There’s no denying the popularity of open office layouts: 70 percent of U.S. offices use open offices despite rising concerns over more distractions and less productivity. Before, open office space planning was the modern workplace solution to overcrowded cubicle environments. However, employees’ needs continue to change. Workers now crave the flexibility to work privately or collaboratively and creatively, depending on their projects. And thus, activity-based working emerged for office space planning. Keep reading to learn more about creating an office space for activity-based working.
What is Activity-Based Working?
Employees are different and usually fulfill a variety of tasks in a given workday. Activity-based working means providing the workers with several settings that they can choose to work from throughout their day. The office space planning should accommodate the workers’ needs to complete tasks, rather than designing the office space to fit the tasks alone. This type of office design boils down to giving employees the freedom to choose where and how they work. Unlike an open office, activity-based working office designs provide settings that encourage solo to duo to group work and can meet those varying needs quickly. Assigned seating is rare in activity-based working environments.
While some portions of the office can still look similar to an open office layout, there are some key additions and work zone divisions that optimize a workspace for activity-based working. Individual work pods or booths help with concentration. Employees can use these spaces to make work calls, have virtual meetings, or other focused private tasks.
Open offices can be known to generate a lot of noise distractions, especially given the expectation that they foster more collaborative work. Instead, activity-based working designs incorporate more conference rooms or group-work rooms to allow employees to work together in a separate space. As a result, these groups are less likely to distract others, and more space is available for scheduled or impromptu meetings.
Additionally, incorporating comfortable social spaces is vital to activity-based working. Having these relaxed spaces available encourages casual interactions among workers, often leading to idea sharing and collaboration. Further, some employees prefer working or meeting in an informal setting like a lounge or office kitchen. These settings can be more comfortable for them than working at a desk, and they may find the casual, less-structured atmosphere more conducive to creative thinking.
Benefits to Employees
The greatest advantage of designing an activity-based working office is that it caters to your introverted and extroverted employees. Companies should trust employees to know how to work that is most comfortable and successful for them. Providing employees with various work settings for individual work to larger group projects means everyone can get their tasks done without interfering with others. Workers regain a sense of control over their workday if they can move around and work in different settings to suit their workstyles.
Let Edwards & Hill Help Design Your Office
When considering the design of your new work environment, the number of options for office furniture can be overwhelming. Edwards & Hill can help you design and install the perfect office design for your facility. Edwards & Hill is a leading office, education, medical, and hospitality furniture provider with high-quality design and installation services for any style or scale. If you are ready to get your healthcare design started, contact us online or give us a call at 301-317-4250. For more furniture design tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Youtube.
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