SUMMARYACTIVITY-BASED WORKING (ABW)WHAT IS IT? WHAT DOES RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT ABW?Activity-based working (ABW) is a way of working in whichThere is a lot of scientific research available on ABW, employees make shared use of a diversity of work settingsbut it does not provide any simple or definitive answers that have been designed to support different kinds ofabout whether ABW is good or bad. The overall picture, activities (hence the name activity-based).however, is that ABW can work very well, provided it is implemented and executed properly.There are three crucial elements to this definition:Research observationsDiversityUsers tend to be quite happy with ABW, especially with The office provides a diversity of work settings to supportrespect to the increased interaction and freedom of choice;different kinds of activities and work styles.The main complaints about ABW concern distractions and a lack of privacy;SharingYounger workers tend to be more positive about ABW than All work settings are available to everyone. By sharingolder ones, but the differences are small;workspaces, it is possible to provide a greater diversity of ABW can have a positive impact on staff interaction, settings while at the same time saving square metres.especially across teams; Peoples switching behaviour is often limited, in which A way of working case people do not exploit ABWs full potential;ABW is a way of working and not just a design concept. The ABWs impact on productivity is difficult to prove, but core idea is that employees work in a mobile and flexiblepeoples self-rated productivity can rise; fashion, making their own decisions as to where and when The ABW concept can have a positive impact on peoples to perception, probably because the concept gives them a sense of control over their work environment; ABW favours jobs that are characterized by a high level of WHY DO IT? autonomy, interaction and mobility;There is an obvious financial incentive for adopting ABW, Peoples satisfaction depends not just on job type, but as the concept allows organizations to make better usealso on their personality traitspeoples personal need for of their office space. Just as important, however, is theprivacy is particularly important.concepts aim to empower employees by giving them Success is not a given. Making ABW work requires more control over where and when careful implementation, excellent execution, and strong they work. management commitment.Benefits for the organization: Reduced occupancy costs Smaller environmental footprint Increased flexibility Better interaction across teams Potential improvement in staff performance Support for cultural changeBenefits for employees: More autonomy in choosing where to work More choice and variety in work settings Advanced technologies that facilitate mobile working More contact with colleagues Fewer hierarchical differences A less sedentary, healthier workstyleFewer but better workplaces4