In the Zone: How Brother Boosts Activity Based Working

As the office landscape evolves to accommodate different ways of working, IT infrastructure’s evolving too. From a traditionally centralised, one-size-fits-all model, today’s modern workplace is taking a more considered, customisable and flexible approach to technology. It’s an approach that syncs perfectly with Activity Based Working (ABW).

ABW gives employees the choice of working in different zoned spaces according to their mood or activity. And for organisations committed to business transformation, it’s already raising levels of wellbeing, productivity, and creativity. A shift in culture and the right office design are fundamental to its success. But the right IT infrastructure needs to be in place too.


Right People, Right Technology, Right Location

One of the biggest names in office printers, business solutions, and supplies, Brother UK has a track record of innovation. Founded over 100 years ago in Japan, Brother established a base in Europe in 1958, when it started producing everything from its iconic typewriters to motorbikes. In 1971, it introduced the world's first high-speed dot matrix printer. It launched the world's thinnest self-contained mobile printer in 2004. And it released the first desktop scanner with built-in wireless connectivity a few years later.

It’s this ethos of innovation that’s now helping businesses deliver greater productivity and efficiency through new ways of working. With a diverse package of technology solutions designed around workplace fluidity, it’s the ideal choice for customers looking to scale up or start up ABW.

To address the needs of ABW, Brother has adopted a ‘balanced deployment’ methodology. The concept behind this is simple but effective: Match the right people, with the right technology, in the right location. What this means in practice is that, whether it’s a home office or one of the ABW zones, each device is strategically placed and optimised to suit its surroundings and its purpose.


Bringing Benefits Through Balanced Deployment

There are big benefits to Brother’s balanced deployment approach. In general, having multiple printers dispersed throughout the workplace (and in offices at home) brings better operational resilience. It supports smoother workflows and greater efficiencies, because users of each device are targeted, and familiar with the specific range of features they need to do their job. Costs (especially soft costs) are lower because businesses aren’t paying for an off-the-shelf solution packed with features that many users simply won’t use. And, through Brother’s managed print service with automated ordering and device monitoring, uptime is maximised.

Then there are the specific benefits it brings to ABW and remote working. With every device designed to meet the specific requirements of each activity and space, engagement and productivity within each area are optimised.

At Home or On-the-Road

With Brother’s portable printing solutions, mobile and remote workers can function equally well wherever they’re based. The PJ-700 thermal portable range and the All in Box 4-in-1 colour inkjet printer bundle with mobile printing, are both ideal for home or on-the-go work.

On a Project or In a Group

Using one of its multifunctional, X Series, A3 inkjet devices, employees gathered in a collaboration zone can create and share concepts or ideas in the moment, securely, and with professional quality print.

In the Background

Brother’s simple, and discreet mono laser printers work equally well in both social and silent zones. In busy social zones, they give employees the subtle and unobtrusive tech they need to function without destroying the relaxed and informal feel of the space. In silent zones, they keep distractions and noise to a minimum. Choose between models like the MFC-L6900DW A4 Mono Laser 4-in-1 for high-print volumes or, for a more compact design, the HLL5050DNU1 Mono Laser Printer.

Ready-Made Resourcing

For employees in a learning zone, Brother’s practical range of small, black and white, A4 mono printers and scanners is ideal for capturing educational or study resources with minimal fuss.


Tackling Challenges

Having devices dispersed across different zones and spaces works in many ways. But it also presents your customers with challenges. So, how does Brother tackle them? Let’s look.


With ABW, employees move from one space to another depending on their mood or task. This means it’s not good enough just to provide the right IT functionality in each space. To keep productivity and engagement levels high, user experience needs to be consistent across all devices too. With different devices in different areas, this can be difficult to achieve. To address this, Brother’s print solutions all come with a consistent and intuitive user interface that feels familiar and accessible.

Device and Workflow Management

Dispersed devices can also present challenges to IT teams when it comes to compliance, management, and reporting. Through Brother’s Managed Print Services, all of these can be centralised and automated. Brother’s partnership with Kofax means your customers can track and transform digital workflows across all zones and devices. Which means confidential information is protected. Archiving is seamless and automated. And, by using a Thin Print plug-in, print jobs are compressed and performance is optimised.


Hybrid and ABW widen the surface area businesses need to keep secure. And scale isn’t the only challenge. Built around fluidity and movement, ABW thrives on an open-access policy. While this is what gives the model its purpose, it presents additional security challenges for businesses. These challenges are common to all ABW spaces but are particularly evident in a public space like the social zone, or a room inside an employee’s home.

Offering peace of mind for your customers, Brother’s professional printer range comes with updated network security features to manage this risk. These include intrusion detection, end-to-end encryption with port-based access controls, digitally signed firmware, authentication functionality, and programmes like Secure Print.


Future-Proofed Printing…and More

Looking ahead, ABW looks set to be the dominant model for all progressive businesses. And with its versatile range of award-winning devices and supplies, Brother is well placed to help your customers adapt and thrive in this new corporate landscape. Its bespoke print and document solutions meet the needs of different spaces, teams, and activities - from co-working and ABW zones to home and mobile offices. And its native features, combined with enhanced product integrations and partnerships, ensure that compliance, data integrity, and security aren’t sacrificed for fluidity and flexibility.


For more information on the full range of Brother products, please contact Mark Wysocki at 01379 649200 or Or, speak to your Midwich account manager.

Want to find out more about Activity Based Working?

Visit our ABW portal.