What Is Activity-Based Working?

What Is Activity-Based Working?

In simple terms, activity-based working refers to providing employees with a location choice. This means that employees get to choose a location that is most suitable for them to work from. They do not have a designated workstation, but the workplace has several areas where they can do specific tasks like focusing, socialising, collaborating and learning.

Today’s workplace has been transformed by technologies like laptops and mobile phones. These have made workers more productive by freeing them from their desks. People can work from anywhere due to their ability to access information easily from the cloud.

Business models as we used to know them are also being disrupted today and new approaches geared towards making employees more flexible and productive are needed. Activity-based working is one of these business models that provide workers with options tailored to their needs.

The driving principle behind the activity-based workplace design is that offices should be flexible enough to adapt to the diverse tasks performed by employees. Traditionally, employees were assigned a single workstation. In the activity-based workplace, employees can move around depending on the task at hand. The flexibility is built into the company’s physical office through its culture, spaceplan, workspaces and furniture.

For example, an employee can start her morning with a brainstorming session at the coffee bar, then move to a conference room for a client meeting and then move to a more private workstation to make calls and work tasks that require extra focus.

In this case, she has no fixed desk and can move around freely to the area that provides the best environment for the activity she is handling. All she needs is her mobile phone, a laptop, and a company network.

What exactly does activity-based working bring to the table for both the company and the employees? Let’s see!

6 Undeniable Benefits of Activity-Based Working

  • Improves Collaboration and Communication

In an activity-based working environment, employees from different departments can easily collaborate on tasks and projects. This increases productivity and output since they are no longer tied to a desk all day.

Team members can seamlessly move around the workspace. In turn, this leads to better communication, easy sharing of ideas and more. This is the perfect setting for innovative ideas to be born.

  • Attracts and Retains Good Talent

Adopting a dynamic workplace helps engage staff, stakeholders, and visitors. You can attract the best talent by providing them with something that others don’t – unparalleled flexibility and freedom. Existing employees are also likely to stay if their workspace meets all their needs both personally and professionally.

  • Boosts Concentration

An activity-based office has workspaces designed for specific tasks. These can include focus group areas, collaborative zones, and quiet places.

Such spaces allow employees to be alone when they need to and to sit comfortably with their colleagues when team work matters the most. Everyone works differently. Some thrive in large crowds, others need to be alone to get their best work done. This is what activity-based working is all about.

  • Increases Productivity

Traditional offices have been designed for desk work and meetings only. But an activity-based workspace will allow employees to choose how they work, when and where. This recognition of the difference that makes every employee important empowers them to be responsible for their work and decide where they want to work from and when.

  • Builds Trust

Employees get a sense of ownership, which makes them build trust in the organisation and vice versa. This ultimately leads to company and brand loyalty.

  • Boosts Flexibility and Sustainability

Letting your employees choose where and when they work can help them balance their personal and work lives, which, in turn, can improve their overall wellbeing.

Activity-based working is the sustainable way to grow. Since it’s better at using office space than the working styles, it will help you save a lot of money on real estate. Plus, it reduces the company’s carbon footprint through cutting down on energy and supplies in the office.

Activity-based working also gives you the flexibility to incorporate custom office furniture. Get an interior design expert to recommend the right furniture to support your new working environment.
 

Activity based workplace design at Orchard Newcastle

Before you dismiss it as “a new trend that will never catch on”, let us tell you that activity-based working has been around for some time now. And it’s not going anywhere.

A lot of research has been done on this topic. It all proves that it has unlimited benefits for employers and employees alike.

Of course, activity-based working is not without its challenges. They have also been exhaustively researched and documented. Read on to find out how to overcome them.

But first, let’s take a look at some of the most prominent studies.

Research on Activity-Based Working

In a survey of 400 multinational companies, two-thirds of them were open to implementing the shared desk workplace by the year 2020.

Before jumping to it, a lot of companies wanted to learn their employees’ take on the matter.

A recently published study tried to find out if 1000 Australian employees were okay with shared desk environments. Some of the challenges highlighted by the surveyed employees include distractions, increased distrust, negative relationships, uncooperative behavior, and a perceived distrust of supervisors in terms of support.

Another report on hot desking, which shares the activity-based workspace principle, identified challenges like indifference, marginalisation of employees, loss of identity, decreased commitment from organisations, and inattention to co-workers.

However, let’s take a look at the broader picture.

The activity-based workspace design provides different work settings for various activities like private work, meetings, collaborations, creativity, and concentration. The employees are, therefore, expected to make switches between the settings when necessary.

When asked how they feel about a new concept, most people shy away at first. This is why it’s important to test out an office setting before committing to it. Or, better yet, to make the change gradually.

