Activity based working (ABW)

What is activity based working (ABW)?

Activity-based working (also known by the abbreviation ABW) is an office concept that is characterised by a change from the classic, firmly defined office to a flexible office landscape. The idea - and the name says it all - is that the activities surrounding a job or its workplaces are the focus of the solutions chosen in each case.

Behind these developments is the assumption that the full performance and creativity of employees cannot be exploited in the usual open-plan office. This thesis led to an organisational and architectural departure from the open-plan office in order to create open spaces that make agile and successful work feasible.

The emergence of activity-based working

Activity-based working (ABW) did not emerge ad hoc, but developed gradually and has now become an integral part of the modern working world. The starting point for ABW were models by two US architects: Phillip Stone and Robert Luchetti began to develop office solutions without fixed workplaces in the 1970s.

The two creators of activity-based working (ABW) underlined this trend with a striking slogan: "Your Office Is Where You Are". Flexible choice of workplaces, according to the basic assumption of the concept, makes it possible for every employee to live out his or her competence and creativity with the best efficiency and ideal success (also for the company).

Activity based working and New work

There were, of course, a few intermediate stages to complete before today's activity-based working (ABW). It all started with a change to loose office landscapes. These were gradually replaced by a highly flexible and individually usable open space concept. Activity Based Working (ABW) is the icing on the cake of these developments, promoting varied and attractive workplaces.

The variety of options covers the range of different activities that employees perform. For phone calls or meetings, creative work or even breaks, the employee chooses the appropriate environment. And this choice is always something individual.

Office concepts with desk sharing, hot desking, etc.

Different office concepts are precisely integrated into activity-based working (ABW). Typical examples from today's working world include desk sharing, hot desking and home office (remote work). All of these support the implementation of agile working in the company. Activity-based working (ABW) also has hierarchical consequences, because the rules of the concept apply from the boss to the trainee.

In order not to hinder a rapid change of workplaces, personalised workplaces are abolished and the concept of clean desks is followed. For some employees, this part of the concept is a disadvantage. A high level of digitalisation around the paperless office is still typical, as well as smart working time models that offer a first-class work-life balance.

Activity based working software

The organisation of activity-based working (ABW) needs suitable software - also as an app. This is associated with a valuable range of convincing advantages for employees and companies. First of all, employees can book workplaces digitally and thus very easily via workplace booking. An overview clearly shows which workplaces are free and which are currently occupied.

The software also makes it easy to research where a particular staff member is at any given time. This tracking supports the efficiency of operations. Through the Venue Management Software Locaboo, on the one hand, the model of activity based working (ABW) is supported and, on the other hand, efficient working.

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