Sitting is the new smoking | Activity Based Working

Sitting is the new smoking | Activity Based Working

Activity Based Working is a win/win for business and workers.

You are no doubt aware that sitting for prolonged periods of time is not good for your health. But are you aware of the business benefits of creating a moving, standing work environment?

The Commonwealth Bank in Sydney have introduced Activity Based Working.

Workers don’t have desks or lan lines. Their day is spent between different areas of the office, including standing desks and meeting areas.

The Commonwealth Bank is a great example of the win/win that is created by Activity Based Working. Walking and standing become part of the standard routine, ensuring workers move around alot more, which by default creates better staff interaction, engagement and, in turn, innovation.

” The primary reason for introducing the Activity Based Working environment by the Commonweath Bank was to introduce a better culture of collaboration. It gets people up and about… and thinking. “

Activity Based Working also saves on operating costs and waste. And it doesn’t necessarily involve an office refit.

It is indeed possible to implement Activity Based Working without a complete redesign or punching staircases through floors.

Activity Based WorkingLet’s examine meetings. They are meant to be the engine of productivity and innovation but in most cases they are drain on your people, the culture and productivity. So let’s change that together.

Start by redesigning 20% of your traditional meetings – in enclosed meeting spaces with tables and chairs – and make them stand up meetings in space that works to create buzz!

All you need is a little space, some mobile work walls, adoption of a few principles from Agile Thinking and away you go!  It’s all about connecting workspace with your process and people.

To discuss how to introduce Activity Based Working into your organisation, talk to Vince Asdagi on 0414 831 894.

A magnetic glass whiteboard now available with a timber frame.

A magnetic glass whiteboard now available with a timber frame.

This is no ordinary magnetic glass whiteboard. This is one for your most senior executives.

magnetic glass whiteboardClarus innovated the magnetic glass whiteboard when they created the go! Mobile and allowed glassboards to move freely… be mobile. They are now taking innovation to the next level by allowing the customisation to include handcrafted timber framing.

Timber Frames: Handcrafted, premium hardwood

Clarus go! Mobile is a stunning glass work wall – a US Interior Design Magazine award winner – and now the addition of timber to the range of customisation options creates a brand new standard in sophistication and style.

Timber framed double-sided glass work wall… the ultimate in office luxury. Imagine a whiteboard that rivals the timber quality of your boardroom table.

And they are more affordable than you might think!

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Bring the outdoors inside – it’s only natural.

Add an element of warmth and natural texture with one of three premium hardwood choices for your go! Mobile frame. The frames are hand crafted from solid wood, responsibly harvested in the USA.

magnetic glass whiteboard

  1. Soft Maple
  2. White Oak
  3. Walnut

magnetic glass whiteboard magnetic glass whiteboard magnetic glass whiteboard

The timber frame is lighter than the metal frame options, creating excellent mobility as the Clarus go! Mobile becomes even lighter to move around.

Glass Colour Options

You can also customise your go! Mobile with your choice of over 150 glass colours. You can even choose two different colours – one colour for the front, and a different colour for the back – at no extra cost.

Branding & Imagery

Proprietary glass printing technology allows Clarus to print any graphics in stunning full colour. And not limited to just logos and text! Your designs will look amazing on a Clarus magnetic glass whiteboard!

Visit the Go! Builder Tool to review the full range of customisation options.

About Clarus

Clarus, who have recently launched a brand new website, is the leading manufacturer of magnetic glass whiteboards. Clarus glass whiteboards never stain and can be easily customised – glass, frame, castors – you can even add imagery and branding.

Clarus go! Mobile is available in Australia exclusively through Collaborative Design Space. Learn how we recently sharpened the pencil on Clarus pricing.

Refer here for information on different whiteboard surfaces and the benefits of glass.


Video: The next frontier of productivity and innovation.

Video: The next frontier of productivity and innovation.

Interview with Peter Brady at Worktech, Sydney 2017

Collaboration & Mobile Work Walls

Collaboration is all about the next frontier of productivity and the next frontier of innovation.

Now if you want increased productivity and innovation, what you are going to have to do is solve complicated difficult, conflict laden problems.

