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Reinventing the office with activity based working

PM News
June 24, 2014

A survey conducted by Amicus Interiors in conjunction with Microsoft has shown more than seven in 10 organisations have “an understanding and appreciation for” activity based working (ABW), which sees the fitout of an office follow a design that is more conducive to the main functions of the business.

“It can positively impact workplace productivity,” said Andrew Holder, CEO of Amicus Interiors. “Technology is rapidly changing and businesses are adopting strategies where staff have the flexibility to work out of the office and from a number of devices. These changes are core to ABW.”

The changing role of technology in the workplace and the introduction of services such as the cloud, social collaboration technologies and integrated communication systems, including centralised document management have been at the forefront of adapting ABW.

According to Amicus, most survey participants worked in a combination of office and open plan spaces with more than 35% of respondents undertaking their last office fitout under a year ago. However, only 7% of those surveyed worked in an ABW space. Budget, IT limitations and staff not wanting an ABW environment were key reasons for its lack of implementation.

“Smaller companies are reluctant or have a lack of resources to implement it,” Holder noted, including changing workers’ attitudes towards ABW.

Several respondents noted that the current workplace culture was too difficult to change, with about a third indicating that staff wanted to keep their own desks and belongings, which made it difficult to justify why they should switch to an ABW workplace.

Awareness of the benefits of ABW was high, however, with almost eight in 10 respondents aware that the fitout of an office can have an impact on organisation’s productivity and culture and about two in three businesses looking to have a more collaborative and energetic dynamic in the workplace over the next two years.

Download the report [PDF]

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