Pros and Cons of Agile Working

The move towards ‘agile working’ is being adopted by many organisations to retain staff and increase productivity, what are the pros and cons?

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We understand agile working can be difficult to implement but it’s not impossible. I’m sitting here writing this from my home office, normally I’m working part-time, remotely from my parents’ home. They live over an hour away, but they get to look after my 18 month old son every week and are very happy about this, and my little one is too! If it wasn’t for agile working, I’d have to pay for extra childcare. Logistically getting him to my parents and then myself to the office is impossible.

We know that commuting is getting worse too, people are travelling further. 45% of people now spend over an hour commuting to their jobs. 70% of people report that ‘flexible working options’ actually make a job more attractive (powwownow.co.uk, 2017). I know this is true for me and I am experiencing the benefits too! The millennial generation are also keen to work more flexibly and to support their well-being whilst developing and continuing their careers.

Most organisations are not fully ‘agile’. They implement some strategies rather than the whole agile working package. For example, many companies provide ‘hot-desking’ to reduce office space but do not always supply all of the technology necessary to work independently.

Be clear about business objectives and what you want to achieve by implementing agile working. There will be costs and resources involved so they need to be clear on what these are before you go ahead. For example, will all roles be agile? What are the constraints and what mobile technology will you provide for staff?

Lead by Example, leaders are great role models and when implementing agile working it is good to show that initiatives such as ‘hot-desking’ are for everyone. Other initiatives such as not emailing after hours can also support a culture of ‘switching off’.

Remote Working
Many organisations support home working or working away from the office at multiple locations. Whilst this can work well to manage work life balance and caring responsibilities, employees can become invisible and it is important that line managers stay in touch with regular contact to check on well-being and work objectives.

Sharing Work Space/Hot-desking
Can work well for co-working where colleagues can share ideas and interact. However, not all colleagues will embrace the change and some may feel a loss of anchor to their workplace, thus reducing productivity. It is very important to consider individual needs and where hot-desking does not work, to provide appropriate alternative facilities.

Agile working – Hot-desking, remote working, flexible working, co-working, working from mobile devices on the road between appointments – it can increase productivity and well-being.

Both the pros and the cons should be considered when implementing for it to be fully effective. Being equipped is KEY.

If you would like to discuss some Communication Technologies that can help your organisation with agile working please contact us today.

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