Veldhoen + Company, the Dutch workplace consultancy that pioneered Activity Based Work, is one of the most important companies you’ve never heard of. ABW is, essentially, mass scale corporate coworking. Everyone in the company, including the CEO and other top managers, gets a laptop and a locker for storage. People choose workspaces that fit the work they are doing that day, not a fixed space that assumes that work everyday is the same. Sounds radical, but really it is quite simple.
As the folks at Veldhoen say, ABW is about much more that redesigning physical spaces. A major knock-on effect of ABW is cultural transformation. Top management is accessible. No one is hidden behind oak desks and personal assistants. Many time-consuming meetings are eliminated. Openness and transparency are nourished, and flatter and more egalitarian organizations evolve.
These are all good things, if you value these things. However, if you want to keep power and decision-making authority in the hands of the few, then ABW is probably not for you. In order to find out if ABW is right for your company, maybe you should just ask your employees!