Companies like Facebook and Google are at the forefront of innovation in this field. They adopted activity-based working “before it was cool” and never looked back.

Why?

Well, the reasons are numerous.

To begin with, in hot desking, employees share desks or find one when they need it. This caters well especially to employees who work outside the office often. Another plus side of using hot desking is that there are hot-desking apps available to help in the booking of space before arriving at the office.

In today's smart offices, hot desking applications such as the app marketed by iOt Space now enables employees to choose and book their desks in advance. This app helps avoid the confusion that could arise in case two people want to sit at the same desk. The apps help one find an available desk and they also navigate you to the desk with no delay, especially if you are visiting the office from out of town.

Office layout showing workspace occupancy

This way, some of the challenges that the studies above found are simply non-existent.

Positive research, however, has shown that employees who have self-contained work processes and who view themselves as independent and mobile thrive in activity-based work environments. They can therefore easily choose a workstation based on their preferences or needs. Another positive is that they can avoid social interaction when they need a quiet space to work from.

Its supporters say that the main reason companies implement activity-based working environments is to attract and retain talent. They also wish to take care of their employees’ sustainability and wellbeing while increasing innovation and collaboration.

Based on the various research findings discussed above, we can conclude that there is no one size fits all solution. Activity-based work and hot desking will increase collaboration, efficiency, and communication but it will come with its own challenges.  

Of course, any challenge can be surmounted. Since every company is unique and has unique needs, you shouldn’t necessarily base your decision on research done on other companies.

You can use such reports as a way to get started. Afterwards, you should consider your own circumstances.

Factors You Should Consider Before Implement Activity-Based Working

Think about it this way: the way people work changes throughout their life. It’s only natural that they can accommodate (and even expect) an evolution of their working environment.

During the school years, everyone knew a certain space was dedicated for a certain activity. There was no in-between. For example, the music room for music, the gym for sports and the laboratory for science.

When they got into a university, they had the choice to either get the group work done under a tree, at the café, or in the library. A traditional workspace may therefore not work for them. Organisations have no choice but to embrace these new ways of working if they want to retain and attract new talent.

Before making the change, however, employers have to consider some important factors including:

  • What Are the Reasons for the Change?

Why do you want to implement activity-based working? Are you doing it because everyone else is? Do you feel like your peeps could benefit from more interaction?

Activity-based working encourages collaboration and therefore your business can easily pull a team from different departments in your organization to work on a project if everyone is mobile. Employees are different, and this difference is what makes activity-based working a good model.

Those who require isolation can work at their own stations while those who thrive in a noisy work environment can also do their thing. It encourages responsibility. More importantly, employees are treated as adults who can choose an environment that makes them productive.

Before making the decision, consider your employees. Ask them how they feel about it.

  • Make Sure Your C-Suite Supports the Move

If they do, then they will offer you support and advocate for the chance by leading by example. Otherwise, everything may be doomed from the start.

If your employees see that C-level execs never step foot in the common workspace, they will feel discriminated and treated as less important.

Of course, we all know that C-level execs need privacy. But they also need to be among their team every once in a while, don’t they?

  • Choose the Best Model for Your Team

As previously mentioned, there is no one size fits all when it comes to designing your office. Do a thorough research on the different models available and then choose one that suits your organisation’s needs. Obiously you can ask the workplace consultants here at Amos Beech for help.

  • Take Change Management Seriously

As you invest in this move, make sure your employees are educated on why the move is necessary, the benefits of the move, what will be changing, and why this particular model has been chosen. Use an effective communication plan that will involve different mediums and engage employees at all the levels of the organization.

  • Test Drive before Purchasing

Test whether the change will be effective using a pilot workspace. This is an effective change tool because, from it, you can tell whether the move will benefit the company or not.

The pilot will also be a learning phase that will help you tailor a suitable working model as per your needs. Plus, it will help the employees warm up to the new way of doing things and how it will eventually affect them.

  • Don’t Be Discouraged by Negativity

Change is hard and some of your employees will not be thrilled by it. Learn from them but do not let them bring you down.

  • Recruit the Right People and Rid the Company of Paper

Activity-based working can enable you to manage all your records electronically. This will reduce your carbon footprint and turn you into a more desirable employer and business partner for your clients.

Also, make sure you recruit leaders with skills and expertise in activity-based working so they can help other employees easily adapt to the new move. Safeguard your investment by choosing the right people to handle it.

Final Thoughts

According to a case study by UK’s HR Magazine on Atlas Copco’s introduction of activity-based working at their UK office, the exercise proved to be successful.

