All About Activity-Based Work

Posted on May 30, 2024

For many of us, a typical day at the office used to mean spending most of the day at an assigned workstation. But as mobile devices and WiFi became more widely available, people no longer had to spend all day at assigned workstations. This gave offices the ability to get a lot more flexible and design trends started to reflect that. Lounge areas, for example, started becoming a place where people could work and collaborate with teammates just as easily as they could be used for socializing.

If you look back at a lot of the key office design trends from recent years, there’s been a lot of emphasis on creating flexibility in the workplace, both so that people can move around throughout the day and so that companies can easily reconfigure their spaces as needed. It’s a trend that’s become even more popular now that many companies have switched to hybrid work and are moving away from assigned workstations in favor of more flexible options, like hot desking.

While this trend might seem like a relatively recent development, it’s actually an idea that goes back to the 1980s when the idea of activity-based working was introduced by architect Robert Luchetti. Activity-based working is simply the concept of creating different types of spaces around the workplace to support different styles of work. Sometimes, a person might need a quiet space where they can focus on a task by themselves. Other times, they might need a space where they can easily collaborate with their colleagues. Activity-based work can help meet all of the different needs people can have during the work day.

Activity-based work has a lot of benefits to offer, such as helping people be more productive, encouraging movement throughout the day, and using available space more efficiently. If you like the idea of activity-based working, there are many different ways your office can help. Here are just a few ideas:

Row of privacy pods next to workstations in an office.

Private Work Zones

Open plan offices tend to work very well with activity-based work, so it’s important to plan ahead to avoid some of the most common complaints that can come with open offices, such as a lack of privacy. Providing private work areas not only helps people better focus on their work and gives people a place to have private conversations, it helps keep noise levels under control for others working nearby.

Blue curved sofa across from a portable video monitor with small round tables next to it.

Collaborative Tools

One of the biggest benefits of activity-based work is that it can help support collaboration. As you plan your space, be sure that any areas meant for collaboration will be equipped with tools that can help make brainstorming sessions and meetings more productive, like whiteboards and video monitors.

Long curved sofa in an office lounge with round tables and two lounge chairs.

Lounges & Cafe Spaces

Just because spaces like office lounges and cafes have traditionally been seen as being informal and relaxed, that doesn’t mean they can’t be used for work. Sometimes, people like having the option to work in casual settings because it can put them in a more relaxed mindset that can help drive creative thinking and problem solving. As you plan your space for activity-based work, make sure your casual spaces are up for the job with things like comfortable seating and lightweight tables that can easily be rearranged as needed.

Office conference room with bright green accent wall, wall-mounted video screen, and long table with chairs.

Technology Support

Since activity-based work encourages people to get up and move around during the day, it’s very important to make sure they’ll have reliable access to WiFi and plenty of electrical outlets throughout the office. That way, everyone will be able to keep their devices powered up and connected so that they really will be able to work anywhere they like in the office.

Successfully bringing activity-based work to your office can take a lot of careful planning and Premier Construction & Design can help. Take a look at our portfolio and case studies to see a selection of projects our team has worked on. When you’re ready to take the next step in your office renovation project, contact us. Once we learn more about your project, our team will work on developing a plan tailored to your needs.