Insights by Diem on Activity-Based Office Design for Success and Productivity

Our member, Diem, share valuable insights on Activity-Based Working, highlighting its benefits for employee satisfaction and productivity.

They emphasise the importance of flexible office environments that cater to different work modes throughout the day. Diem advocates for varied office setups to support focus, collaboration, social interaction, and learning.

What is Activity-Based Working?

Activity-Based Working (ABW) recognises that different office tasks require different setups throughout the day. It allows employees to choose when, where, and how they work, promoting a flexible office environment. This approach offers various office arrangements to suit different activities and tasks during the workday.

4 Basic Modes of Working:

Office spaces should cater to the following four working modes, meeting their distinct needs:

Focus: Semi-private rooms for intensive work and one-on-one discussions. Quiet spaces with minimal distractions, easily accessible.

Collaborate: Meeting spaces for formal and informal knowledge sharing. Areas for face-to-face or virtual discussions and co-creation.

Socialise: Spaces for informal interaction and social bonding. Includes coffee corners, social areas, and break rooms.

Learn: Flexible spaces for concept development, problem-solving, teaching, and applying knowledge.

Activity-Based Office Design Elements:

Workstation Areas

Workstation areas are crucial in ABW. Open workstations promote teamwork and communication, while semi-open workstations provide semi-private spaces for individual focus and team interaction, separated by low partitions.

Focus & Study Rooms

Focus rooms are quiet, isolated spaces for intensive work, suitable for one or a few people. Similarly, study rooms or libraries are designed for long, in-depth work with rules to maintain silence.

Acoustic Booths & Project Rooms

Acoustic booths are small, soundproof spaces for phone calls, video conferences, or private conversations, reducing noise and ensuring privacy. Project rooms are larger, flexible spaces for team projects, equipped with collaborative tools like whiteboards and projectors.

Kitchenettes & Coffee Spots

Kitchenettes or coffee spots are small kitchen areas for preparing coffee, tea, and snacks, ideal for breaks and socialising.

Storage, Printers & Lockers

Organised storage areas are essential for keeping office equipment, materials, and files easily accessible. Printer areas, separate from workspaces, house printers, copiers, and scanners to reduce noise and traffic. Lockers provide secure storage for personal belongings, crucial in flexible and shared workspaces.

Lobbies & Refreshment Areas

Lobbies are welcoming areas for visitors, reflecting the office’s image with seating and reception desks. Food and beverage areas, such as canteens or cafeterias, provide large seating areas for lunch and relaxation, fostering social interaction.

Seating Areas

Special seats and sofas offer quiet, isolated seating for individual work or small group meetings, featuring comfortable chairs and sofas. Huddle areas are designed for small group meetings, brainstorming sessions, or quick interviews, equipped with flexible seating and technology.

Standing Workplaces

Standing workplaces, with high desks or adjustable workstations, increase mobility and reduce the negative effects of prolonged sitting. These are suitable for short-term work or quick meetings.

Small Meeting Rooms

Small meeting rooms, designed for meetings of 4-6 people, come equipped with basic meeting tools like tables, chairs, and screens. Larger meeting rooms accommodate 10-20 people, equipped with advanced technology, video conferencing systems, and flexible seating, making them suitable for presentations and training sessions.

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