What is ’Agile’ Working?
In light of recent developments with the COVID-19 outbreak, we decided to publish our article on “Agile Working” earlier than planned. In these challenging times, everyone is being advised to look with fresh eyes at how their teams engage and how their businesses can operate with minimal social contact.
Adam Stevens, Commercial Director at Collection Pot, comments; “It is now more important than ever to engage teams using agile working practices. Even before the COVID-19 issue, advances in technology and a shift in work culture mindset enabled teams to work from home or across multiple sites, but we mustn’t lose sight of the need to retain a sense of ‘team’. I strongly believe that Collection Pot will form part of the solution to enabling remotely based team member to feel valued and included in the wider team.”
Flexible working usually centres on flexible working hours, hot desking or the ability to work from home – the ‘where’ and ‘when’ a person works, if you like. Agile working challenges employers to go further and have a more multi-dimensional view of ‘how’ and ‘why’ their employees work, combined with a more proactive involvement in facilitating ways of working that better suit their workforce.
When we start to look at work as an activity rather than a static place, opportunities for agile working and increased employee engagement start to evolve. We know that the flexibility to work from home allows employees to balance both their personal and work lives more effectively, which in theory leads to a happier, healthier work force, but where people work is only the start when it comes to creating an agile working environment.
By broadening the scope of working flexibility and encompassing work processes, workflow and the structure of their workplace experience, and by focusing on enabling people to work in the way that best suits them and is best suited to their duties, companies stand to increase job satisfaction, increase motivation and create more successful outcomes.
Why Consider Agile Working?
Once we remove the belief that work is just a ‘place’ and we turn our focus to agile working rather than flexible working, the more possibilities and advantages are brought to the table.
Companies that maintain an enviable reputation as great employers often place the workforce at the heart of their agenda, demonstrating employees are valued. Employees that feel valued are usually much more loyal than those that don’t. An employee at Hiscox insurance, rated #7 in Glassdoor’s annual Employees’ Choice Awards in 2019 says: “The workplace is friendly, and communications is open, technology is available to allow a fantastic work/home balance, with facilities to boot.” Recent UK research by Capability Jane, a recruitment consultancy specialising in recruiting flexible working talent, revealed that 92% of Millennials identify flexibility as a top priority when job hunting and that 80% of women and 52% of men want flexibility in their next role. However, less than 10% of UK advertised jobs currently offer flexibility and so the gap between supply and demand is colossal.
How to Introduce Agile Working
Companies that have successfully installed agile working, such as Vodafone, Unilever and Transport for London, not only offer flexible hours but adaptable working practices and technology that can be used remotely. Interior design and the use of furniture has also been intrinsically linked to successful agile working environments and this can be a great first step towards meeting new and existing employee requirements.
If you are looking to improve your workspace, increase productivity and boost motivation here are some quick tips on how to create this type of agile workspace:
In summary, with advances in technology, particularly smartphones and faster home broadband, working in an office from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, is no longer a successful strategy for ensuring a strong and dedicated workforce.
By introducing an agile working environment and allowing flexibility as well as solutions and alternatives to structured working styles, organisations not only reduce travel costs for their staff but also add productive hours to their days by removing their commuting time. It also makes employees more engaged and happier in the workplace and offers attractive incentives for new members of staff as well as ensuring you keep valued staff members motivated.
We’re always keen to promote better ways of working at Collection Pot and we make it easy to recognise your staff’s achievements and milestones using our online solution for group collecting. Collection Pot provides a safe and secure online environment for colleagues to club together for those special moments which are so beneficial for both employee morale and company culture. And because our solution is online, it’s perfect for virtual and international teams too, as we support multiple currencies. Explore how Collection Pot works today!
Don’t miss our next article coming soon about “Sustainability in the Workplace” and how you can make small changes in your business or working habits (including working from home) that will help make a vital difference to our impact on the environment.