The company implemented a cockpit for individuals needing privacy, a larger cabin that allowed for small groups to work together, and an open space furnished with multiple desks. This gave them a digital workspace that can be reconfigured whenever the needs of an employee change. The employees are now more connected and engaged since their working conditions have changed for the better.

Activity-based working benefits may not be felt immediately, but they are broader and long-term. And if they are properly executed, they can foster the wellness of the employees by improving their mental, physical, and social wellbeing.

Our Grove in the Scottish Highlands has just grown by the size of The Mackenzie School of English's new space!

Our Grove in the Scottish Highlands has just grown by the size of The Mackenzie School of English's new space!

Just imagine, that is 9000 SqFt of native Scottish trees! The trees such as Scots Pine, Rowan, dwarf Birch and Aspen will help to transform the open hillsides into healthy young woodland, rich in wildlife such as red squirrel, black grouse, capercaillie and wood ant! 

Thanks to The Mackenzie School of English an additional 117 new native trees will be planted in the wild Caledonian Forest in the Amos Beech grove of trees with all the wonderful wildlife that will inhabit their new environment.

The Mackenzie School of English moved in to their new space in Leith, Edinburgh in the first week of May.

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, we have started our own grove in partnership with the award-winning charity Trees for Life. Trees for Life works on the restoration of Scotland's ancient Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands.

You can plant trees yourself!

Like it?

Well, you don't necessarily have to redesign and fit our your space with us to achieve this, because you can plant trees yourself!

Have a look at the Amos Beech Trees for Life grove:

SALONE DEL MOBILE . MILANO 2018

SALONE DEL MOBILE . MILANO 2018

As Clerkenwell is fast approaching, it’s only appropriate I write my review on Salone de Mobile and Fuorisalone to compare findings and inspiration for the year ahead. The design trip was last minute; a now or never opportunity regarding 2018 so I was grateful to join the wave of people that jet set from every corner of the globe.  

SALONE DEL MOBILE . MILANO 2018

With the flood of designers, exhibitors and creatives, accommodation was initially a slight struggle with business owners and money makers hitching up prices almost quadruple the price. However, I managed to book an apartment with a beautiful terrace in the Tortorna District of Milan. If your time is limited, I would recommend staying in Tortona as it is one of the more highly concentrated areas of ‘Fuorisalone’ crammed with exhibitions, cafes and events. The Brera district is very similar in this respect too, if not more so. But to really see as much as possible, confirmed as the world’s largest furniture furniture and design fair, Salone del Mobile at Rho Fiera is a must. Although, it’s easy to get lost in the labyrinth of displays and multiple halls, so be sure to make note prior of the exhibitors you’d like to see.

From an overall viewpoint, I noticed there was less of a focus placed on new product launches but rather exhibitors making a conscious effort to create memorable experiences, in fact very shareable as well. Particularly in the age of the selfie, mirrors and reflective surfaces was a prevalent player performing as a disruption to the spatial realm generating paradoxical type arrangements.  COS supported the work of the California-based artist Philip K. Smith to bring ‘Open Sky’ an installation to Palazzo Isimbardi. That comprised of a series of mirrored panels each tilted at a 47-degree angle, which respectfully gave a nod to the experience, the architecture and Milan itself.

Continuing the theatrical-like illusion, the emergence of larger-than-life translucent and see-through products that act as a divider in any setting, a flexible alternative to facilitates our everchanging needs and wants. One of the most magical experiences was visiting HAY at Palazzo Clerici, the location oozed with historical features poetically juxtaposed with a series of installation that conveyed examples of past and future living scenarios; with a human-centric approach to interior design, rather than focusing on the structure. The Rayures modular screen in fluted glass for Glass Italia designed by the Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec was a notable highlight. A recurring expression of drama also took the form of translucent floor to ceiling draperies, which would add a show-stopping, yet fluid and soft tactile feature to any environment. 

Many pieces of furniture acquired the shape of an exaggerated figure with plumper silhouettes, inflated curves and ballooned proportions. The Tacchini exhibition was a great example of softness and the continuing fluidity in mix of dusty pink, pastel yellow and off-set geometrics, all adding to the cocooning type feeling prevailed. I had taken a similar emotional response to CC-Tapis, especially the rug designed by Patricia Urquiola with the comparable tonal colour composition and a hyper tactile surface.

The integration of biophilia within products, exhibitions, and displays experience remained strong throughout Salone de Mobile and Fuorisalone, the recognition of the well-being benefits of biophilic design as reached a global scale, and the outlook being the trend is here to stay. The miniforms collection plays with shape and form to provide a seamless stand to place your plants, whether be it on the wall, floor or reflecting against a mirror. A perfect opportunity to add height and interest to any environment.

