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Veldhoen + Company Global
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5611 BJ Eindhoven
The Netherlands

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Activity Based Working (ABW)


ABW enables your organisation to improve performance, become more agile and flexible, and better attract and retain talent.

What is Activity Based Working (ABW)?

What is Activity Based Working (ABW)?

An Activity Based Working (ABW) approach recognises that people perform different activities in their day-to-day work, and inspires people to make more conscious choices in how they execute their work.

By creating a Way of Working (WoW) Strategy based on this principle, ABW is a manner to detect the physical and virtual needs of individuals and teams. This flexible approach to the organisation determines the importance of an office, working from home, or other locations by stimulating fresh routines for teams. ABW’s heavy emphasis on the creation of a culture of connection, accountability, and trust empowers individuals, and the organisation to perform to their potential.

In other words, ABW transforms work into something you feel empowered to do, rather than somewhere you need to be.


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ABW Workplace Design

According to the Activity Based Working (ABW) model, culture, technology, and physical space are inextricably connected. A holistic workplace strategy is built on these three interdependent elements:

  • The ‘Bricks’ - the built environment
  • The ‘Bytes’ - digital platforms & virtual space
  • The ‘Behaviours’ - the culture, rituals & rhythms of work

These are all crucial elements in a successful workplace transformation, but they often don’t receive equal focus. 

Different workplaces require different balances of these three elements. For example, in a hybrid workplace, the built environment is no longer the primary source of meaning and belonging for employees. Therefore, a behaviour-first approach is needed to achieve success.​
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ABW Activities

What’s considered an 'activity' in Activity Based Working? In ABW we differentiate activities into three main categories:
  • Individual activities such as focus work,
  • Collaborative activities such as dialogues, presentations or brainstorming,
  • Other such as much needed relaxation or technical activities.

Each activity type is best suited for a certain kinds of digital work environments or physical spaces and are best supported by certain behavioural mindsets.

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Implementing ABW

An activity-based way of  working goes beyond building a great new workspace and potentially reducing costs. Our vision of ABW is about collaboration, empowerment, leadership visibility, connection, and the mutual relationship between productivity and enjoying one’s work. 

When approaching work in an ABW way, it challenges leaders to ask: “What do people, regardless of their job title and expertise, need?” Then, they need to trust and empower their employees to use whichever spaces they choose for as long as they choose.

To get to this point, leadership, teams and individuals all need to first shift their culture and mindset.

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History of Activity Based Working


American architect Robert Luchetti co-invents the concept of “activity settings,” a predecessor to the framework that would be formalised as Activity Based Working.

Early 1990s

Based on pre-ABW workplace consulting projects, Veldhoen + Company develops the framework of Activity Based Working and more formally applies this approach across its workplace transformation projects.


Activity Based Working is applied to a large-scale project for the first time at Interpolis, an insurance company in the Netherlands which remains an Activity Based Workplace to this day.


Activity Based Working continues to grow in popularity, is applied at numerous organisations, and gains traction with the rise of remote work and hybrid offices.


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic sends many organisations into a remote-first work environment. The accelerated development and broader application of new workplace technologies enrich workplace analytics. V+C partners with Microsoft to further deepen its Research & Data practice towards a continued exploration of new ways of working.


The global pandemic of COVID-19 fundamentally challenges the way many organisations and employees think about the workplace. V+C is able to observe and measure the resilience of ABW organisations during this period.

Future of Activity Based Working

Future of Activity Based Working

Activity Based Working is a workplace philosophy that transcends the latest trends and buzzwords. It can be applied to organisations with small offices, large offices, hybrid offices, or no offices at all. 

Whatever the future of work may be, forward-thinking organisations will always benefit from analysing work through the lens of activities. When also paired with workplace data, ABW is an incredibly powerful framework to improve engagement, efficiency, and wellbeing. 

From this human-centric perspective, we can discover entirely new ways of working. As new work activities and technologies emerge, ABW will continue to inform the design of physical spaces, digital environments, and workplace culture.

Apply Activity Based Working at your organisation

Get in touch to start the conversation.