It's high-tech and trendy, but does activity-based working increase productivity?
PricewaterhouseCoopers Canberra is confident it will, as they become one of the capital's largest companies to embrace the flexible, collaborative office style.
And they're not alone, with a survey suggesting one in three businesses have or plan to implement "ABW".
The professional services firm's Forrest office - officially opened last month - provides about 200 staff with a personal locker, laptop and a range of individual and team work spaces, but no personal desk.
PwC Canberra managing partner Jeremy Thorpe - who like all management has also lost his set desk - said the move would improve collaboration and creative thinking.
"The key philosophy that underpins this is using technology so we're not wedded to our desks, changing the way we work - no one has an office, but we have lots of different spaces for different types of activities," Mr Thorpe said.
"The issue of innovation is one that is hard to quantify, but I have no doubt, and I have already seen, that if you put people into closer proximity to other people you get a burgeoning of ideas and connectivity that you would not normally see."
Areas in PwC's three floors are colour coded, guiding staff on the suitability for different activities.
Team meetings can be held in different pods, some fitted with iPad-style touch-TVs, others with whiteboards, while the 16 ground-floor rooms cater for client meetings.
Those needing a private space for a confidential call can move into one of the offices, some with couches and standing desks.
Mr Thorpe said PwC had spent more than six months preparing staff for the change, with no criticism since the move earlier this month.
"People actually like to try something different if you give them an opportunity to," Mr Thorpe said.
"Even the people who may have been more reticent coming in here, I've been really quite pleasantly surprised by the way they've embraced it.
"The way we actually work as teams in this space will mean greater productivity - our clients will be able to judge that in 12 months when they look back and say what innovation has been coming from PwC."
Activity-based working - known also as agile working or flexi-working - has grown rapidly in Australia in recent years.
Environmental psychologist Natalie Slessor has played a part in the growth, after working on Macquarie Group's Sydney CBD shift in 2009, believed to be the first large-scale ABW office in the nation.
Now head of workplace strategy at Lend Lease, Ms Slessor said about 50,000 people would be in ABW environments in Australia and New Zealand by the end of next year.
"About 18 or 19 projects - five to 10 years ago there were zero [in Australia],'' she said. "You would have found consultants such as PwC and their competitors using [some] hot-desking."
A Colliers International survey released earlier this year of 300 Australian and New Zealand tenants - with floor space of at least 500 square metres - found one in three organisations have or plan to implement ABW.
Ms Slessor said the flexible workspaces would help productivity, but there were conditions.
"I think it's highly dependent on a couple of things - you've got to get your technology right - it's not just about space - it's about how you work.
"[And] when the leaders do it, it makes it so much easier for everyone to know how to do it.''
She said several staff surveys after the Macquarie shift found 90 per cent of employees did not want their own desk back.
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