active based working

Activity Based Working Calls For a Special Type of Leader

Today’s leaders must be well-equipped to guide their people through the shifting landscape of how work gets done

While Activity Based Working (ABW) is fast becoming the global norm, there is still widespread misunderstanding about what the approach means for organisations and people. Views from both sides of the fence often misinterpret ABW as simply a means of reducing real estate costs or taking away people’s desks. Even those who champion the shift to an Activity Based Working model commonly ignore or dismiss the fact that how ABW is implemented is just as important as what design solution is provided.

Neuroscientific research reveals that change can be incredibly scary to the human brain. Despite the fact schools and universities are inherently founded on an Activity Based Working model, it usually doesn’t take long for some employees to be conditioned to view space as pockets of individual ownership and symbols of status. A shift towards an open, ABW model can cause employees to feel frustrated and resentful that their ‘slice of property’ has been forcefully removed. To combat resistance and ensure employees are engaged, educated and empowered, visionary leadership is crucial in managing how the change is communicated and implemented.

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As Tony Robbins once said, “Change is inevitable, progress is optional”. In today’s evolving corporate landscape, positive change and progress is only enabled by leaders who make the effort to help employees understand how a new workplace (and strategy) supports individuals, teams and the company as a whole to do great work and achieve their goals. Effective change leadership must overtake outdated change management tools in engaging and educating staff before, during and after the transition.

More broadly, changes in where and how people work requires leaders to forgo obsolete bureaucracy, company policies and rigid organisational charts. The next generation of workstyles will encourage leaders to take a flexible, trust-based and multi-disciplinary approach to how work is done. By partnering closely with IT & HR, leaders can implement effective strategies and tools for empowering employees to work in any location or time-zone.

Visionary organisational leaders of today are attuned to the future of work trends and discussions and commit to a user-centric approach, viewing change as an opportunity for progress and the workplace as an engaging, evolving service platform.

Read More +

> Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Workplace

> 3 Trends for Workplace Wellness

> 4 Millennial Driven Insights Influencing Next Generation Work Styles

> How Activity Based Working is helping to solve the privacy crisis

> Why you should Implement Activity Based Working in Your Workplace

3 Trends for Workplace Wellness

In 2018 and beyond, wellness takes centre stage in the workplace

Amongst the buzz words and trend predictions surrounding workplace design in 2018, wellness appears to be clearly at the top of the list. Corporate wellness programs have evolved significantly since they were first introduced and the focus has shifted away from issues such as smoking and weight loss. Organisations that want to attract and retain the best talent and maximise engagement and productivity, are acknowledging the powerful impact wellness promotion can have on their bottom line.

As Activity Based Working becomes more widely implemented and inherently promotes a user-centric, mobile working environment, corporate wellness programs are helping to augment this holistic approach to health & wellbeing in the workplace. Today’s forward-thinking organisations are aware that wellness encompasses numerous factors and isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. With most employees now working longer hours and regularly experiencing burnout, stress and distraction, the solution needs to address the quality of the physical environment as well as the individuals themselves.

In the realm of workplace wellness, there are three key standouts which will continue to gain popularity, and include mental health, sleep and food.

Better Mental Health

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With 84% of employees experiencing physical, psychological or behavioral symptoms of poor mental health, breaking the stigma of mental illness in the workplace has become essential. In the ABW workplace, it is imperative that employees are encouraged to balance interaction and solo time, with appropriate spaces and furniture to facilitate a range of activities and needs. Coupled with this are mental health programs that offer support for counseling, self-care and time away from work.

Quality and Quantity of Sleep

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The importance of good quality sleep and its effect on employee performance has led to the integration of education programs, more flexible working hours and even sleep challenges. While on-site nap rooms and sleep pods are still important, they are now part of a more holistic approach to tackling sleep deprivation and fatigue.

