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Why are we going for an activity-based workplace?

 

Activity-based working has been a hot topic in the workplace related sphere for a while. Obviously, we don’t want to fall behind. As we speak Meetio is actually in the middle of making the switch to ABW. You could say that if we were an actor, our preparation before a performance would be method acting. We are doing this, not only to increase collaboration but to understand the needs and pains of our customers. We do realize that this might sound crazy, so we thought we’d let our CEO and COO explain why and how this is happening. 

Psst. Haven’t heard about ABW before? Read up on it here. 


The idea came up naturally

The idea had been cooking for a while here at Meetio and you might think the switch was initiated by top management – but that’s not the entire truth.  

– We had been talking about an activity-based workplace for some time. But our own journey actually started organically. We noticed that our coworkers invented new collaborative spots around the office on their own and after that, we decided to have a town hall meeting to discuss it - Andreas Lännerberg, CEO Meetio.


In that meeting, the entire office sat down together and spoke about what ABW would mean and how we could actually implement it to everyone’s satisfaction. 

– At Meetio we still have the privilege of being a smaller organization. Which means we had the chance to get the entire staff on board, get a much larger buy-in. That in itself makes the change easier - Johannes Bolvede, COO Meetio. 


Where do we want to go?

We are going to be honest with you, far from everyone was (and still isn’t) positive to ABW. And we have received the question more than once about why we’re actually doing this.

– I believe that it’s problematic to talk about an end goal when talking about ABW. It’s a living thing, constantly developing and therefore there’s no final stop for us to get off on. We’ll keep going and do what we can to refine it as we go. It’s not a way to decorate, it’s a way of working - Johannes.


Successful implementation of ABW could have a lot of benefits, both short term and in the long run.  Making this switch is not about keeping up to date on the latest trends. It’s rather about questioning the traditional ways of working.

– We want to break barriers and give everyone better conditions to do their job in the best way they can. Being tied to the same desk everyday inhibits your ability to solve problems more creatively and foremost collaborate with your coworkers. People seem to think that ABW will create chaos but it’s actually been less noise and shouting around here now - Andreas. 

Bumps in the road

One of the biggest challenges when making the switch to an activity-based workplace is getting everyone on board. So before you initiate this kind of change you need to establish it with the entire office – and that could really be a handful. Not to forget there are practical challenges as well… 

– Dimensioning, as well as technology, are big challenges. For example, we use Mac and PC here which means we needed to find an interface that works everywhere. You need to figure out everything from what type of technology to what kind of surfaces you need, although that problem isn’t just tied to ABW. It exists in every office, but it’s made more visible when making the switch - Andreas.

 

What advice would you give others?

– Don’t make assumptions. Use the information, feedback from coworkers and data that you have and make decisions about the space based on that. The biggest reason why some companies are unsuccessful in this is that they make too many guesses that don’t resonate with reality. And make sure you anchor the benefits and get a lot of engagement from your coworkers before you start - Johannes 

 

We are just in the starting pits for our ABW journey but we’re thrilled to see the result of it.
Meetio goes ABW – to be continued!

 

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