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ABW and the extended workplace

Activity-Based Working and the Future of Smart Working

Our Open Session for both Members and Non-Members on May 27th 2021 examined what Activity-Based Working (ABW) is and its central contribution to smarter and more agile ways of working. Under the microscope were the factors that make for the best implementations, and how the concept and design principles should evolve in a world where many more people will be working outside the collective workplace.

There was also some challenge to some of the assumptions drawn from the old work of work that seem to be gaining ground when people talk about “hybrid working” and “the new normal”.

Watch the video of the whole meeting (1.5 hours)

Here are the speakers and links to presentations (where available):

Activity-Based Working – Past Present and FutureRoel Geenen, Managing Partner and Marco van Gelder, Senior Consultant, Veldhoen + Company.

Veldhoen + Company were the original pioneers of the concept of Activity-Based Working (ABW), and have a compelling story to tell about how ABW has evolved over the years and where we should be heading. Roel and Marco believe that an activity-based approach can help organisations become adaptable and build the capabilities needed to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable world.

Where are we now with ABW and homeworking? With pointers to the future from the Leesman dataDr. Peggie Roth, Chief Insights & Research Officer, Leesman.

The Leesman Index is the largest dataset of benchmarking data for office environments, and over the past year they have conducted a parallel investigation into the experience of homeworking. So what kinds of workplaces perform the best, and how does homeworking compare? And what can we learn from this for the future design of work and workplaces?

You can find the presentation here.

ABW, Smart Working and the Extended Workplace – rethinking historic assumptions – Andy Lake, Founder Smart Work Network and Director,

Andy argued that we need to abandon historic assumptions about the collective workplace, as a  place separate from home and the rest of life. Instead we need to factor in all the other places people work as being of equal value. This will – or should – have quite profound impacts on not only how workplaces are designed, but also how homes, public spaces and third-party workspaces are designed too.

You can find Andy’s presentation here.

Best Practice Recommendations – The required settings and workstyles from physical, digital and human perspectives – Philip Vanhoutte, Founder of the European Smart Work Network, Founder of Ozadi, and former MD of Plantronics Europe.

Philip examined the kinds of settings needed in future ABW environments, starting from the workstyles involved and a close understanding of the nature of work. This involves breaking down the different kinds of activities we undertake and their requirements for different kinds of spaces – wherever people are working.

You can find Philip’s presentation here.

Panel session 

Following the speaker sessions, for the remainder of the meeting there was a lively open Q&A session for participants to put their comments, questions and ideas to all the speakers.

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