As well as nature, designers are looking up to the skies for inspiration as they explore the symbolism of the sun, moon, and space. This could be due to increasing cultural interest in spirituality, which can be seen to inform objects and settings to ignite people’s wonder and delight through magical and cosmic-like shapes. Equally, many exhibitions featured the use mismatching of materiality, furniture shapes, and products through styling, which also envelopes a similar unusual sense of awe due to the unexpected and uncanny (a.k.a the googly eyes).

Milan took me through an unexpected and unimaginable journey, I didn’t know what to expect. With just over 48 hours in the city, I consumed an incredible amount of design, good food, some wine and walked around 40km. Even now it’s still taking some time to digest everything I saw and experienced. 

A blog post by Flora Hogg

Key Tips to Arrange and Organise Your Office to Enhance Comfort and Productivity

Key Tips to Arrange and Organise Your Office to Enhance Comfort and Productivity

Is your team firing on all cylinders? If your answer to this question is “no” or “maybe”, then it’s definitely time to organise your office.

There was a time, not so long ago, when hardly any company paid attention or even put in any extra effort in their office design. All they did, and what some still do, was “strategically” arrange desks and chairs, add a computer and a telephone on every desk and expect employees to be productive just because they had decent working conditions.

Luckily, we now know better.

We know there is more to employee productivity than job security and a good paycheck. We know that our surroundings affect the way we work. So, as company owners or administrators, we strive to create a pleasant working environment that motivates employees and keeps them happy instead of pressuring them to deliver. Most companies are now looking for cost-effective ways to motivate and inspire their staff to become more productive in the workplace.

Companies have realised that it takes more than a pay rise or an employee of the month portrait on the company “wall of fame”, to get teams all fired up. Benefits and bonuses are also not giving the desired ‘return on investment”.

Don’t get me wrong. These are good motivators. They really are. But let’s be honest. These are nothing but quick fixes. In the long run, employee turnover depends on many factors, some of which are quite hard to quantify.

While it is a fact that human beings react exceptionally well and even get motivated when there’s some sort of monetary reward, there are other salient factors that can have a similar effect at a one-off cost.

What are these salient factors that can keep your employees inspired and get them motivated enough to enhance their productivity?  Well, the answer has everything to do with how you organise your office. How your office is designed and organised can ultimately affect your employees’ productivity.

To help you keep your employees motivated and inspired at work, we have put together some ideas to help you get started.

9 Tips on How to Organise Your Office to Enhance Comfort and Productivity

1.      Provide the Best Work Environment

This one goes without saying. It’s every employee’s right to be provided with a suitable working environment. But in terms of productivity, this goes beyond providing a space, a desk, a chair, and maybe a computer.

The right office furniture plays a huge role in enhancing productivity. Did you know that providing your employees with the right chair can increase productivity by up to 17.5 percent?

Your employees, especially those who spend most of their time seated, need to be comfortable at their workstations in order to perform as expected.

Following the classically stylish ON® office chair and athletic and dynamic IN, Wilkhahn is now adding another chair in the shape of AT, now the third in the range of its office chairs with free-to-move capability.

A healthy employee is a motivated and inspired employee. Provide them with the right type of chairs (ergonomically designed) to avoid unnecessary injuries and to let them stay focused on important tasks.

Think about it this way: how well would you perform if you had to endure a throbbing back pain?

You should also ensure that your employees are adequately equipped with all the necessary office accessories as you organise your office. Don’t have them waste precious time looking for a paperclip or the office printer. Help your team help you!

The best way to get started is to enlist the help of a design team that also provides workplace consultancy. Such a team takes time to understand what you need and comes up with tailor-made solutions. No two companies are alike.

This is why you should steer clear of pre-packaged office design and furbishing services. Instead, opt for something that helps YOU and YOUR employees stay happy and productive at the office.

2.     Get Creative with Colour

It’s a well-known fact that the colours around us influence our mood and our reactions.

Workplace productivity doesn’t just happen. It needs to be triggered -- and colour is one of the most effective ways of giving it a nudge. Certain colours have also been known to significantly boost productivity. If you are not sure about what colour to use in your new offices and still want to make your employees happier and effective, go for green and blue.

If you want to go for optimism, energy, and innovation then mellow-yellow is your colour.

Again, this is pure theory. Be sure to consult with a specialist before making the final decision on the colours in your office.

3.     Bring Nature Inside

A bit of nature in the workplace can work wonders especially for those who are starting to be fed up by the concrete jungle. As we all know, the number of people who crave being closer to nature is constantly increasing.

