Agile working can be empowering for the both the modern workplace and the workforce.
With the opportunity for employers to decrease costs and increase productivity, and the benefit for employees to work remotely while managing their own working hours, embracing agile is an obvious win for both sides.
However, as good an idea as it may prove, enforcing agile working in your business is not always straightforward. Here are five rules to consider when managing your agile working policy:
1. Be as Flexible as Possible
Many businesses make the mistake of engaging in agile working, but fail to allow the right amount of flexibility. It’s an easy trap to fall into – the benefits of agile working are clear, but they will not magically materialise.
While the amount of flexibility afforded to employees will vary from business to business, the best rule of thumb is to adjust to the highest level of flexible working that works for you.
2. Think on a Role-to-role Basis
Another common agile working mistake is thinking of the workforce as a whole, rather than considering the various levels of responsibility, or the needs and wants of each individual role within the business.
Pay attention to what skills and technology each job role requires, particularly if there are tasks that cannot be managed well outside of the office. Be sure to ask yourself how you’re going to get around this.
3. Avoid a Culture Shock
It can often be difficult to go directly from a traditional 9-5pm, ‘everyone at their desk’ type of office, to managing a fully agile and flexible working policy. If you’re starting at a similar point, it can be helpful to slowly introduce both elements of your eventual policy, along with the technology that will help to support it, rather than bombarding employees with a complete overhaul.
4. Streamline Technology
You may think agile working means simplicity. This isn’t always the case, particularly when it comes to agile working software and technology. The easiest win is to look for software that can integrate with your existing systems, or something that can cover more than one base of your plan - desk booking software is a prime example of this, and can help to organise your workplace while also reducing real estate costs.
5. Above All, Communication Is Key
When all else fails, talk to your employees. Keep them updated of your plans, and always welcome feedback. This can be easier said than done, but by staying on message, being transparent, and listening to the views of employees, effective communication in the workplace is achievable.