Activity Based Working (ABW)

Work is no longer contained nor housed – ‘anywhere working’ is the new byword. Today people work from smart phones, tablets and laptops wherever they happen to be creating what is dubbed as the ‘Third Space’ – the most used space nowadays.  The idea of needing a personal space to call their own is becoming fiction for most firms as desk space and real estate becomes increasingly expensive.

The major costs in any business are staff related and real estate. With mounting commercial property rentals, businesses struggle to find offices to accommodate all of their staff in one location within budget targets.

Interestingly, recent reports cited that some of the best decisions have been made in the halls, lounges, cafeterias, breakout areas and lunchrooms of offices through social interaction. Truth be told, not all workers need desks, research has proven that only less than 40% of current employees need a desk to complete their work-related tasks. Another report showed that at any given time, less than 70% of the workstations in a regular office are occupied.

The logical destination is a concept called Activity Based Working (ABW). ABW is steadily emerging as the preferred platform for transformation and competitive advantage in organisations of all shapes, sizes and industries in leading nations including Australia.

ABW is a workspace approach where no occupant has an assigned desk, rather a ‘hybrid environment’ that provides a place for people with shared amenities and spaces. The workspace provides employees with a variety of settings that allow them to do specific tasks in a prescribed group of alternative work settings. The approach is mobile and employees are able to move within the building or zoned neighbourhoods.

A nomadic workforce and workplace like ABW is able to gain significant Return on Investment (ROI). These benefits include areas like:


  • 71% of staff reported an increase in performance;
  • 55% of staff reported being more productive;
  • staff reported they have better access to managers & work colleagues;
  • sick leave decreased from 9% to 2.5%.


  • 50% less space requirement;
  • 33% less construction & equipment costs;
  • cleaning & maintenance costs reduced.


  • 90% reported an increase in collaboration;
  • A reported increase in camaraderie & collegiality;
  • Improved staff satisfaction;
  • 93% said they wouldn’t go back to old way of working.


  • 50% power saving;
  • 50% water saving;
  • 36% paper saving.

*Figures taken from several case studies on the adoption of ABW

Should you like to find out more about the benefits of ABW and what it can achieve for your organisation contact ABW Australia for a personal consultancy or to attend one of our seminars.

Book an abw consultation today!