Biophilic design, in the workplace

Plants, apart from being great office decorations, can also motivate your employees. Researchers have found that incorporating plants as part of your office decor can boost productivity by 15 percent.

More importantly, they are the best source for fresh air. You don’t want your employees’ brains to be deprived of oxygen, do you?

4.     Let there Be Light

When you set out to organise your office, keep in mind that light is the one thing that can affect productivity in the long run. Thus, ensuring that your office has adequate light is crucial.

While artificial lighting is the most commonly used source of light, too bright or too dim light bulbs can put a strain on your employees’ eyesight.

Negative effects such as headaches and drowsiness can drastically reduce productivity.

Natural light, on the other hand, has numerous benefits one of them being increased productivity. Natural light not only helps us stay healthy; it also affects our ability to work.

When workers are not visually stimulated, it affects their ability to remain alert and focused. Plus, the type of light used has a great impact on creativity in the office.

A nice blend of artificial light and natural light in the offices of ST Microelectronics in Edinburgh

So as you embark on redesigning your office, ensure that you use of natural light as much as possible. Always use glass partitions in rooms that don’t require visual privacy. If the space allows, you can also create an outdoor area for employees to use during their breaks. Bonus: this will also help cut down on your energy bills and make your company more eco-friendly.

5.     Arm Employees with the Right technology

Organising your office is not only about rearranging office furniture or even replacing the old desks and chairs with new ones. It also means equipping your employees with the right tools and the right technology to enable them perform their duties efficiently.

One huge mistake many employers make, especially when redesigning their offices, is to assume that their employees are happy with their tools or that they couldn’t care less about them.

As you organise your office, it is advisable to find out which of your team’s tools needs to be fixed or replaced.

Employees can very easily lose motivation if they have to use faulty or outdated office tools and technology. Yes, even if everything else in the office is brand new. After all, everyone wants to keep up with the latest technology. This is beneficial for both your employees’ careers and for the productivity level in your company.

Double monitor arms mounted on-sit stand desks at the new offices of CitNOW in Stirling

Using two computer screens, for instance, can boost productivity by up to 50 percent. By creating a wide-screen effect, your employees can perform specific tasks much faster and be more satisfied at work. Talk about shooting two birds with one stone, right?

6.     Encourage Work Station Personalisation

A brand-new office design is a great way to boost morale. Your employees will love moving into their new offices and will enjoy the change in colours and furniture. But the process of organising your office doesn’t stop with moving and settling in.

Just like moving into a new neighbourhood, your employees are bound to feel “lonely” at the new workstations. Almost everything looks foreign and unfamiliar.

In order to counter this, you should allow your employees to add that personal touch to their new space.

Interior design, office fit out and furniture for Lomond Plant in Falkirk

Encourage them to throw in a few of their favourite personal items such as small teddy bears, family photos, cards with motivational quotes and so on.

Such familiar items will keep them highly motivated and inspired. Plus, it will make work feel more comfortable and more like home.

7.      Keep the Air Flowing

Imagine if you could work here! Believe it or now, but some of us did: A trip to Actiu !

Organise your office so there’s a constant supply of fresh air throughout it.

A well-ventilated office provides the perfect atmosphere to work and it also improves employees’ overall performance.

Research shows that when you improve the air quality at work, you improve productivity.

Another study from the Technical University of Denmark revealed that indoor environment can influence work productivity by up to 10 percent.

A good indoor environment prevents health issues. It also makes the workspace comfortable to work in and, in turn, this help your employees focused and able to concentrate.

You should also ensure that your ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems are checked and serviced on a regular basis.

8.     Eliminate Clutter

A clean and organised office can help your employees get more done. Decluttering creates an optimal workspace, reduces any chance of getting distracted, and contributes to enhanced productivity.

Of course you wouldn't expect anything else but a clean and organised office at Morisons Solicitors in Glasgow !

Some people believe that a messy workspace reflects well on an employee – it shows how busy they. While this might be the case for some, the people around the messy workspace can be negatively affected by the mess.

One clever way of making decluttering a habit in your office is to simply turn it into a fun weekly or monthly activity. Make this a routine and encourage your team to discard unnecessary stuff and only keep stuff they use on a daily basis on their desk.

Another important thing is to make sure you have provided adequate storage space as you organise your office. After all, you can’t expect your team to keep clean and de-cluttered desks if you don’t provide them with the space they need to keep their stuff in.

9.     Choose the Right Design and Layout

Where we work affects what we do. Your overall office layout and design plays a major part in the way your employees perform – you already know that. Now let’s see what you can do about it.

