New research in a study that included over 70,000 people reveals how employees who embrace activity-based working report significantly higher levels of workplace productivity and pride in their jobs.

The data also reveals a clear and dramatic increase in satisfaction levels with creative and collaborative tasks in Activity Based Work (ABW) settings – but only when appropriate mobility behaviours are adopted.

Over half of employees who use workplaces designed in an activity-based way state that their workspace enables them to work productively, compared to the 43 percent that admit to being anchored to their workstations. However, 3 in 4 workers within activity-based environments perform most, if not all of their tasks in the same location, despite the variety of spaces that are provided for them to work in.

This new study, conducted in partnership for IFMA Sweden and financially supported by Tenant and Partner Sweden, has revealed a high level of ‘employee inertia’. The data suggests that this apparent inability to adapt to surroundings designed for working in an activity centric way could be crippling the productivity gains client organisations thought possible.

Tim Oldman, Leesman CEO said:

 “At the close of the yearlong study, Leesman can now reveal that, despite commendable business intentions, employees are failing to adopt the behaviours necessary to realise the potential benefits of activity-based work models,”

“Giving employees the freedom to move around in the spaces provided could significantly increase their engagement levels and performance. However, productivity levels will remain stagnant if employees aren’t encouraged to break the ingrained habit of only ever working in one place. Organisations should not underestimate the pivotal importance of behavioural change in delivering a successful outcome.

Activity-based working is a worthwhile venture but only if the workforce in question is able to adapt their mobility profiles accordingly. Variety and mobility is mission critical when seeking to improve business productivity and performance.”

Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.