Enhancing interaction. Face-to-face interactions are critical for the exchange of ideas and information within organizations. ABW can help to promote such interactions by providing inviting meeting areas and effective collaboration spaces. Furthermore, the concept of free seating increases the likelihood that employees will rub shoulders with people other than those from their own team. It should be noted, however, that internal team interactions may suffer in ABW concepts as teams no longer necessarily sit togetheralthough the creation of team zones can help with this (see page 67).It is often argued that sitting is the new smoking Attracting new generations of staff which isnt true because smoking is far worseThe attraction and retention of new generations of staffbut prolonged sitting does hurt peoples health. Activity-based working can contribute to a (referred to as Millennials, Generation Y, or Gen Z) is oftenhealthier workstyle as the concept promotes given as an objective of ABW. The reasoning is that amovement and typically offers ergonomic dynamic and vibrant ABW office will be more appealingworkplace solutions like sit-stand desks.to this group than a dull traditional office with outdated furniture and a hierarchical set-up. That is probably true, but this objective requires some nuance. It is not so much the sharing of workspace that younger generations are interested in (research suggests the opposite), but more 12, 13the general notion of flexibility in terms of hours and work-at-home options. 14, 15Improving health and well-beingActivity-based working can be linked to health and well-being in the sense that it gently encourages people to move around the office. More movement and changes in posture can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, chronic back problems and other office diseases. In addition, an ABW concept may positively affect peoples sense of well-being by giving them more control over their work environmentalthough it must be said that a causal link with well-being is hard to prove (see page 29).Q&AHarald V. Nikolaisen, Director General of StatsbyggWhat is the strategic relevance of ABW for publicchanging business conditions.Perhaps this makes it organizations like yours? easier to achieve ABW in the private sector. In the public ABW allows flexibility for the organization when it comessector, we struggle to overcome employee anxiety and to space utilization, while simultaneously reducing realresistance to change. estate costs. Flexible working environments reduce the property footprint and support sustainability. TheyIs the concept part of the plans for the future accommodate more informal meetings and therebygovernment quarter in Oslo?create a culture of collaboration. The physical solutionsYes. For the first time Statsbygg has been given a are part of organizational development, managementmandate to test ABW as a workplace concept. The and technology, not isolated projects. emphasis is on variation and freedom of choice, rather than a personal desk for everyone. But from the start this Is there a difference between public and privatehas been the subject of a debate that is still ongoing, so organizations when it comes to ABW? we do not yet know the final outcome. Many private companies are better at meeting the expectations of younger employees looking for newAre you planning to give up your own office?ways of working. These companies are keenly aware ofWhat office? I gave up my office ages ago! I work inoperating costs and alert to the benefits of conceptsan open plan workspace and enjoy being close tothat can accommodate more people and adapt tomy colleagues. 25