Activity Based Working - An Improved Approach to Collaboration

If your company does not have the dynamic work environment you desire, consider a total restructuring of your work space. The technological boom has allowed for many new approaches to business, and one of these approaches calls for moving away from cubicles and working together in communal spaces. This methodology cultivates collaboration and productivity within your work space by creating a more social approach to "work." NEC Australia has invested into this approach, recently moving from their headquarters in Melbourne. The Melbourne headquarters was home to hundreds of cubicles and an individualistic work environment. Their new office is constructed with an emphasis on communal work spaces. They hope these spaces will nurture higher levels of collaboration and generate a more jubilant work environment.

Activity Based Workplace & Collaboration

The new headquarters has a variety of work spaces catered to different types of work; it was constructed for activity-based working. By equipping staff members with mobile computers and cellular devices, workers can carry out their operations from anywhere within the new headquarters; they can work alone or together in this university campus-style environment. NEC Australia was able to make this transition because they trust their employees: "if you can trust people to produce a work outcome regardless of where they are working from, then you have a sound basis for adopting this as a principle", says sales manager Steven MacKenzie. So if your company has hard-working employees, activity-based work environments can allow for more collaboration and foster new ideas within your company. This can be a great way to organically kick-start your company in the right direction.

Activity-based working (ABW) compliments a company with a strong reliance on IT and technology. Flexible work practises allow for new technologies to be leveraged in different ways. Many of the IT applications made for businesses today will be more effective in this type of environment. With a new generation of young people coming out of colleges and universities, this work environment will become more suitable in the future and it can help a company fully harness the capabilities of technology today.

The ultimate goal of activity-based working is to improve productivity within a company. The consulting firm Veldhoen argues that when people are able to choose where to sit, they structure their day more productively. Veldhoen is a market leader in activity-based working, with the highest number of unique projects worldwide. Their mission is to work carefully crafting ABW plans for individual organisations while maintaining four primary goals in their ABW approach. These goals include saving square metres and reducing costs, creating freedom of choice in combination with cost savings, promoting organisational changes that foster collaboration, and making organisational changes at every level. They operate in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the UK, making organisational changes to improve total business productivity.

Productivity and collaboration go hand-in-hand. With the ABW approach to collaboration, your business can become exponentially more productive. It can also make your company a more desirable place to work for younger workers. Allow your company to propel into the future by considering a transition into an activity-based working environment.