As companies focus more on about how employees work and what they need to be effective, the concept of agile organisation is emerging as the new dominant organisation paradigm. Companies from startups and online businesses to world-class organizations such as Google and Deloitte have started employing the ideas of agile, where employees can complete work in a manner that suits them.
At its core, agile working is all about creating a flexible and productive environment. Agile working may be characterized by two things: flexible work spaces and minimal constraints. Employees working in an agile set up have the freedom to work in different areas of an office, or remotely via hot-desking, when and how they choose. The backbone of every agile working space is an open concept floor plan. It means transitioning from dedicated workstations for each employee to shared spaces that employees use as needed. When teams are given the space to work collaboratively, it spurs creativity and intuitiveness, helps generate fresh ideas, improves communication across departments, leading to increase in productivity and performance of the business.
As a business owner, you need to give your employees what they really need – a good working environment that is comfortable and supportive. However, the design and layout of a workspace is something that is too often overlooked. The physical space should reflect the flexibility that you want in the working environment and should be designed accordingly. A workspace thus designed could become an instrument for growth itself.
For example Microsoft office in Amsterdam with its array of workspaces, teamwork benches, enclosed and semi-enclosed meeting rooms, open informal meeting areas, concentration booths, individual lockers and coffee points. The office boasts of a comfortable and conducive working environment that attracts the right talent, and brings positive measurable results to the business.
The benefits of agile workplace go much beyond inspiring creativity, workflow and productivity. It also has positive implications for the real estate; think about the ever-increasing rental prices in the largest economic hubs. The introduction of different work models like desk sharing or having small cubicles could yield serious savings on space utilization. The savings made this way could be invested in other revenue streams and lead to better profit margins.
Employers must be flexible and understand that having an agile work environment is the future.
An agile approach can bring a new lease of life to your business, help attract and retain talent and stay ahead of the competition. But while there are many benefits to agile working, it’s important to keep in mind the challenges that are likely to arise during the transition. With careful planning and forethought, businesses can effectively take the plunge and reap the benefits of agile working.