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Activity Based Working: Flash in the pan or the next big thing?

We’ve had offices, cubicles, open plan, hot-desking and now we have Activity Based Working (ABW). What is it, how is it different and why does even the mere thought evoke groaning? This talk will share insights into the technological and cultural transformation the University of Sydney is undergoing in exploring more agile working environments and how the Higher Education sector is well primed to leverage existing experience to accelerate and improve outcomes.

As a sector, we’re becoming very good at building collaborative physical and technological environments, enabling our students to perform concentrated bursts of work. Why do we so often struggle to do the same for our staff?

The digital age has drastically changed the type of work we do, how we do it and how we work with others. The built environment of most organisations simply hasn’t kept up and we do the best we can, working within a mix of generic desks and meeting rooms. Activity Based Working seeks to provide an appropriate mix of work spaces specifically designed and built to support diverse work activities.

This session will explore the psychological, cultural and technological hurdles ABW can present and share strategies for overcoming them. It will also discuss how we can learn from our combined experience in shaping the learning landscape – not only to ease the transition into a new way of working but also potentially improve the health and wellbeing of our colleagues.