The future of work

Article image - The future of work Staff settle in to activity-based working.

Cardinia Shire Council in Victoria has been leading the way on activity-based working, which encourages flexibility and the use of mobile technology.

Moving to a new office in November 2014, Cardinia took the opportunity to move to an activity-based working (ABW) environment.

This way of working is helping the organisation achieve better collaboration and communication between departments and staff, which leads to greater productivity and efficiency.

All staff are encouraged and supported to adopt this work style and behave in a way that supports Council’s aspirations of being more connected and cohesive, mobile, dynamic and engaged as well as strive for operational excellence.

The floor space of Council’s new building was specifically designed to accommodate ABW practices, with staff able to select their workspace based on their day’s activities.

Staff are encouraged to ‘follow your work’ – that is, be mindful of the space they are ‘occupying’ at a given time and to move to a different, more appropriate space as their tasks change throughout the day.

The building includes a centralised hub and a variety of activity areas that staff can use dependent on what task they want to perform.

The open space creates a bright and airy feel and colourful furnishings create a fun and engaging atmosphere.

Spaces where staff can work with others, collaborate, focus, or work silently are spread throughout the building encouraging staff to challenge the ‘nesting’ aspect of human nature.

Rather than having their own allocated workstations, staff members are assigned a locker so they can pick up their belongings and choose a setting that suits their type of work activity.

This approach applies to all staff in the organisation from the CEO down.

To make ABW possible, staff extensively use mobile and digital technology. This has reduced the dependence on paper and improved customer response times.

In the two years since moving to the new offices council has recorded a 75 per cent reduction in paper usage.

Staff survey results from 2017 told us that 80 per cent of staff felt more productive and 94 per cent felt more adaptable when faced with change.

If anyone would like to arrange a tour of the office or find out more about activity-based working contact Council via email mail[@]