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Activity Based Working in Office Design

Today, designing the interior of an office is very different from 10 or even 5 years ago. Companies are starting to value more effective and efficient spaces in terms of what they provide to employees in terms of the workplace. CDA, as specialist designers, no longer just provide the traditional rows of working desks and meeting rooms, but now recommend that one consider a workplace designed according to your specific needs based on the different ‘types’ of work undertaken, commonly known as Activity Based Working (ABW).

In the design of an ABW office, the designer works together with a change management consultant or strategic planner to understand more precisely the behavior of your particular workplace. Typically a strategic planner will work for 6 to 12 months before the interior design process is begun. They will study the company’s current daily activities including time utilization of meeting rooms, desks and other shared spaces. Based on the data collected, the strategic planner will come to a conclusion which will be presented to the client and to the interior designer in order to start the ABW design process. They will set up some ‘change rules’ for transitioning employees to the new ABW  environment and, in the move from a traditional work environment to ABW, they will support the affected employees to help them thrive throughout the change process and beyond. With post occupancy surveys and feedback acting as an essential guide, they will ensure the performance of the new space meets your expectations.

Working with the data and conclusions gathered, the designer is able to understand the design parameters to be integrated in the new facility. The resulting ABW environment is usually characterized by the absence of dedicated desks, instead one may typically find collaborative team work spaces, individual focus areas, quiet spaces, open and closed meeting areas along with touch down areas that are based on what type of tasks are being performed. Often an essential element is to also minimize storage use in the new ABW environment, requiring training of employees to decrease paper usage and digitalize existing records.

In our experience, for people who have not worked in an ABW environment before, it’s difficult to visualize sometimes requiring leadership and stakeholder teams to visit other ABW environments. Outside of this CDA will provide floor plan layouts together with 3D imagery and animations, all helping envision and transition to this new realm of working. CDA’s capability in Jakarta is unequaled in this area and is prepared to be your partner and guide from inception through to occupancy. We have not only decades of experience helping companies large and small in Jakarta but are backed up by our overseas partners who add to our depth and breadth of expertise in Strategic Workplace Planning.

Prepared by: Sarah Feriesca w/ Rick McBride
July 2019

© Richard McBride, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP

CDA is an experienced professional design consultancy operating in Indonesia since 1993. We offer a full range of services. Please contact us through our website at www.cda.co.id or call (62-21) 7280-1308 to talk about designing a more activity based working space for your Indonesian office.