Healthy Food Options 

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The traditional office pantry has come a long way from the pokey, dark room offering coffee, tea and greasy, sugary snacks. Employees are far more likely to reach for health-conscious snacks and drinks if readily available, promoting more stable energy levels and better weight management. While barista-grade coffee is becoming more commonplace, the food and beverage offerings extend to healthy vending machines, water, fresh fruit and vegetables. Simply providing ample fridge space encourages staff to bring in food from home rather than resorting to local, fast food options. Ultimately, the break-out room is no longer considered a perk, but the foundation to a healthy work day. A well-lit, well-ventilated and well-designed space allows staff to recharge, connect (or disconnect) and make better choices about hydration and nutrition.

The corporate wellness industry continues to grow and promises exciting developments in health & wellbeing for employees.

 

Read More +

> Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Workplace

> Activity Based Working Calls For a Special Type of Leader

> 4 Millennial Driven Insights Influencing Next Generation Work Styles

> How Activity Based Working is helping to solve the privacy crisis

> Why you should Implement Activity Based Working in Your Workplace

 

 

4 Millennial-driven Insights Influencing Next Generations Workstyles

How we work is changing, but it’s not just about Millennials

Much has been written about the behavioural patterns of Millennials and their impact in the workplace. Google “Millennials in the Workplace” and 34 million results present varying opinions and data on everything from deciphering what they want, how to manage them, retaining them and what effect they are having on workplace culture. Interestingly, a Virtuali survey unveiled a staggering 91% of Millennials aspire to become leaders and believe they already have the skills required for leadership duties. While they have undoubtedly challenged how traditional office space is used and workplace culture is created, this cannot be attributed solely to Millennials. Rather than a particular demographic profile, major advancements in technology, structural economic changes and workstyle evolution have influenced how organisations occupy space and get work done.

According to a Steelcase study on Millennials, there are four key design principles to leveraging Millennial behaviour, which offer insight into the broader workstyle changes applicable to all demographics.

Design for Identity

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Workspaces must be socially conscious, promoting social connection and personalisation. Environmental sustainability is key and consideration of energy consumption, recycling, waste and lifecycle are essential. People demand wellness-focused work environments that boast recycled materials, green space, excellent air quality and plenty of natural light.

Design for Growth

Millennials particularly, want a coach, not a boss. They seek personal growth through mentoring and feedback opportunities. Spaces and furniture must be conducive to informal and non-hierarchical collaboration, with organisational transparency. The co-working and co-living industries are tackling this head-on, by empowering people who use their space rather than treating them as employees or customers

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Millennials particularly, want a coach, not a boss. They seek personal growth through mentoring and feedback opportunities. Spaces and furniture must be conducive to informal and non-hierarchical collaboration, with organisational transparency. The co-working and co-living industries are tackling this head-on, by empowering people who use their space rather than treating them as employees or customers

Design for Work-Life

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The boundaries of work and personal space/ time continue to blur. Employees work hard and often long hours but want flexibility and work-life integration, which differs from old notions of work-life balance. Zoned spaces must allow for a variety of work settings and relaxation. The design should be home-like and promote physical and mental wellbeing. Carefully curated amenities which merge business and leisure will continue to grow in popularity.

Design for Connections

Technology is a key driver for enabling connection and must be appropriately supported in all work settings, whether fixed or mobile. Mobile apps in the workforce will explode in coming years and technology infrastructure must be prepared to handle work and personal technology tools. Physical environments must leverage opportunities for social interactions, by removing barriers and enabling connection while providing control and seclusion when desired.

The global adoption of Activity Based Working, co-living and co-working varies, however with ABW fast becoming the global norm and co-working growth reaching almost 300% annually in some countries, organisations must promote multi-disciplinary approaches to enable their multi-generation workforce to perform best. While Millennial behaviour provides valuable insight into workstyle evolution, the secret to success is ultimately to be agile and focus on the long term needs of your business and people.

Source: 360 Steelcase

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