Are you considering a transition to activity-based working? If yes, that’s great! At Meetio, we believe that ABW is a great way to improve productivity and employee satisfaction. But before you run off, let’s plan a bit. You need to prepare your transition – and we are here to help you!
To be successful with ABW you need to plan your workplace after the people in it. Otherwise the benefits you looked forward to will be lost.
Make a poll
Before you start planning the design of your new office, let’s hear what your employees have to say. Create a poll where you ask all the important questions as “When are you the most productive?”, “In what environment do you feel most comfortable?” and “What type of environment do you miss at the office today?”. By doing that you will get a clear answer of what types of workplace areas you need to add to your coming office.
Visualize your new workplace
The next step is to begin to visualize the new workplace. Depending on what type of business you’re in you might need more or less meeting areas – both formal and informal – or quiet space. The whole point with ABW is to have spaces that suits all type of work. Not the easiest thing to fulfill but with detailed planning you will succeed.
What type of spaces should be included in your sketch?
Desk space – when discussing ABW many just visualize stand-up tables and cozy sofa areas. Don’t forget that in order to be productive, most people need to sit down and focus. For some it might mean a quiet space ideal for focused work, others might want to have the buzzing sound of people around them that the open floor plan provides.
Individual space – small spaces where your employees can close the door behind them and be alone for a while. Individual spaces can be all from phone booths to small huddle rooms.
Storage – ABW usually means flexible seating. Your employees will therefore need place to store their stuff when their day is done.
Informal meeting areas - Not all meetings need to be conducted in classic meeting rooms. In fact, quick meetings as stand-up meetings are benefiting from not being held in closed meeting rooms. Create lounge areas with sofas, comfortable chairs or stand-up tables and you will be off to a great start.
Meeting rooms – This is a no-brainer.
Non-working areas – If you want your workplace to be a place where your employees can hang out and have a good time, don’t forget to include non-working areas. This can be a nice-looking lunchroom, lounge areas made for relaxation or why not a pleasant terrace outside.
How much space that should be spared to each category depends on the size of your organization, what kind of business you’re in and the result of the poll.
Find the right tech
Hello, this is the modern era calling. Today there is an abundance of different tools to use to ease your workday. What you need to do is to single out what you need to make your workplace work for you, and not the opposite.
If you for example are considering hot desking, you will need some sort of hot desking solution. It’s always important to visualize if a desk, room or phone booth is occupied or not. If your workplace is big maybe you need digital signage to show where there is free desks or free rooms, without your employees needing to walk around looking. Think about what challenges you might face and work from them.
Go for one area at the time
Big changes rarely happen overnight and depending on if you’re moving to a new office or re-arrange your old one you will have two entirely different situations. If you’re moving, everything will be new for your employees, and you will have the chance to make a proper onboarding. If you’re changing your old office there might be some other challenges
Start by changing one area at the time. If you have an open floor plan today, start off by putting in some phone booths and create a lounge area. If you’re buying in on new tech you will have a golden moment to onboard the new tech and educate on how to use it in ABW manner.
You can always rearrange again, and again, and again
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, that’s just how it is. Maybe you get indications that an area isn’t being used by your employees or another area might be to small. Happily, you can always go back and change what needs to be changed. You’re never finished, but that’s also the charm, right?