The University of Sydney, in partnership with Southern Cross University and the Cachet Group is collaborating in a study to assess the impact of activity-based working in Australian offices.

The pilot study, a first of its kind in Australia, will examine how activity-based office designs affect worker productivity and wellbeing.

According to the University of Sydney’s Dr Christhina Candido who is leading the study and who also runs the Building Occupant Survey System (BOSSA) in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, understanding the impact of indoor environments is crucial to employee satisfaction, health and productivity.

“Open plan offices have evolved significantly in Australia over the last few decades as a result of innovative concepts such as activity-based working now becoming the norm,” she says.

“We know a lot about the issues around open-plan working, but we need to understand more about how this latest wave of activity-based work environments may affect the productivity of office workers.”

Wearable technology and novel analytical software developed by Southern Cross University and the University of Sydney will be used to capture and analyse the cognitive responses of workers in a variety of work spaces.

Considered a transformative business strategy, activity-based working provides a multitude of unconventional and egalitarian spaces by removing personal desks and allowing workers to gravitate to a location suited to undertaking a particular task.

“The advantages of activity-based working have already been widely reported in the property sector but it is time to provide evidence around this growing office trend in Australia,” says Candido.

The pilot study will be carried out in a range of Cachet designed contemporary offices in Sydney with the potential for the study to be rolled out across Australia.

Rowan Hamman, managing director of Cachet Group’s Australian operation says the Australian study will provide the research needed to develop a standard of work place design. 
“It will provide the basis for evidence-based design solutions to increase worker satisfaction,” he says.