The Activity Based Working Technology Checklist for IT Leaders and CxOs

The world of work is changing. At the heart of this change is the concept of time, place and technology independence for employees of companies of all sizes, types and locations. But flexible working is more than just an individual “IT-Technology” initiative, a human resources policy, or a facilities management approach. Contemporary work styles like Activity Based Working (ABW) take their lead from the harmonization and optimisation of real estate utilisation, talent management, organizational culture, and technology considerations. ABW and other flexible working strategies like telework involve a broad set of influencers and decision makers across multiple areas of the business. The following diagram outlines the forces at play in the contemporary flexible working movement.

Four Flexible Working Forces

Since the start of 2013, TRA’s Intelligent Workspaces research has involved quantitative surveys and more than 100 independent analyst deep dive interviews with CxOs of organisations across ANZ, ASEAN and Japan. We have the most comprehensive and mature data and insights on the current and future direction of the world of work in the Asia Pacific region. TRA analysts have also been engaged in an advisory capacity in numerous ABW projects. Through this research we have found ABW projects typically involve the following technology changes:

ABW Tech Otucomes

The ABW Question Checklist

The following checklist of questions is not meant to be a comprehensive set of everything that an organisation needs to consider when evaluating ABW or other flexible work styles. Rather it is meant to stimulate strategic thinking about how these approaches can support your organisation’s needs, particularly from the technology side of the flexible working equation. We encourage IT leaders and CxOs involved in workplace strategy to use these questions as a starting point for establishing their own unique vision and also for evaluating the services they are getting from 3rd parties as part of an ABW project.

Phase 1: Existing Workplace Strategy Evaluation

  • Have you conducted a thorough evaluation of the contribution your existing workplace strategy makes to organisational goals and how potential changes could generate new and/or more value?

    • Have you sought an independent assessment to validate your findings and/or examine additional components?

    • Have you ensured all relevant internal and external stakeholders’ opinions and needs are included?

  • Could changes to your current workplace strategy allow you to achieve optimal engagement with clients?

    • Could changes allow you to expediently make changes for expected and unexpected future developments that could impact client engagement?

  • Could changes to your current workplace strategy better support a long-term vision for how you expect or want employees to work in future?

    • Do you have the agility to support flexible work styles or will elements of the environment create a barrier to contemporary ways of working?

    • How does the workplace contribute to retention and recruitment efforts?

  • Could changes to your existing workplace strategy improve risk management?

  • Could changes to your existing workplace strategy improve individual and team productivity?

  • Could changes to your workplace strategy encourage higher levels of innovation?

  • Could changes to your workplace strategy assist with environmental sustainability efforts or other corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandates?

  • Is your current workplace strategy offering high levels of space and technology resource utilisation?

    • How does your current workplace strategy’s financial efficiency (or cost management) compare to competitors?

    • Do you have the relevant data available to make informed financial decisions and to compare against benchmarks?

  • Have you evaluated whether you are placing the appropriate level of priority on improving the workplace strategy vis-à-vis your broader organisational strategy?

    • And as compared to competitors’ efforts?

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