Managing in an ABW environment

Activity based working training

Provides managers working in ABW environments with the tools and knowledge to provide the specific support required to help their teams make the most of this flexible and dynamic way of working. 

Adapted to your group's needs and delivered at your offices


About the course

Course overview

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Activity based working (ABW) environments can be hugely effective and satisfying to work in, offering a balance of structure, support and freedom that can enable individuals and organisations to flourish.

However, from the perspective of team members ABW can present a range of challenges that require their manager’s support. These can be especially acute around the time that an organisation moves from a traditional style of working to ABW, so it’s vital that managers are equipped to make sure their team members and the organisation as a whole are able to make the most of the opportunities ABW affords.

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How quickly and well people adapt to ABW depends on factors including their personalities and working style, the working environment and the tools that are made available to them. Managers then, need to be aware of a wide range of new needs and concerns, and must have the confidence and knowledge to respond to them effectively. 

This course provides managers with a set of tools and techniques to help them identify and understand the challenges individuals in their teams may be facing, and provides a framework for offering individualised support to their team members before, during and after the transition to ABW.  


Key details

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By the end of this course, delegates will learn to:

  • Build team identify with an ABW environment
  • Maximise the performance of teams using ABW
  • Identify and use effective, flexible leadership behaviours when leading ABW teams
  • Recognise what virtual team members need and expect from their managers
  • Spot the different needs individuals have in relation to ABW working and support them accordingly
  • Identify different responses to change and ways to support staff during this change
  • Use a range of communication methods to support effective team working
  • Enable their team to make the most of the technology available
  • Create and maintain staff engagement and team spirit within an ABW environment
  • Build a resilient team, equipped to thrive in the new working environment

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The content of this course is always tailored to the specific needs of your organisation, but a typical agenda looks like this:

Part 1: Managing the transition to an activity-based working environment

  • Action-centred leadership
    • Identifying the behaviours, skills and qualities of highly effective managers within an Activity Based Working Environment.
    • Circle of control


  • Managing tasks in an ABW environment
    • Managing priorities, workloads and quality to ensure high performance
    • ‘Managing by objectives rather than by line of sight’
    • Using clear Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to manage your team when you’re not sitting with them


  • Building the team so it continues to work well together
    • Working effectively as a team when we are in different locations
    • Creating the right environment and building team spirit and trust
    • The role of team meetings


  • Supporting the individual’s needs in the team
    • Training and mentoring newer team members
    • identifying and supporting staff with personal and / or mental health issues


  • Managing and leading in an ABW environment
    • Using technology to improve communication


Part 2: Leading and managing in a an activity-based working environment

  • Building engagement within our teams
    • What factors increase engagement?
    • Providing effective feedback
    • Carrying out 1:1s


  • Delegating and training
    • How to ensure consistency and high standards with new and existing staff when we’re not sitting together


  • Using a flexible leadership style


  • Supporting our team through the transition
    • ‘Back to Back’ and transition curve models
    • The different types of mobility workers
    • Supporting staff at different stages of the transition process


  • Building resilience for ourselves and our team
    • A range of tools to build emotional resilience
    • Developing pragmatism and perspective
    • Supporting your team as they adjust to change


  • Action planning carried out throughout the session
    • Developing a personal action for you and your team
    • Identifying what changes you can make now
    • Preparing for the first few weeks in the new working environment

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This course has been developed to meet the needs of managers who are preparing for or currently undertaking activity based working. [/restab][/restabs]

Course leader

Kate Jennings is a highly experienced and qualified management development facilitator, trainer and coach.  For many years she led teams in the food industry, working with organisations such as M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, setting up new teams and introducing new working practices. Over the last fifteen years she has worked as a consultant, facilitator and coach to develop and support engaged and productive workforces. Kate specialises in facilitating organisational change, including transitions to Activity Based Working. Kate’s work spans public, private and charitable sectors with clients in the UK, Europe and the USA.




Kate Jennings - Cambridge Executive Development

Track record

“Wonderful day. Filled me with positive energy and feeling very motivated at a much needed time.”
Delegate, John Lewis Partnership

“Great learning experience, but more importantly, I feel I can use what I’ve learnt in everyday life – work, home and personal.”
Marketing Manager, Life Fitness

“Very engaging and interactive. [The trainer] was superb.”
Director, Advertising Standards Agency

“I am noticeably more confident and self-aware since I took part in the course and feel empowered to develop my career in a way that plays to my strengths.”
Scientist, British Antarctic Survey

“I learnt a lot from the day. Lots of ideas to return to the office with. Very much enjoyed the course and the fantastically knowledgeable trainer.”
Delegate, Iris Accountancy Solutions

Cambridge Exec clients - leadership

Additional learning resources

Post-course support

We understand that your professional development doesn’t end when you walk out of the classroom. The time you’ve put in will only make a real impact if your learning is carried into the way you work. That’s why we offer post-course support in implementing your new skills, for as long as required. Your trainer is available to discuss problems, provide advice or offer feedback until you feel confident on your own.

E-learning package

This course also includes access to an ‘e-learning pinboard’, a password protected webpage where your trainer has posted articles, videos, interviews and other useful tools for you to draw on for inspiration and ideas going forward.

In-house courses at your offices

If you have any questions or if you would like to speak to one of our other trainers about how this course could work for your organisation please get in touch. We can deliver the course at your offices, anywhere in the UK – and beyond.

In most cases we can provide an all-inclusive quote to cover design, delivery and materials with some basic information:

  • Which course you are interested in
  • Where the course would take place
  • How many delegates need to be trained

Just drop us a line with these basic facts and we’ll get back to you with a no-obligation quote on the same day.