Maxim Office Park Glasgow

When you decide to relocate your office or redesign your current one, it is very important to factor in how the design will complement your employees’ performance and productivity.

Irrespective of the number of employees you have, a poorly designed office space will negatively affect your employees’ ability to deliver.

As you organise your office, your primary goal should be to enhance your team’s performance. Keeping up with the latest trends in office design should come in second.

Though it can sometimes be challenging to strike a balance between what the management wants, how much it will cost, and how it will affect the employees, it is always advisable to seek input of your staff.

Try to involve your employees in identifying suitable designs for their workspace as much as possible. This consultative approach and the idea of working in a space that they helped create is also a great motivator and productivity booster.

Conclusion

These are just some of the key areas that you should consider when in the process of moving offices, doing an office fit out, or a refurbishing an old office space.

On a tight budget? You still shouldn’t sacrifice comfort and choose the cheapest options irrespective of how they impact your employees. The better solution is to make the changes you need in phases.

Employee productivity is key to the success of your company and to achieve this, you need to organise your office so that it promotes agile working, enhances performance, boosts creativity, and fires up their motivation. Remember, getting the right interior design team involved from the very beginning will help you create the ideal work environment for you and your team.

Plus, a skilled team of interior designers can actually save you money. For instance, they can get you better deals on office furniture due to their long-standing relationship with suppliers. At Amos Beech, our goal is to help our clients get the best results with a minimal investment.

Get in touch with our specialists to find out how we can help you organise your office and boost employee productivity.

Going Agile?

Going Agile?

Agile working is probably the most widely discussed ‘new’ method of working.

But what does it really mean?

In a nutshell, going agile is when a company becomes flexible in their approach to work. It’s when they choose to trust their employees instead of keeping them on a strict schedule.

It explores the idea that nobody should spend their whole day at a desk. Thus, you will never find the whole workforce of a company in the office at the same time. Five years ago, it was the work style that revolutionary companies were adopting and that the others would stand and watch in awe.

Agile Working

Agile working has been defined as a tool organisations use to help employees work efficiently and improve productivity. By going agile, employees enjoy the flexibility to work when, how, and where they choose to.

But even with the rising adoption, many still approach agile working with caution. This new trend still continues to raise eyebrows with the conservatives adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

Flexible working is the most controversial form of change. Before you decide on adopting agile working, you should ask yourself some questions:

  • Would you as an employer allow some of your workforce to work from home or in co-working areas?

  • How keen are you on micromanagement and what is your work culture?

  • What are your employees’ preferences?

  • How do you collect office occupancy data?

  • Do you want real-time and historic insight?

Don’t worry. We’ll help you answer all of these.

Well start by telling you that through information technology and communication, employees work with fewer constraints and maximum flexibility. This optimises their performance since they work in ways that suit them.

Work, in agile models, is an activity rather than a place. It’s aimed at making organisations efficient, effective, and more responsive. People do not need to be at the same desk all day since they can work where and when they choose. Some tasks don’t even require desks.

Agile working is, however, not a one size fits all concept. Before its implementation, one needs to convince all stakeholders of its benefits. These benefits differ from organisation to organisation, of course. But some of these benefits can be found in almost all agile companies, irrespective of their size and the industry they are in.

Top Benefits of Agile Working

  • Increased efficiency and productivity

  • Reduced property costs

  • Smart workspace utilisation

  • Reduction of carbon footprint

  • Reduced fuel and parking cost

  • Extended business hours without additional costs

  • You can meet all your customers’ expectations.

  • You can hire the best talent in the industry

  • Optimum use of employee skills

  • Motivates employees who, in turn, are better equipped to innovate

  • Business continuity is improved since disruptions due to travel problems, bad weather and security are reduced.

  • Boosts employee performance

Technology advancements have also made it possible and easy for organisations and agile workers to quickly adopt this concept. Applications such as iotspot make it possible to maintain these agile workspaces remotely.

iotspot ensures that your office space is based on actual usage. It ensures that you get smart workplaces that attract the right employees, reduce waste, and significantly bring down costs.

The app benefits both the organisation and its employees by helping them:

1. Find and Book a Workspace

The app allows users to find and book a space that will suit their needs. Whether they want to work at a private booth, have a conference meeting with 5 of their colleagues, or get an unoccupied desk at a place of their choosing, the app makes it possible.

And that's way better than this:

With it, you can occupy a workspace immediately or book in advance. It makes things easier by avoiding overbooking and making sure one finds a free desk even in a busy room. The app uses color to show if space is available (green), reserved or partly available (blue) or occupied (red).

2. Search for Colleagues

The app helps you know where colleagues are. The activity-based working environment that the app provides allows you to make your bookings to suit your needs.

