‘Ask An Expert’ is an opportunity for you to have your questions about working, learning and living spaces answered by our panel of experts.
In the first of our series below, Stephen Minnett, Director and Workplace Strategy Leader of futurespace addresses fear of a workplace move and the ‘mystery’ of ABW.
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Our office is moving, and we haven’t really been told much about the new workplace. I‘ve heard rumours that we are going to an ‘ABW’ workplace and that I won’t have a desk anymore. I’m very concerned about this – I enjoy my role and am quite happy with the way things are and don’t know why it should change. Should I start looking for another job?
From Concerned, Sydney
It is human nature to worry about change, and a work place move can be very stressful for people so I understand your concern. But dont start looking for a new job just yet!
There are two ways to address this situation. Firstly I would recommend you find some time to talk to your company’s project sponsor, your HR Manager or a senior person in the business who is responsible for the move. Communication is critical in any work place move, and at futurespace our motto is “communicate early and communicate often”. See if your business leaders can put a change program in place that adopts this motto, as there are very likely others in your organisation who feel the same. You could even offer to assist and use this as an opportunity to advance your own career by taking on extra responsibility.
Secondly, if your organisation moves to a well considered ‘activity based work’ (ABW) or ‘agile’ environment you should know that there will be many advantages for both individuals and teams. People in ABW environments still have desks and a neighborhoods for their team. They may choose to sit at the same desk every day however they also have a greater choice of other furniture settings and rooms throughout the workplace. In many conventional office environments where people “own” their desks we find that they can be unhappy with how well that environment supports them to do individual quiet focussed work; there is no choice as to where and how to work.
The most difficult thing to get used to in ABW is changing your mindset from “owning” an individual space to sharing a team space – many people find that difficult initially but after some adjustment the advantages of a true activity based or agile environment can be limitless.
Stephen Minnett, Director & Workplace Strategy Leader, futurespace
To read more about activity based and agile working click here.
To contact Stephen Minnett to discuss further click here.
Categories: Ask An Expert