Policy University Management Adaptive Workplace Policy

Adaptive Workplace Policy

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This Policy ensures the University’s workplaces provide an inviting environment which help shape and align workplace culture by encouraging openness, interaction, engagement and collaboration, and which facilitate and accommodate the types of work in which our staff and students engage and the connections they seek to make.


This Policy for the allocation of workplaces applies to all Occupants of the University working at our JCU Australian Tropical Campuses, except JCU Singapore and JCU Brisbane.

This Policy does not apply to learning and teaching spaces, and research laboratories.

Where this Policy conflicts with the Space Allocation and Management Policy, this Policy will take precedence.

This Policy applies to all new projects that have occurred from 1 January 2013,  for example Education Central, The Science Place, JCU Ideas Lab, AITHM, Cairns Institute etc. This Policy applies to all University workplaces which undergo renovation to accommodate these types of spaces, to ensure that occupants do not opt for particular buildings to avoid this policy.


Active zone - Designated area where behaviour and activities undertaken require more discussion or one on one engagement options. Conversation and engagement is acceptable.

Activity spaces - Support spaces designed to provide a variety of user experiences for Occupants who undertake different activities during their workday i.e. focus work, collaboration activities, social engagements or team meetings.

Adaptive workplace - A combination of workpoints, Activity spaces and amenity designed to support the ways of working for an Organisational unit which can respond to changing functional needs. It can be based upon either an allocated or unallocated model.

Adaptive workplace (allocated) - An adaptive workplace in which Occupants are allocated either a dedicated One-person workpoint or access to a shared One-person workpoint (attributed to their employment fraction).  All occupants are allocated access to any activity spaces in the building.

Adaptive workplace (unallocated) - An adaptive workplace in which Occupants may access any workpoints or activity spaces within their allocated building.

Adaptive workplace matrix - A set of standardised measurements and space type descriptions designed to support any combination of activities in an active zone and/or focus zone.

Design teams - The members involved in co-creating the New Project including key stakeholders from the Organisational unit, Services & Resources Division staff and consultants.

Focus zone - Designated area where behaviour and activities undertaken require more attention and direct focus. Conversation and engagement is limited.

Function-based allocation - One-person offices may be allocated to Occupants by exception via an Estate Advisory Committee approval process.

Hybrid work - A flexible working model that supports a mix of work styles and personal working preferences supporting all aspects of a distributed workforce, including people working in the workplace and people working remotely.

New projects - All planned construction projects, and refurbishment projects forthwith.

Occupants - Staff, HDRs, adjuncts, honorary appointments, visitors and industry partners.

One-person office (1P office) - An enclosed workpoint located in a shared space including a distinct entrance with a consistent standard of technology and furniture for a single user i.e. individual desk, ergonomic chair, monitors, and docking station.

One-person workpoint (1P workpoint) - A workpoint located in a shared space with a consistent standard of technology and furniture provided for a single user i.e. individual desk, ergonomic chair, monitors, and docking station.

Organisational unit - A discrete operating unit within the University to which operating responsibility can be associated. Includes divisions, colleges, offices, directorates, disciplines, institutes, centres, units and University enterprises.

Shared space - Area within an allocated work environment where 1P workpoints are positioned in groups of four to six workpoints.  Shared space pertains to 1P workpoints and the supporting activity spaces and building amenity.

Space - University space includes all campuses, leased locations, remote sites and research locations inclusive of workpoints, activity spaces, land, buildings, laboratories, and learning and teaching spaces.


1. This policy is to guide and inform the implementation of the adaptive workplace concept for all New projects.

2. Enabling JCU Culture and Organisational Change

2.1 The Adaptive Workplace Policy will deliberately align JCU physical spaces with the values and goals of the University to provide engaging, collaborative, sustainable and technologically enabled workplaces that facilitate connections between our staff, students and the broader community. The four Adaptive Workplace aspirations are key components in any new projects to deliver this.

3. Adaptive workplace aspirations

3.1 Design teams and user groups will co-create the work environments of all New projects, embedding in the design, the following four adaptive workspace aspirations:

3.1.1 Engagement. The workplace environment provides opportunity for greater connections between students and Occupants, University and industry.

3.1.2 Sense of belonging. Place is powerful. The new way of working should inculcate and encourage sense of belonging and encourage Occupants to participate on campus.

3.1.3 Customer outcomes. Enable productive industry partnerships, improved student experiences, and support engagement with community.

3.1.4 Sustainability. Creating optimised and fit for purpose workspaces to future proof organisational change.

4. Adaptive workplace principles

4.1 The following adaptive workplace principles inform and guide New project Design teams and user groups.

4.1.1 Social justice and equal access to all spaces, technology and resources, with a shift from ‘I own’ to ‘I use’.

4.1.2 Students and Occupants experience healthy and stimulating environments.

4.1.3 High choice of Activity spaces that are functional, activity based and inspiring.

4.1.4 Adaptable layouts to respond to organisational change without reliance on physical refurbishment, construction and environmental impact.

4.1.5 Hybrid and mobile work patterns are seamlessly supported.

4.1.6 Comfortable and transparent environments that promote safety and wellbeing.

4.1.7 Space that enables Occupants opportunities for engagement and greater information sharing.

5. Strategic workplace allocation

5.1 Standard workpoint: Occupants employed fractional 0.6 and above will be allocated a 1P workpoint. Occupants employed below fractional 0.6 will be supported through access to shared 1P workpoints within their Organisational unit space specifically for short term use.

5.2 Standard office: Standard offices will not normally be allocated to Occupants, however  a 1P office may be allocated by exception if approved via the Estate Advisory Committee approval process. Allocation of a 1P office must be endorsed by the Head of Organisational unit and then approved by the Estate Advisory Committee. The function-based allocation of a 1P office is applied when a position function satisfies the following criteria:

5.2.1 The Occupant is a full-time member who performs executive management and leadership functions for an Organisational unit; and

5.2.2 primarily works on campus five days a week; and

5.2.3 performs a function that is not supported by any associated activity spaces.

Related policy instruments

JCU Space Allocation and Management Policy

Adaptive Workplace Procedure

Adaptive Workplace Design Guidelines (Space Types)

Adaptive Workplace Design Guidelines (1P Workpoints)

Adaptive Workplace Allocation Calculator



Related documents and legislation

VCAC 1st December 2021 Minutes – New Ways of Working Project Report and Recommendations


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management

Policy Sub-domain

Estate and Facility Management

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next Major Review


Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Approved by

Implementation date





Estate Committee


Policy established

Associate Director, Operations, Estate Directorate


Adaptive workplace, space management, 1P workpoint, 1P office, allocation

Contact person

Associate Director, Operations, Estate Directorate