Getting people to be candid, but also considerate to the feelings of others, is the critical challenge that companies face if they want to get further with where they are going with becoming more efficient or importantly (re)inventing themselves more quickly, developing products more quickly and being more agile.

So our mission… is to help with that in a very practical way.

What we do is we say to companies, “Right, you want to see different behaviours in the meeting rooms, you can’t do that with existing meeting rooms.”

Mix it up, take out some rectangular tables and enable stand-up meetings in those rooms.

Our product is Mobile Work Walls so what we enable is for people to work vertically, to put stuff on walls, to move around a lot.

We advocate for people to take Work Walls out of meeting spaces and put them everywhere, use under-utilised spaces, places where people can just stop and noodle something on a wall.

An example

At Westpac, for example, in their new offices at Barangaroo, they have a nice open plan template where they have got Work Walls all throughout the open plan areas.

So people don’t book meeting rooms as much there. They just have spontaneous stand-up meetings and the agile working model of having a Kanban board – which is a big infographic that sums up in an analogue way (beautifully designed these things) – that shows the gantt chart and the cluster diagrams. Something everyone can gather around and see the common purpose that they’ve got.

There are a hundred Kanban boards throughout Westpac at the moment and with a very practical tool like that they have achieved some really big things.

Innovation “capability” hubs

In these big collaboration hubs – these innovation hubs – don’t just see them as a place where people go to do projects (which is what a lot of companies do), they’ve got a big open space and they use our Work Walls to put project teams in there for a week or a month.

[You should] use them as a place that incubates new kinds of behaviour. Teach people how to bring a group in and get them relaxed and how to stand up in front of walls so there’s basic facilitation skills that we also train companies in – to make better use of those spaces.

And where you see companies seeing that, not as a place where you go, but as a capability hub, where people come and learn new skills and then take them out to other parts of their offices – that’s where you get the biggest bang for buck basically.

Book your free space assessment by Collaborative Design Space.

Video: How to create an environment for effective collaboration.

As an innovative company, it’s your job to create an inspiring workplace. Otherwise, in the age of disruption, you’ll fall behind.

But how do you create the perfect environment for effective collaboration? Somewhere flexible, creative and motivating for your staff?

Watch our video to learn how, or keep reading below…

At Collaborative Design, we’ve created innovative Work Walls to stimulate high performing, happier teams.

Work Walls help people to develop new, more collaborative ways of working and learning.

Directing the room from a front-facing whiteboard re-enforces outdated ideas about hierarchy. Instead, you can have your whole team collaborating around adjustable work walls.

Run stand-up meetings to keep your teams engaged. Now they can visualise solutions to complex issues and create new opportunities, together.

In traditional offices, rooms are either under-utilised or overbooked, wasting time as your staff seek available rooms. With Work Walls, you will create abundant, semi-private meeting spaces, easily, wherever you want.

Work Walls can be used to create semi private meeting spaces within open plan desk areas and within Large Multi Purpose Spaces. Perfect to create a visible beating heart of collaboration, within your organisation.

Operating in Australia and Singapore, with over 50 iconic clients including Google, Westpac and Standard Chartered – Collaborative Design Space are industry-leaders in driving innovation and collaboration.

Enquire Now to learn how you can transform your workplace with Work Walls today.


Herman Miller Caper: Why pay more than you need to?

Herman Miller Caper: Why pay more than you need to?

Herman Miller Caper and Mingle are so similar it’s actually hard to tell them apart… so why would you pay more?

Herman Miller Caper
To the left is an image of a Herman Miller Caper chair.

It is stackable, made from durable steel and polypropelene, has castors for good mobility, an ergonomic back support, and is available with or without arms.

The Herman Miller Caper chair is available from $400 RRP.


And to the right is an image of the Mingle chair by Collaborative Design Space.

It also is stackable, made from durable steel and polypropelene, has castors for good mobility, an ergonomic back support, and is available with or without arms.

But in addition, the Mingle chair has a sculptured upholstered seat, is ultra light (marginally more than many laptops) and much more cost effective!

The Mingle chair is available from $170 RRP.

Stacking castor chairsAnd when buying 20 or more Mingle chairs, we provide a free lightweight trolly (shown here) to stack and store 20 chairs at a time.

