Agile vs Flexible Working : Is it for You?
You may think that “Agile” and “Flexible” working are interchangeable terms for the same thing. It may conjure up ideas of working from home, or swanning into the office after 10am. But what does it really mean?
Flexible Working is usually designed around an individual taking into account their out-of-work commitments. Its focus is usually around location, accounting for working hours and tends to be employee-driven. The more traditional employer may view flexible working as a liability rather than an advantage.
Agile Working, however, is based on the idea that work is an activity, not just a place.
Agile working is organisation-led and is embedded into its culture, allowing employees to work wherever and whenever best suits the task or project. An Agile office is a move away from the traditional environment where each employee is assigned a desk and a chair. In its place, the use of hot desks and collaborative spaces are used.
‘Agile working is about finding the most appropriate and effective way of working to carry out a particular task. It is working within guidelines (of the task) but without boundaries (of how you achieve it).’
Paul Allsopp – The Agile Organisation
Why work Agile?
An Agile working environment is more hot desks and collaboration space than fixed workstations and static meeting rooms. This range of spaces encourage free flow of ideas and communication, and can bring about a more stimulating place to work. Lending more choice and autonomy to the employee in how and where they fulfil the task at hand in turn leads to increased motivation and productivity and an improved bottom line!
Consider the real estate costs too. If your organisation already employs a “flexible working” philosophy, then how does that empty desk pay for itself whilst its owner is working from home? By shedding that territorial culture (“this is my desk, my chair”) an agile working environment may actually reduce your required square footage and save you money in the longer term.
So, is Agile Working for you?
Clearly, some organisations may be better suited to agile working than others, but at least some level should be achievable in most. Consider these four things:
• Time: when do people work?
• Location: where do people work?
• Role: what do people do?
• People: who is employed?
If one or more of the above is not a fixed entity, then agile working could be for you. For more information on how agile working could transform your work place or to find out how Ben Johnson could help please contact our Interiors Team on 01904 698 698
Authored by Nick Roe, Business Development Manager
Image Credits : 1) trainingjournal.com 2) Roger Beale