A buzz word in commercial office space and a growing trend internationally especially in larger organisations is broken down by Wikipedia as follows:

Activity Based Working (ABW) is a transformational business strategy that provides people with a choice of settings for a variety of workplace activities. Rather than forcing individuals to undertake all their work at one setting, such as a fixed desk or within a designated cubicle, ABW seeks to encourage people to physically locate themselves where it is most suitable for them to complete their work. Spaces are designed to create opportunities for a variety of workplace activities from intense, focused work to impromptu and informal meetings or more formal meetings.

The activity‐based office concept of the modern office is set to increase productivity through the stimulation of interaction and communication while retaining employee satisfaction and reducing the accommodation costs. Although some research has gone into understanding the added value, there is still a need for sound data on the relationship between office design, its intentions and the actual use after implementation.

The concept of activity-based workplace has been widely adopted by a growing number of organisations as a solution to improve office space efficiency. However, the question of whether or not office workers’ comfort or productivity are compromised in the pursuit of space efficiency hasn’t been fully investigated. There are obstacles and issues of concern when practicing the activity-based office concept.

A study carried out in activity-based workplace settings reports that employees without an assigned desk complain of desk shortages, difficulty finding colleagues which limits immediate collaboration, wasted time finding and setting-up a workstation, and limited ability to adjust or personalise workstations to meet individual ergonomic needs.

To create a successful work environment it’s important to have insight into the demands and behaviours of the employees using this environment. There are three pillars that support a new way of working, based on the philosophy of Activity-based working. These are the behavioral, virtual and physical environment of our work environment, which can be linked to our working processes, Human Resources, IT and Facility Management in our work environment.

Source: Wikipedia, May 2017