Agile Working : 4 Steps to Agility
In my last Blog post I explored what ‘Agile Working’ means and how it differs from Flexible working. I suggested that all organisations should be able to achieve some level of agility, so wanted to look a little deeper and provide some insight on how to achieve it.
Unfortunately, agility cannot be achieved by one maverick individual within an organisation. Bounding across the office, working wherever they want, whenever they want…Sound familiar? The whole organisation has to be on board, and agile working has to become part of organisational culture.
So here are some starting points to help you limber up:
Encourage people to move around the office, creating teams with members from different departments and allowing them to work collectively on a project. This allows for interactions to happen which usually wouldn’t occur and could increase efficiency and creativity.
Ditch the Desks
The territorial culture of the past has to go: no more “this is my desk; this is my chair”. Instead the office should be configured to suit different projects and needs. Utilise things like hot desks for people dropping in, round tables for group discussion, private booths and soft seating for formal and informal meetings. The installation of lockers is a great way of giving employees personal space to store their possessions, while allowing them to move freely around the office. Reducing the number of fixed desks could also reduce the amount of square footage a business requires – and therefore money in the longer term.
Stop using email and instant messaging to communicate with colleagues who are in the same office. Instead communicate face to face, with the whole team present if possible. This promotes transparency and creates a platform to share ideas.
As Paul Allsopp from The Agile Organisation said
“ Engaging with your workforce, empowering people which involves trust and responsibility are the key. This involves change in organisational culture and individual mind set – particularly in senior and middle management.”
Removing managerial dictatorships, and in turn red tape, promotes the free flow of ideas within an organisation and can increase the efficiency of projects. Rather than spending weeks planning projects and waiting for an end result, break them up into smaller tasks and start working on them straight away. This allows for feedback to be gathered and changes made where necessary. Agile working encourages team work and creates a space for it to function.
The Ben Johnson Interiors team are currently working with a large international organisation who embrace the agile working concept. We undertook a Workplace Consultancy project to fully understand their objectives and how to achieve the best use of space, looking at how people were moving around the office, where they went and who they were interacting with. We then created a test area in which one department could adopt agile working before it was rolled out to the wider organisation.
For more information on how agile working could transform your workplace, or to find out how Ben Johnson’s Workplace Consultancy approach could help, please contact our Interiors Team on
01904 698 698.
Authored by Nick Roe, Business Development Manager
Image Credits :
1) Jill Tate, Ben Johnson Project – Penspen Integrity
3) Jill Tate, Ben Johnson Project – Cravens