Colleagues are made visible and this makes co-working possible. You can search for free desks together to help you set up a workgroup, share your location with colleagues. If you want a shake-up on a Friday, let the app choose a random desk for you to allow you to network with colleagues you don’t yet know.

3. Real-Time Booking

You do not need to call the reception to make a booking.

No! You can do it on the go. The app goes further and helps you navigate to your booked desk especially if you don’t know the layout of the workspace.

4. Share Workspaces and Charge for Office Usage

Agile working means that people can work from wherever suits them. The app makes this flexibility a reality by offering office sharing and charge per usage options.

It helps show and authorise availability of office locations across, between or within an organisation. This helps reduce commute, usage of facilities and office materials.

5. A Smart Work Environment

iotspot is independent from the IT structure. Your only requirements will be a USB port that makes the workspace available in the app. With this, you get a smart building and can now invite users to get started.

Integrating Agile Working with iotspot

The app can help organisations get insights into how their workspaces are being used. One can tell what desks are popular, which ones are not, and which environment people like to hang out in. From these insights, you can tell whether the agile working model is working for your organisation and whether employees fully understand the concept and benefit from it.

Data collection is done via different methods including movement sensors. These are placed under desks and meeting tables to collect actual usage data.

iotspot can also be used in conjunction with counter sensors and CO2 in meeting rooms to determine what size of a meeting room an organisation needs.

This data is collected anonymously and can be used to drive future workspace decisions and improve workplace environments. This then leads to a happy and productive workforce and savings on corporate and real estate.

This is achieved by allowing employees to choose where they want to work from and at what time through the app. Booking in advance allows for the desks and rooms to be held for workers and if they fail to show up, they become available for someone else. Meeting bookings can also be done in advance using the app calendar, Google calendar or MS Outlook.

Users who are not willing to pre-book can walk in and have the app guide them to an empty space using the Google Maps in the app. The status of the desk then changes from red to green after you check in.

Imagine how much easier the scenario below would have been:

The on-desk device helps to give the desk status by showing whether it’s occupied or not. If you leave the desk, your app sends a message after a stipulated amount of time to confirm if you still need the desk. If you fail to confirm, the desk reverts to free automatically.

The app, with all these amazing functions, helps your organisation implement agile working effortlessly. Desks become free for other people to use and office space is reduced.

Integrating with this agile working app could mean a change in how organisations run their businesses. There are many ideas on how it can be used to revolutionise working spaces in the future. For example, through iotspot, you can automatically free up parking spaces typically reserved spaces for people who are not in the office.

Another development is the introduction of a payment function to those running co-working spaces. With this, they can charge users per usage instead of monthly.

We also see a future where as each iotspot is placed on a workstation, an FM messaging option can be developed to inform the team of any challenges at the workspace. These could include faulty lights and problems with power and screens. This would make solving issues easier since all the information about the specific defect and where it happened would be on the app.

Implementing Agile Working

Agile working implementation should be business-led. It should address both employee and business needs.

To start, find out and understand what your business and employees need. Work with your employees and learn what their ideal work environment is. If you involve them and implement agile practices that add value to them and to your business, you get a productive and loyal workforce.

It’s imperative to also educate the organisation’s leadership on why you need the change and how to implement it. Having them on your side will eliminate any barriers towards the change. Your agile organisation will work better, have an engaged workforce and you will get extra value for your investment.

Conclusion

Research shows that, on average, desk occupancy in most offices is 45-50 percent. This means that, on most days, desks are empty either due to sick leave, holidays, or leaving the office.

Part-time employees, employees who often travel to meetings and conferences and those who work from home also get full-time desks that on most days remain empty. If you do a survey of your office space, you will find that there is no time it’s 100 percent occupied. Space sharing is, therefore, a good thing to consider.

With agile working, you bring people, processes, space, and technology together to offer an appropriate and effective way of completing tasks. People can work without boundaries from anywhere, anytime and this improves productivity. The time to start collaborating and changing the future is now!

The forest has just grown by the size of CitNOW's office!

The forest has just grown by the size of CitNOW's office!

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility here at Amos Beech we are committed to re-foresting a Glen in the Scottish Highlands in partnership with Trees for Life.  For every fit-out project we complete in 2018 we will plant enough trees to match the actual floor area we have refurbished.

Re-foresting the Scottish Highlands 

The forest has just grown by the size of CitNOW's office. 3500 SqFt of trees will be carefully planted in protected sites in the Scottish Highlands where they will create homes for wildlife and forests for the future. The Caledonian Forest is one of our most important forest ecosystems, providing a home for spectacular wildlife, it is severely fragmented, and in many places consists entirely of old trees. Trees for Life is working to expand and link these ancient pinewoods.

