6 Steps to Switch Your Business to Activity Based Working

activity based working main image


What is Activity Based Working?

media center meeting spaceActivity Based Working, also known as agile working, is the idea that employees do not have traditional assigned seating, allowing employees to sit in an environment that is compatible to their working style or their workplace activity.

Activity based workspaces are designed to create effortless transitions when individuals need to go from intense focus work to a quick collaborative zone, and everywhere in between. It all depends on the tasks at hand.

Step 1 – Finding the best time to implement Activity Based Working

The best time for the switch is if your business is facing, or will be facing:

  • Lease event
  • Strategy Change
  • Expansion
  • Merger or Acquisition
  • Change in Leadership
  • Change in Culture
  • Refurbishing & Relocation
  • New product launches / teams
  • Technology Improvements


Step 2 – Building a change team

Switching to activity based working is a big job for one person. Building a team that can work together will make the transition as smooth as possible, but you should always have a leader that has the following traits:

  • Passionate about Activity Based working
  • Influencer
  • Motivated
  • Highly Organized
  • Great Communicator
  • Knows your business in-side-out
  • Multitasker (they must be able to maintain their current position as well)
  • Great at sticking to budget
  • Qualified and trusted to make decisions.

Who else should be included in the team?

  • CEO
  • Finance Director
  • IT Director
  • Operations Director
  • Human Resources
  • Facilities Manager
  • Office Manager
  • Workplace Strategist Consultant
  • Designer


Step 3 – Conducting the appropriate research

combined agile workspaceGoals 

It is important to capture the objectives, projections and goals of a business through an outline brief. The drivers of the project should be identified, which could range from creating a high-performance workplace and rationalizing space usage, to enabling a higher level of occupancy.

Space Occupancy Study

A space occupancy study (SOS) gathers physical data based upon current workplace performance. It enables analysis of how often and how well meeting rooms, cellular offices, break out and general support areas, and room booking systems are being utilized.

Discovery Workshops

Once the SOS has been conducted the staff interviewing process can be started to ensure the data gained in the SOS is valid.

Staff Surveys

The interviews will be followed up with an anonymous staff survey. This can take the form of a paper based questionnaire or an email link to an electronic survey form.

Step 4 – Factors to consider when switching to Activity Based Working

Costs Technology HVAC Policy Changes
Workplace Consultant Wifi Hot/cold zones HR policies
Utilization Study Laptops & tablets Good lighting Homeworking policies
Staff Survey Everything on the cloud Heating and ventilation IT policies/protocols
Design Costs Remote access Sustainability Office etiquette
Delivery & Implementation Video conferencing capabilities Management by results
Occupancy Costs Telephony Critical meetings
IT Investments Follow me printing Working hours
Furniture Disability requirements
HR Costs

Step 5 – Choosing the best design for Activity Based Working

activity based working open officeAs your employees will no longer have their own desk space it is vital that you evaluate your spatial needs when switching to Activity Based Working. Get a very detailed breakdown of staff requirements by department, team and individual. A good office designer should be able to get this for you.

Ask yourself a few questions. How many people do you have to accommodate? Who needs to be at a desk and who can be more flexible? Calculate your current and future size, capacity and usage needs for the following:

  • Workstations, bookable and non-bookable
  • Reception area
  • Meeting rooms, bookable and non-bookable
  • Presentation suites
  • Social spaces for team interaction
  • Café area for eating
  • Collaboration zones
  • Video and teleconferencing facilities
  • Informal drop down space
  • Brainstorming spaces
  • Concentrating spaces
  • Phone booths
  • Large tables to spread out papers
  • Training rooms
  • Copy/print facility
  • Storage spaces
  • Individual lockers
  • Lounge and break room

Once you have a good idea of all the design elements you will need it is time to get your designer to help you produce:

  • Concept drawings to visualize what it can look like
  • 3D walkthroughs to show stakeholders exactly how it will end up looking.
  • A full layout including all design elements.
  • Involve the marketing team and Workplace Strategist in agreeing on a color scheme that reflects your brand and identity
  • Look for ways to maximize sustainability and energy efficiency.

Furniture is a very important part of activity based working. It’s vital that you give staff spaces that help them work flexibly.

  • Good desk and chairs
  • Collaborative furniture
  • Acoustic seating
  • Soft seating that creates privacy
  • Flexible furniture
  • Furniture with integrated power
  • Tables to spread out papers


Step 6 – Measuring the benefits of Activity Based Working

Quantitative Qualitative
Reduced rental costs Increased collaboration
Ability to consolidate locations Ability to get projects across the line quicker
Reduced churn costs Better access to leadership
Energy savings Less reliance on paper documentation
Improved space utilization A clearer understanding of the strategic direction of the organization
Extended life of assets Improved staff engagement and involvement
Improved product cycle times
Positive impact on human performance
Financial performance
Overall organization performance
Reduced dilapidation liabilities

Free Office Space Plan & Interior Layout

Activity Based Workspace Design


* Free office layout plan if we receive a CAD file your office floor plan. Without one, we would need to travel to your offices for a site survey.

If you feel as if Activity Based Working is the direction your business wants to takes. Contact the Regalmark Team and we will help you with every step of the way!

Paul Waskey
Senior Business Manager

Ben Waskey
Project Consultant

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