While many companies are realizing the benefits of ABW, the transition doesn’t happen overnight.The process of moving to ABW is often robust with many moving parts. To get started, here are the first four steps you need to take when adopting ABW:
- Preparation: Gather as much data as possible. Understand how employees work using data such as utilization analytics, occupancy rates, and employee surveys. A workplace strategy should be based on data, not on the perception of how people work.
- Planning: Construct a plan to transform people and their workplaces to a more flexible model. The plan should include leveraging the data collected during the preparation phase to map out neighborhoods and business unit adjacencies. For appropriate business units, consider offering the choice to work from home.
- Implementation: Have an 8, 10 or 12-week plan with regular meetings and action items. Use business unit leaders and champions to manage execution. Champions are critical during this phase and should be actively communicating the benefits the employees can expect.
- Enablement: Once you transition people to their new activity based workplace, create a strategy to keep your HR, IT, and CRE teams aligned. Leverage utilization data to test the success of layouts and floor designs. Supply the right technology and create an IT strategy to ensure timely repairs. And use utilization data and employee feedback to keep evolving the strategy.
Forward-thinking companies have been able to achieve success with ABW by following this process. Space management technology is a crucial component of an effective activity based workplace. Without the supporting data, it is extremely difficult to validate the ABW strategy, make improvements, and see continuous cost reduction. While there are misconceptions about ABW, with the right process, technology, and change program, the transition to an activity based workplace can provide numerous benefits felt by real estate, people and your business.