By now you’ve probably heard the term “agile working” being thrown around in conversations. Or maybe you even stumbled upon the hashtag on your Twitter or LinkedIn timelines.
This obviously got you a bit curious, right? It seems quite self-explanatory, but, as it turns out, most people haven’t quite understood this concept. So you are not alone. It’s still a relatively new “thing” but one that’s catching on fast especially after the UK Government gave all employees the right to request flexible working in July 2014.
Agile working is a concept that gives employees some degree of flexibility and ultimately allows them to work whenever and wherever they can. The employees are not expected to work from the office when they can still perform the same tasks from their houses or even from their favourite coffee shop.
It’s no surprise that agile working has now rapidly become extremely popular especially among millennial workers. Work flexibility is a top priority among 79 percent of these fast-paced workers. It’s now clear that both companies and their employees are now cashing in on the popularity of agile working and more so, its effectiveness.
In fact, the rate at which companies are embracing agile working is increasing significantly.
So, what are some of the benefits that come with agile working?
Let’s take a look!
Companies that have embraced agile working save a lot of money. Areas that immediately experience a reduction in spending include general office supplies, equipment, and services.
With agile working and activity based working, companies are now enjoying reduced expenditure on rent, especially those that have moved to smaller spaces. Some companies are also taking advantage of hiring equally qualified employees from regions that pay lower salaries. This significantly reduces their wage expenses and boosts their earnings.
According to a survey by getvoip.com, titled ‘How much of a pay cut would you accept to work from home’, 31.9 percent of those polled said that they would take a 10 percent salary cut if allowed to telecommute.
Employees Work when They Are in their Most Productive State
Operating from the office demands that most employees work roughly between 8 am to 5 pm. Though still widely used, this system demands a lot from employees and forces them to work even when they are less productive. Some of them can barely focus on simple tasks let alone be able to make strategic decisions.
Agile working allows employees to work whenever they feel they are most productive. Some employees are night owls and can get a lot done when everyone’s asleep while others are early birds and therefore prefer to work very early in the morning.
Circadian rhythms have a huge impact on productivity. We now know that and it would be a shame not to use this knowledge to everyone’s benefit.
Companies Can Attract and Retain Qualified Talent
Most talented employees thrive when allowed some flexibility at work. This is quite evident by the steady increase in the interest to adopt a flexible working environment across companies in most industries.
Many qualified employees are constantly looking for flexible jobs. Companies that do not offer these opportunities are obviously missing out.
Some really talented employees cannot stand the idea of being enclosed in an office all day. And, honestly, can you blame them? Who wouldn’t want to work from their favourite place?
Employees Can Work even if They Have Personal Issues to Attend to
Employees often ask for a day off so that they can attend to a personal issue. They might need to attend to a sick relative or their child’s school event. With agile working, an employee is capable of getting some work done even in between errands.
For instance, while waiting in line to be served, one can respond to urgent emails, schedule or confirm a meeting appointment without having to wait to return to the office.
When an employee works solely from the office, they are less likely to do so. They may not have remote access to their files. And, even if they do, since they took the whole day off, why not make the most of it?
Employee absenteeism is a common challenge that comes with traditional office systems. An employee may decide to miss work for no good reason. Another may decide to come up with a string of petty excuses just to miss work.
Furthermore, an employee may be physically present, but they may not perform the tasks they are required to. They may be idle and daydream the whole day. It happens to all of us!
Agile working is capable of reducing the rate of employee absenteeism to (almost) zero! This is because agile working gives employees some flexibility when planning out their day. Plus, they know it’s not “being in the office” that counts towards their paycheck, but actual productivity.
Thus, even if they take half a day to daydream or run errands, they will be more prone to recuperating lost time – especially if they work in an environment they like.
Quicker Response to Clients
With different employees working at different times of the day, there will always be someone to respond to clients. A client may contact the business very early in the morning or very late at night. If a company strictly uses a traditional office system, there might be nobody to respond to clients who gets in touch after the traditional office hours.
Effective Office Space Utilisation
Most companies spend a lot of money on office space. If a company uses a traditional office system, there will be a need to acquire a larger office when the company grows.
With agile working, office space can be reduced significantly. Besides, extra space can be used for other things such as an indoor recreation area or even spacing out the remaining desks.
The Employees Get to Save Some Money
When a company embraces agile working, it helps the employees boost their savings. Since staffers have an option to work from home, their commuting expenses are reduced to zero.
Plus, they can eat lunch at home or in their favourite restaurant from across the street, which may be significantly cheaper than the closest one to the office building.
Other than saving employees some money, they also get to spend some quality time with their families, which also improves their work-life balance.
No Need to Spend a Fortune on Posh Office Furniture
Office furniture costs are directly proportional with the number of employees. If most of your staffers work from home, you will, naturally spend less on furniture. OR you can use the remaining budget to get the right office furniture.
One other effective way your organisation can save on furniture is by investing in an office management application such as the mobile-friendly iOt Space app. This app works as an office occupancy measurement solution for agile working. It allows workers to remotely see which desks are not in use, occupied or reserved. This helps them plan their agile working days better.
You Can Rent out Your Office Space
A company whose employees work from home can rent out their remaining office space without necessarily interrupting normal office operations.
Most companies find it difficult to rent out their office space because work will be disrupted. However, with agile working, you can decide to rent out your office, or part of it, in order to shore up your income.
In conclusion, one way of boosting your revenues as well as fast-tracking your company’s growth is the adoption of agile working. With agile working, employees are happy, the employer is happy, everyone is happy. Why not give it a try?