Images by Trees for Life, Graphic Design by Sinds77

We take our responsibility seriously, not just in relation to our customer performance but also in relation to the environment. For this reason we have started our own grove in 2017. 

planting a tree should be simple.jpg
planting the amos beech tree.jpg

CitNOW office launch party

The team here @amos_beech were lucky enough to be invited to the office launch party at the 'Codebase Penthouse' in Stirling on Tuesday evening, an excellent opportunity to present the certificate:

 Image by Robert Fyfe CitNOW

Image by Robert Fyfe CitNOW

We thank CitNoW for the great evening and exotic beers, some of which were brewed in Alva near Stirling, alongside some 'Triples' from Belgium:) Not to forget the great Pizzas from award winning Napizza in Stirling.

You can plant a tree yourself!

We encourage you to plant a tree yourself, please visit our grove by clicking on the image below and follow the instructions. It is easy enough and it's only a fiver!  (update 14-06-2018: a sixer now..:)

 Plant you own tree now! Ckick on the image above and follow the instructions.

Plant you own tree now! Ckick on the image above and follow the instructions.

For more information about our CSR policy, click on the button below: 

CSR

Tasting room design and fit-out for Justerini & Brooks Edinburgh

Tasting room design and fit-out for Justerini & Brooks Edinburgh

The Scottish food & drink industry, is one of Scotland's biggest and most resilient contributors to the economy and we here @Amos_Beech are fortunate to have been designing and fitting out offices, shops and tasting rooms for this industry for years. This time we were in Edinburgh for the new tasting room of Justerini & Brooks, Fine Wine & Spirits Merchants.

Design and fit out tasting room Edinburgh

Justerini & Brooks set up in Edinburgh in 1963 to look after the Scottish private customer, as well as and restaurants and hotels. J&B has looked after the needs of the discerning collector looking for quality wine, expertise and personal service for more than 260 years! J&B is an independent part of Diageo and are highly client focused and have intimate relationships with restaurant chefs and private clients.

Interior design and colours

The kitchen in the tasting room comprises storage cupboards, a Belfast sink with double drainer, integrated dishwasher and glass display storage. Hot and cold water supplies as well as waste facilities have been added to the property, quite a challenge in such an old building in Edinburgh's New Town. 

The colours selected are warm, muted tones with metallic features integrating the oak timber. The overall look is a clean, contemporary style within a traditional palette. Existing doors and skirtings were painted in a satin finish with the walls being decorated in neutral paint colours to maximise the light in the space. The finishes gives the room a fresh injection of life and is now an ideal space to host clients.

The specially designed and custom build wine storage allows compact storage of up to 48no six bottle boxes on shelving. A full height integrated wine cooler fridge is part of the unit. The glass door and internals, specifically for wine storage, give a high end look to improve the aesthetics of just a basic fridge. The top shelf has been designed with  metallic wire wine bottle racking which creates an attractive display whilst also having a practical function. The finishes continue the warmth of the oak timber with a coloured backing to the shelving. The result is a functional but attractive statement.

Commercial interior design Edinburgh

Interior design and fit out Edinburgh

To see more finished projects:

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Moving glass wall for WH Malcolm Glasgow

Moving glass wall for WH Malcolm Glasgow

When the Malcolm group contacted us, asking if we could advise them in replacing a balustrade for a glass wall, in the Donald Malcolm Heritage Centre just south of Glasgow we were keen to get to know the place.

The Heritage Centre was built by Andrew and Walter Malcolm in memory of their father, Donald Malcolm. Donald started the company in the early twenties  with a single horse and cart. It was a small family-run business that collected coal from the railway station and distributed it around the local area. Today the Malcolm Group is a large logistic services company active in road and rail transport, warehousing, and terminal management. 

 A great place for truck lovers and petrol heads!

A great place for truck lovers and petrol heads!

Movable Glass Wall Glasgow

The beautifully made balustrade that had to be replaced with glass was an excellent example of craftsmanship, but it unfortunately meant that the whole museum had to be heated when the meeting room was in use. At the same time Malcolm wanted to maintain the open connection between the meeting hall and the exhibition centre.

 The removable wall starts left from the entrance door in the picture above or right in the picture below.

The removable wall starts left from the entrance door in the picture above or right in the picture below.

glass office wall Glasgow.jpg

Our fit out team were excited at the prospect of working in this great environment and also the photographer (a diesel head himself) was chuffed to bits when he learned where he was going. The story of W H Malcolm is inspiring and to have the privilege of working here ticked all the boxes.