The Golden Rules for Implementing Agile Working in the Workplace
September 20, 2019
Companies are constantly looking for ways to streamline operations, increase productivity and ensure employee satisfaction. The struggle to find the balance between these factors led to various arrangements like open layouts, flexible hours and remote work opportunities. From these innovations came an approach to work which promotes optimal flexibility in the office: agile working
Address the Changing Needs in the Workplace
Also known as activity-based working, agile working boosts productivity and employee satisfaction by altering the norms of work culture. The changes range from something as simple as switching traditional workstations with collaborative pods to something more radical like allowing employees to come in for a few hours of collaboration and then allowing them to leave the office to continue their work elsewhere.
However, there is more to creating a more collaborative environment than just throwing people together. The flexibility of an activity-based workplace comes with a high level of trust between the company and its employees. Companies are banking that giving employees the autonomy to do their job with less supervision, will lead to an increase in their employees' ownership of their tasks and that creative solutions will be found for challenges.
What makes agile working so powerful?
For a younger generation, workplace flexibility is a much more tempting option than a traditional nine-to-five in a cubicle. It is also an attractive option for employees who are 55 years old and above as well as those who have to care for a school-age child or another member of their immediate family.
The arrangement is a win for businesses because it improves staff morale and reduces staff turnover. But it is only as powerful as the implementation. It requires some ground rules.
As such, here are the golden rules for implementing successful agile working:
- Share information as early and as frequently as possible.
Team members have different assignments — some might have client-facing tasks while others might need to conduct market research. It is important to share these findings with each other to streamline the workflow. Sharing is made easier by the agile working setup.
- Make the whole team accountable for the results.
An agile working setup encourages team support and collaboration while maximising flexibility. Teams have all the resources to work together and be jointly accountable for the results of any campaign or project. When so much free-flowing exchange has happened before a success, it's difficult to attribute that success to just one person. Likewise, when things don't go so well, group accountability means that no one person is likely to be unfairly singled out.
- Critique but never criticise.
When a team works closely together, the members inevitably learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. If the free flow of ideas and information is done in the right way, there should a levelling up of everyone's competencies as the best ideas from different people surface.
Frequent sharing, collective accountability and constructive criticism are sure-fire ways to get a team to collaborate and make the agile working setup work.
Transition to an Agile Working Environment
An activity-based working environment is not for everyone, especially when different roles require varying levels of interaction and flexibility. But most businesses should be able in some ways to implement agile working to a greater or lesser degree.
Topaz Furniture helps with the transition to an agile working setup through activity-based furniture that promotes maximum workplace efficiency. Contact us for enquiries.