Nov 17

Agile Working, Activity Based Working & Hot Desking – What’s the Difference?

If you thought that office work operates to the beat of one drum alone, you’d be wrong.  Workplace technique and practice has evolved over the years in an effort to try and stimulate productivity, efficiency and morale in a variety of different ways – and, for plenty of people, this concept of ‘variety’ certainly goes a long way.  From an office management perspective, flexible working zones and desk areas are particularly tempting for various reasons – and you may well have heard of several concepts such as Agile Working, Activity Based Working and Hot Desking that supply such flexibility.  But what is the actual difference between the three – and how can they make a difference to the way your own office operates?


Agile Working

Agile Working is largely focused on creating a more autonomous culture and allows individuals to choose to work from a setting which suits their personal preference or work style.  Whether it be a breakout space, traditional desk, standing desk or meeting room that staff choose to work in, this design concept recognises that not all employees have the same needs when they are at work.  For example, a quiet office is a great environment if you need to concentrate, but it is not at all conducive to team building and group communication.   Agile Working is a prime option to take if optimising morale and staff interaction is at the top of your agenda.   The result is increased sense of freedom for staff and increased workplace satisfaction resulting in higher productivity and employee retention.


Activity Based Working

Activity Based Working can be seen as a rather similar concept to Agile Working, and the concept is often used in an agile environment.  There’s no fixed desks or stations in play – instead the desks and areas are planned out and reserved for specific activities and tasks.  Staff choose to workplace in the space that best suits the task at hand.  This means that both the management need for flexible staff and the employee need for variety are satisfied.  It is another form of flexible working which aims to reduce stress and boost productivity – and for many firms around the world, it more than succeeds on a regular basis.


Hot Desking

Hot Desking is a technique which is widely used in office arenas such as the contact centre, where agents can flexibly assign themselves a desk and sign in to work.   Multiple people may use any given workstation. This type of flexible working allows for desks and storage units to remain clear and neutral, and for employees to move from area to area without having a fixed position.  Hot desking is widely employed by workforces aiming to keep the office floor at the same level – and it is efficient and versatile enough to work well for thousands of firms, particularly where not everyone has to be in the office at the same time.


Could Hot Desking, Agile Working, or Activity Based Working improve the way your workspace and employees operate?  Contact Zentura today to see how we can apply these three models too your own office.