Agile working is like hybrid working, where employees split their time between being in the office and working remotely. Agile working goes further by focusing on outcomes instead of 9 to5 working hours. This gives employees greater flexibility as they can work whenever and wherever they like, allowing them to be productive at a time that suits them and their employer.
You can find out more about agile working by reading our blogs on What Is Agile Working, and The Differences between Flexible, Hybrid and Agile Working.
If a company is forward-thinking enough to create agile working policies and invest in the right technologies, then there are many clear benefits of agile working, including:
Everyone’s different. Some people do their best work in the morning while others are busy night owls. The great thing about agile working is that it allows people to find their own work rhythms – working when they feel they’re at their best. This delivers tangible results for an employee’s happiness. Recent research for the UK Government revealed that agile working is likely to increase employee wellbeing and productivity. Good employers should read this as positive news and look to embrace the opportunity to foster a thriving and happy workforce.
The CIPD warns that if workplaces don’t offer agile working options such as hybrid and flexible working, they risk increasing employee turnover and reducing employee engagement.
Working virtually and flexibly means that you can hire workers from anywhere, whereas before options were limited to just local applicants. With agile working, employees can come from any location and from any time zone!
Businesses must play their part in helping the UK achieve its net-zero carbon targets by 2045. The COP26 climate conference recognised that agile working could help deliver a more environmentally friendly Britain with less need for travel and fewer operating resources needed for offices.
Agile working leads to creation and innovation in several ways. Research suggests that agile working makes us more creative by giving those who are out of the office more thinking space for coming up with new ideas. Of course, agile working isn’t just about being out of the office. True agile working environments will give employees the option to be able to visit an office that’s been equipped with Hybrid Working technology that facilities communication and collaboration.
Despite the obvious benefits, agile working won’t be the future unless technology drives it. Creating an agile work environment isn’t without its difficulties. We’ve all had challenging video calls, with microphones not working, screeching echoey noises, laggy screen shares and pictures that freeze from bad Wi-Fi. Unless employers plan and equip their workforce properly, these problems will only be exasperated.
For example, video calls are now very much the norm, so there is a greater need for high performance Wi-Fi capabilities and video conferencing tech for both home office and work offices.
For those calling at their desks in the office, workers will need quality, comfortable headsets that will allow them to concentrate on discussions. Those working remotely will also appreciate not hearing background office noises or audio feedback while speaking to their in-office colleagues.
There’s also a greater need for video conferencing, and it’s not one-size-fits-all here. For a seamless meeting experience, the right camera and audio pairing need to be used for the right size of meeting room. For homeworkers, as well as having a good camera and microphone they made need additional lighting as home offices can often be darker office meeting rooms.
Offices also have to adapt to allow their workers to bring their own devices (BYOD) so that they can collaborate and share information without having to faff around with cables or worry about compatibility limitations.
Crucially, remote workers need to feel as in the loop as their office colleagues. This means that employers need to adopt new technologies that allow for engagement and collaboration in meetings where some people are in an office and others are working remotely.
The right technology will help people connect and interact and will increase productivity, flexibly. Inadequate technology risks a new digital divide, where there is inequality between those who can work agilely whenever and wherever they want and those who can’t. The solution is to provide the right tech for your workforce – even if they’re not working from the office! Technology will drive Agile Working by enabling your workforce to be able to work better remotely. The right technology will also allow them to work collaboratively with their colleagues in the office, delivering the best possible results for an organisation.
The good news is organisations are planning to make improvements. According to the CIPD’s Update on Flexible and Hybrid Working Practices , 54% of organisations are planning on making a greater investment in the quality of their technology and 51% of organisations are planning on making a greater investment in the quantity of their technology – all to enable flexible and hybrid working practices that are at the root of agile working.
Are you thinking about investing in technology for agile working? We’ve created an Agile Working configurator to help you select the right AV technology for your meeting rooms and workspaces.