As the digital age has swept through the economy, it has had its effect on every industry and influenced almost every aspect within.
With personal computers allowing for people to work from anywhere with an internet connection, a natural shift in the traditional workplace dynamic has occurred.
Activity-based working is the result of the tech boom, innovative thinkers refusing to follow in the confines of an age already passed by.
In the activity-based working model, staff aren’t bound to a particular desk or office… They are free to work in any area of the workplace they choose. This new working dynamic shakes the old ways to their core, and although there may be some downsides, there are even more benefits.
One of the problems with working in a traditional working environment is that your creativity can get stuck, the lightning bolts of creative insight can truly fade away when you are stuck behind the tall walls of a grey cubicle.
With activity-based working, you are freeing up the creative juices, working in different environments and with different people, stimulating your mind and boosting creativity.
There is a phenomenon that occurs in workplaces, when employees are divided into separate teams. The separate teams become disconnected and there is often a break in communication due to this.
Activity-based working is on the polar opposite end to this, employees and teams are not isolated, they flow freely throughout the workplace, resulting in natural, unforced communication and exciting collaborations.
In traditional working environments, groups of employees tend to develop team habits, after all, we are creatures of habit. Although there are some benefits to this, as a working habit often solidifies because it’s something that has worked in the past. But we all know that industry is changing all the time.
In activity-based working, of course, you will still have repetitive patterns emerging, but the force of habit is much less strong, and with the flows, the ebb and flow of teams, changes in environments and thought processes, there is much less stagnation in coming up with new and innovative ideas and ways of engaging.
Another great thing about activity-based working is the constant change of environment. There is great potential in creating workplaces with interesting and inspiring work areas, places that will truly inspire the mind and plant the seed of innovation.
When planning for an activity-based working workplace, outdoor work places are something that can and should be planned in. They provide excellent respite for the mind… sunlight, fresh air and plants soothe and invigorate us, making us feel more connected.
Outdoor work spaces also double up as resting areas, allowing staff to relax, recharge and clear their minds… allowing for better focus at the tasks and challenges that lay ahead.
While the freedom of activity-based working has a lot of benefits, there are times when people just need to really buckle down and focus in quietude, this will be especially true of those with more introverted personalities.
Incorporating quiet rooms is a great way of creating areas of retreat, where staff can buckle down and focus without any distractions or extra stimuli.
Since activity-based working does not depend on fixed offices, you will need to ensure that staff have access to all of the essential office equipment, equipment such as; photocopiers, fax machines, printers etc.
Since changing to activity-based working is a decision which affects everyone in the workplace, it’s important to make sure everyone is on board. Hold group and one-on-one meetings, to gauge the feelings of staff. Also get opinions from staff of ideas and things to be considered.
Switching to activity-based working is a big move, and requires a lot of planning and research.
Look into other organisations which have implemented activity-based working, and use them as a case study. Find out what they did that was successful and any possible pitfalls to watch out for.
A detailed plan should be drawn out, including objectives and proposed workplaces and resources.
Subscribe to our mailing list
Join Hundreds of readers who have access to exclusive downloads and content