What is Activity Based Working?

What is activity based working you ask? Let’s start off by first stating that “Activity based working” and “Agile working” are terms that tend to be used interchangeably. Both describe different ways of working that enable people to choose where, when and how they work. Employees are able to choose according to their needs and the needs of the team. What exactly is activity based working? It is the working style that frees up space, provides an appropriate range of places to work and helps get maximum usage from each type of space.

The underlying concept is that employees no longer “own” a specific desk in the office. Instead, they are empowered to choose different types of spaces for them to undertake particular tasks. Activity based working has been a management concept for over 40 years, and in the experience of Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), can lead to significant improvements in working process that involve collaboration, productivity, efficiency, sociability and more.

How to implement Activity Based Working

Planning the implement this type of work? Activity based working requires a certain level of commitment and engagement from staff and/or departments. For the change management strategies to be effective and for the overall transition to be a success, a dedication to the cause must be embedded into the employee cultures, behaviours and processes. Additionally, the right support and workplace options must be available to spreed up adoption. For example, if flexible working is introduced as part of the new activity based working style, then it is important have the proper office design and policies to support the change.

When to Implement Activity Based Working

Organisations typically consider activity based working when faced with a real estate event. Commonly, in the event of a lease break or in response to “running out of office space” in their existing location. These situations provide an opportunity to think differently work settings and the way in which space is used.

Commonly, AWA workplace consultants find that workplace utilisation studies show that often only 50% of the workspace is being used. There fact shows an opportunity for incredible cost reduction in real estate. The transition is an opportunity to re-evaluate workplace options and the future workplace strategy. For example, if an improvement in workplace productivity is sought, then activity based working could certainly be a worth considering?

Finally it is important to consider the future of work and what it may look like. Activity based working can open up exciting new processes, experiences and office design ideas. To achieve success, employee’s should be placed at the heart of the process. This way of working is dedicated to helping employees achieve their best work every day.


We help implement, maintain or train for activity based working. For more information, contact an AWA workplace consultant. We help you to deliver the appropriate approach for your specific workforce. For more information, email info@advanced-workplace.com.