Request a quote here >>

Buy online now >>

Mingle chairs are used by the following successful companies:

JLL    UTS BS    Printvodafone             Gilbert + Tobin    electronic_arts

3 things to steal from Agile working.

In the continuous search for competitive edge, new organisational designs that are being explored, implemented and challenged.  What’s interesting is most of these aim to put more control in user-defined groups that are more or less self-directed and challenge the notion of hierarchy.

Agile innovation is one such approach.  It has traditionally been associated with the information technology and software industries but many organisations are now looking to see if the increased success rates in software development, improved quality and speed to market can be translated into other functional areas. Can agile values, principles, practices and methods be used and work outside of IT.?

Bain & Co, a consultancy, recently completed a study to look at the conditions needed for agile working to have the best chance of driving widespread value.

Market Environment

Customer preferences and solution
options change frequently.

Close collaboration and rapid feedback
are feasible.

Market conditions are stable and predictable.

Requirements are clear at the outset and will remain stable

Customers know better what they
want as the process progresses.
Customers are unavailable for constant collaboration.

Innovation Type
Problems are complex, solutions are unknown, and the scope isn’t clearly

defined. Product specifications may
change. Creative breakthroughs and
time to market are important.

Cross-functional collaboration is vital.

Similar work has been done before, and innovators believe the solutions are clear. Detailed specifications and work plans can
be forecast with confidence and should be adhered to. Problems can be solved sequentially in functional silos.

of Work

Incremental developments have value,
and customers can use them.Work can be broken into parts and
conducted in rapid, iterative cycles.Late changes are manageable.

Customers cannot start testing parts of the product until everything is complete.

Late changes are expensive or impossible.

Impact of Interim Mistakes They provide valuable learning. They may be catastrophic.

Source: Bain & Company “Embracing Agile” HBR May 2016 © HBR.ORG

So you have some favourable conditions for Agile?  If so what is easily accessible that you can take from it?

1/ Embrace Kanban

Let’s begin with the Kanban board. As a part of our work we often roam the floors of the latest offices of blue chip organisations, late at night.  You can tall a lot about a company walking around their offices at night.

One of the first things that you notice in brand new ABW environments is just how fast a new norm of completely clear / paperless is established.  It’s strange to walk around a floor occupied by 100 people and see absolutely no sign of them.   Desks are completely clear.

But the walls aren’t.  Who they are and what they are up to is all on the whiteboards.  In the case of one of our largest clients, the project based ‘neighbourhoods’ are punctuated by Kanban boards.  These are mobile whiteboards that have elaborate Gantt charts, post it note cluster diagrams and histograms and status column diagrams.  They are a work of art.  They are also a focal point for  common purpose.

In agile software development, an information radiator is a (normally large) physical display located prominently near the development team, where passers-by can see it. It presents an up-to-date summary of the product development status.

Newer office designs are increasingly project based and co-located ‘neighbourhoods’.  These areas may have a clear desk policy but it makes great sense for teams working in many functional and project roles to embrace the idea of the Kanban board.  A collective effort to display the facts, numbers and storyboard for the work of the team.  Embrace craft in the electronic age.

2/ Scrum Down

The idea of stand up meetings around mobile work walls is expanding beyond IT.  There are obvious productivity benefits in not having to book rooms in standard 30 minute of 1 hr slots.  Spontaneous stand up meetings are a great way to foster creativity and engagement.  A welcome break from the enclosed stuffy room where everyone sits around a rectangular table nodding off to a powerpoint presentation.

3/ Face to Face  

Agile working advocates co-location of cross functional teams.  While IT and software is largely electronic, agile is all about face to face interaction. The big take away here is to invest in face to face meetings strategically,  and have an abundance of environments that encourage spontaneity and movement.

Collaborative Design Space was founded to help make these kinds of spaces.  Co-design is best done in big groups using a big canvas.  Spontaneity is achieved when two people can noodle over a whiteboard in the office just as easily as on a napkin at lunch.


Agile working, like design thinking, has a great deal to offer teams everywhere. Getting teams to create a very large infographic on the shared mission within the team is a great way to engage and make otherwise anonymous space align to the purpose of the team occupying it. Stand up meetings around a shared view of information saves time and encourages presence. Face to face is the only way to get some challenges overcome, opportunities realised and relationships forged.