As technology continues to disrupt routines, the workplace is similarly evolving to meet the demand for greater productivity and collaboration in a fast-changing world. Employees are no longer tethered to their desks and the working environment is increasingly becoming an important part of people’s life experience. These changes are driving the emergence of a new workplace concept called Activity-Based Working (ABW), whereby the office environment becomes a reflection of a company’s culture and provides different work settings based on unique needs. ABW has gained significant traction elsewhere in the world and is now becoming increasingly popular in the Philippines where it is anticipated to address the ever-changing needs of the modern workforce.
While the traditional office assigns fixed desks to its employees, ABW is a revolutionary form of workplace strategy where technology and work-settings enable people to choose where, when and how they want to work most effectively. These work settings are aligned with pertinent tasks, be they the normal daily set of tasks, confidential and focused work, or collaboration. In each case, the office is made to work for its people, not the other way around.
Both employees and companies gain from ABW. Research by Australian firm Telsyte suggests that ABW can increase productivity by 16% and consequently translate to better profitability. According to a recent Knight Frank survey of clients with the ABW setup, ABW can optimize the use of existing office space through the effective deployment of collaborative areas, which naturally accommodate more people than traditional work environments.
ABW has been seen to increase the measurable benchmarks of productivity and efficiency; however, additional benefits highlighted by early adopters include the promotion of teamwork and interaction across differing employee groups, along with reduction of workplace stress and the general sense of empowerment around choice of place to work.
Joey Radovan, Vice-Chairman and Head of Occupier Services & Commercial Agency of Santos Knight Frank says: “The ABW revolution has already begun in the Philippines among a number of multinational companies which we helped set up. We predict a greater adoption of the concept next year as firms realize that they need to future-proof their workplace strategy and adjust to improve productivity in a fast-changing world.”
Rick Santos, Chairman and CEO of Santos Knight Frank says: “Technology is doing more of our work for us and affords us more time for creative innovation. The workplace, as an enabler, should be an environment that allows this. We no longer just ‘go to an office,’ but rather, we go to a workplace which drives our success.”
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