Hot-desking and why its not ABW


Over the last couple of decades we have talked a lot about the world of work and Activity Based Working, what is means for you, what it can be and what is involved when moving to an Activity Based Workplace. It’s what we love and do day in day out. We have explained ABW many times and people understand more and more, that ABW is more about working together to create the right outcomes rather than simply being present, nine to five, in a new fancy office.

But in order to explain the story of work and how to improve it, we need to answer one important question, many people have and sometimes mix up with ABW and that question is about the way we use our flexible workspace.

Is ABW the same as hot-desking?

A question we almost hear everyday. And the answer is absolutely not.

Hot-desks are non-allocated seatings in a traditional (and sometimes modern) office environment. Everybody can use a hot-desk. The CEO, you, and all your colleagues. Thats all they are, desks.


Why is ABW not hot-desking?

We need to be clear that Activity Based Working (ABW) is not a Hot-Desking program nor an open floor plan. Whilst ABW has the same philosophy of non-assigned seating or open transparent workspaces, there are many other work settings provided to compensate. ABW also isn’t a working from home or remote working program. That can be part of an ABW strategy if the organisation decides to implement a mobile working policy. However, ABW essentially focuses on the experience the employee has whilst in their office environment.

What else is Activity Based Working or Hot-Desking from different perspectives;

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