to a larger scale. The practice of “hot-desking” pairs two or more employees with a limited desks or workstations geared for shared, drop-in or rota usage. The principle holds that, since sequestered individual offices and desks create hierarchical strata, barriers to communication and a sense of collaborative unity, dictating that employees cooperate in the same physical space will herd senior employees, managers and perceived underlings onto a level playing field. Mobile technology keeps everyone tapped into ongoing communiques and people sit where they choose or where they’re able.
Activity-based office workspace makes the concept even more kinetic and fluid. Employees are meant to collaborate and mingle their inspirations by constantly moving among the office environment. Working in a new area or beside a new neighbor is ultimately conducive to fresh ideas and more fleshed-out perspectives while keeping people productive through ongoing, perpetual motion.
In the end, though, how does it really benefit the office culture as a whole? Well…
- Mobile Flexibility
From managers and higher-ranking leadership to entry-level employees, there are no boundaries. It’s like the difference at a concern between reserved seating and first-come-first-served general admission: you make the best of what’s around when you hit the office. Employees aren’t so much jockeying a desk as making themselves comfortable atop a stool, like they might at a pub or coffeeshop.
With so much mobile technology now fully integrated specifically to foster effective on-the-go-anywhere communication, staying in touch with anyone is actually quite easy – so much so, being able to find someone to talk to them when needed is really no longer a solid justification for static desks and cubicle. Cloud computing means that everyone has access to the same data everywhere, so it’s no longer even a matter of needing a certain hard drive or console – provided that especially sensitive information is laced with appropriately fortified security measures on all networks and devices.
Remember, activity-based office workspace is essentially a traditional office stripped of its walls. Without the boundaries, customization horizons for your environment are limitless, provided that your choices optimize activity, collaboration, and productivity across a variety of activities.
You might arrange a mix of team desks and telephone booths set apart from quiet concentration rooms and a large meeting room. Some prefer to mesh meeting tables and brainstorm areas with stand-up working stations, multimedia rooms, and a lounge area. The real key is to link everything into a fast, dependable wireless network for sharing information equally between co-workers and management working side-by-side in each space.
All in all, the most important concern is to ask yourself what will help you best carry out your task with access to the right resources. An activity-based office workspace gives you that freedom to adapt between quiet time in a library for perfect concentration, brainstorming over coffee, or something as simple as taking calls standing up in order to keep them brief and keep your thoughts sharp.
- Reduced Costs
That brings us to what arguably makes activity-based working most attractive to management: it cuts down required office space by somewhere in the 30% neighborhood. It is an incredibly sustainable strategy that cost-effectively improves productivity, creativity, and collaboration. Desks aren’t empty often – if one is unoccupied for whatever reason, someone else has the discretion to jump on and make use of the space. It’s a far preferable approach to needlessly spending thousands of dollars each year furnishing and maintaining individual workstations.