Agile Working

A guide to creating an efficient and flexible workspace

Agile working has become a mainstream concept, creating an efficient business environment by giving employees the freedom to work wherever, whenever and with who they need to. Implicit in the agile working ethos is a business concept focused on improving operational efficiencies within a flexible working style.

The agile working concept supposes that work is an activity we do, rather than a place we go. By implementing an agile working environment and designing their office interiors to match, progressive employers can find new and different ways to meet customer needs, reduce costs, increase productivity and improve sustainability.

Due to its popularity with staff, agile working often helps to attract and retain top talent by promoting a more autonomous culture where they can reach their potential. The holistic benefits of agile working means that it’s not simply seen as an employee benefit but as a business advantage too. Enabling technology and flexible IT infrastructure and flexible workstations is a cornerstone of agile working as it’s integral that staff have the tools to perform at their best, wherever they are.

Isn’t this just flexible working?

Flexible working is a style of work that helps to deliver agile working for the business as a whole. It’s generally a work pattern designed for the individual which helps that person balance work and home life. Employers often look at flexible working as a cost to them and a benefit to the employee (which many are happy to give). It’s often driven by business needs, and it can be an important way to help delivery agile working, which is based on the complete flexibility of work (and the working environment) to drive long-term organisational

The Benefits of Agile Working

Changing work places and practices, utilising new technologies and efficient concepts in office interior layouts can bring huge benefits. It can be an easy sell to employees, bringing as it does reduced travel time and related costs and fewer distractions. This leads to improved concentration and productivity, a better work life balance and increased engagement as a result of the autonomy and trust at work. Employees are given freedom and flexibility to work in different areas of an office, or the chance to work remotely via hot desking at places and times to suit themselves.

For employers, the benefits are many, ranging from increased productivity and efficiency, space savings, reduced property costs, extended business hours and increased innovation. Good quality staff tend to be easier to attract and retain within an agile working atmosphere, and in turn they experience increased motivation and engagement.

The physical environment and Agile Working

There are benefits in re-thinking the working environment to accommodate agile working. Businesses who decide on bold interior design solutions to support agile working give their employees the choice of how and where to work. The workplace culture can be determined by variety in workspaces. Whilst single desks have a place, rows and rows of desks are not the default option for agile working. Variety is essential for employees; not only do employees feel supported in the work they’re doing with more appropriate work spaces, the company culture is reflected and expectations of modern workplace environments are met.

Technology is important in an agile office as in any other. Well integrated, thought out, reliable technology solutions which support mobility and interaction are essential. With the primary ethos being that each task should be able to be carried out in the most efficient way, technology often helps out when space is at a premium. Employees who just need to swing by on their way back from a sales meeting, catch up with colleagues to go over figures and then check emails before heading off to the next meeting have entirely different office\ furniture requirements to the accounts team who genuinely will need a fixed desk area to operate in.