Innsbruck, 22nd May 2020 – The fact that the corona crisis will lead to long-term changes in working environments is quite clear to Paul Ohnmacht. However, for the architect and Head of Design at ATP Innsbruck the question of what these changes will look like is fascinating and is closely related to the concept of Activity Based Working (ABW).
“Can a layout for ABW after corona really look just like it did before corona? Of course the answer’s no”, says Ohnmacht, before adding: “It won’t be about eliminating open-plan offices but, rather, thinking about how I can improve the workplace as such so that it’s really worth coming to the office to work.”
In other words, only when employers provide high-quality working environments will these offer an attractive alternative to the home office. Highly promising approaches include furniture-based room-in-room solutions and flexible interiors that can be rearranged according to use. “During lockdown, countless people worked for weeks on their kitchen tables and chairs. And when this didn’t suit them any longer they moved to the couch or went for a walk. This is basically also ABW,” explained Ohnmacht.
The question of whether the home office will also establish itself over the long term also depends upon the difference between various sorts of work. While classic desk and chair-based activities can easily be carried out at home, team and communication-based work continues to be best carried out from the corporate workplace – for two reasons: efficiency and personal perception. Because Paul Ohnmacht also values coming together and exchanging ideas with colleagues every day. That’s why he trusts that a good balance can be found between digital communication and human experience and that Covid-19 will stimulate the debate about ABW.