Over the last few decades, the standard office layout has changed dramatically. From cubicles and prized corner offices, to open floor plans and a hot desk approach – employers have consistently debated the right approach.
But the reality is that there is no one size fits all fix. Employees need options to accommodate the various types of work they undertake on a daily basis, and to support their most productive working styles.
Many studies show that employees who have access to an environment designed for the type of work they do – equipped with the tools and technology they need – are more engaged and therefore, more productive.
Fonterra, a renowned dairy company based in Auckland, is just one company in New Zealand that has recognised this and recently made a shift towards Activity-Based Working (ABW), which involves designing tailored work spaces equipped with flexible technologies.
ABW is also said to lead to better team collaboration, more innovation, and more knowledge-sharing, while decreasing office space costs.
To support the transition, Fonterra designed new spaces and equipped existing rooms with more flexible technologies, such as the Targus Dual 4K Video Universal Docking Station. As a result, the transformed physical environment now caters to many work styles and offers café-like environments, lounge areas, collaboration spaces, and quiet isolation areas.
The transition resulted in a dramatic increase in their employee satisfaction rating. In fact, 96% of employees surveyed said they would not go back to a traditional way of working and would prefer to stay with an ABW environment[i].
So, what should organisations do and think about when it comes to transformation and deploying flexible technologies inside the organisation?
To create truly flexible working spaces, startups and modern businesses are using IT to empower workers, specifically via the implementation of technology outside of an employee’s workstation. As a result, IT is acting as a strategic business partner.
Traditionally, the role of HR has been focused on the people aspects rather than on technology. But today, HR and IT teams need to seize the opportunity to work together so that IT leaders learn more about how employees work and their needs to get their work done rather than supply a checklist of technology needs
Investing in ABW and flexible technologies, including the Targus USB-C Universal Dual Video 4K Docking Station with 100W Power, is likely to reduce real estate costs while dramatically increasing productivity gains. Employees will also be more engaged, leading to reduced turnover and costs associated with training and recruiting new employees.
Ultimately, investing in these emerging spaces and technologies usually pays for itself, however it’s important to be diligent and budget accurately to maximise ROI.
Once the needs and budget are defined, the next step is for IT professionals to determine the technologies required. Internal social networks connect people and information, digital displays and video conferencing solutions enable collaboration at scale, docking stations, such as the range available at Targus allow employees to “set up shop” where they need to, and digital conferencing reservation solutions make it easy for employees to secure spaces that they need to work.
ABW is here, and while it takes careful planning and collaboration within the organisation, the potential returns are great. From a boost in employee satisfaction, to increased productivity and a positive bottom line, it’s clear ABW is the ultimate office solution.
[i] Targus. Agility. Collaboration. Partnership. Multi-Year Global Rollout of Targus Universal Docks Enables Agile Working for 12,000+ Fonterra Employees. Case Study, Anaheim: Targus, 2016