In a recent report titled ‘Activity Based Working – The Hybrid Organisation: Buildings,’ –author Philip Ross – a commentator and consultant specialising in the impact of emerging technology on the world of work and the workplace – argues that ‘most of the assumptions and rules of the past are no longer valid.’
Work is becoming a process, not a place, and sustainability will be one of the key drivers of this change. In this day and age, as people are increasingly adopting flexible working schedules, it is not sustainable to have desks or offices empty. Nor is it sustainable to make commuting compulsory for employees, five days per week.
However, there are other drivers, such as technology innovation, that will really trigger change. First will come ‘the fast death of the desk phone,’ shortly followed by ‘the slow death of the individual desk’ reinforcing the notion that employees no longer need physical objects to call their own in an age of fast-paced workings and communications. Next will be ‘the death of distance,’ due to an increased preference for distributed and remote work. The idea of being present and being supervised will become a thing of the past.
To ‘identify’ this new way of working, Ross has coined the concept of ‘Activity Based Working’ (ABW) – ‘an approach to work that does not require a traditional office, but a hybrid environment that provides a place with shared amenities and spaces.’
And while it may still be some time until ABW is adopted by all organisations, it is clear is that many organisations already have adopted ‘new ways of working.’ Whether it be permitting BYOD technologies allowing for flexibility or remote-based working, or simply empowering and trusting employees to work on their own. Inevitably, the opportunity for a new, hybrid way of working is becoming perceptible, and it’s only a matter of time until it becomes an actuality.
To access the full report, please click here.
What are your thoughts on these new ways of working? Do you think ABW will become a reality sooner than later? What is your organisation doing to enable this kind of work environment?