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Agile Workplace: Why is it important?

September 18, 2020

We have all been hearing about agile workplaces, quite a lot recently. The agile workplace is in trend lately among the offices and has become a milestone for an advanced and ideal space to work right now. But why is the agile workplace becoming a buzz? Let’s understand.

What is an Agile Workplace?

According to a Harvard Business Review report, an agile workplace is the one that focuses on making the team more efficient through:

  1. Scrums - to include creative and adaptive teamwork for solving critical problems
  2. Lean development - to eliminate wasteful systems and procedure in place
  3. Kanban - to reduce work completion and improve efficiency

So it’s all about making the workforce and workplace more efficient by implementing certain practices and physical space. An agile workplace should be the one that is designed keeping the people in mind. The entire space is people-focussed towards how they can:

  • Bring more positivity in the environment
  • Enhance team collaboration
  • Foster productivity
  • Inculcate creativity

If an organization expects high productivity, it becomes the leaders’ responsibility to provide a suitable working environment to experience maximum output. Agility should also reflect the organization’s values and philosophies. When a company recognizes its goals and the culture they want to establish, they can create a set of principles along with the physical space to make it more effective.

Why does an agile place matter to the workforce?

Having agility around the workplace can bring loads of beneficial changes for employees.

  1. Flexible working environment
    One of the most attention-grabbing aspects of an agile office is flexibility. It gives employees the freedom to work at flexible hours at their convenience. By reducing the restrictions and bringing more freedom, employees can find unique ways of increasing productivity. In fact, a Workplace Insight report suggests that 73% of employees agree that getting a flexible working environment is one of the major reasons to stay with their current employer.
  2. Better collaboration
    An agile office is tech-savvy and incorporates more technologies for making the working experience smoother. Better working systems, secured data backup, real-time multiple channels for people to simultaneously work on, are things that can assist in team collaboration. People can collaborate better with advanced systems in place. They can connect anytime to discuss work and accomplish the tasks on time.
  3. Higher productivity
    A 2017 Deloitte survey reveals 79% of the global executives prefer agile performance management as a high organizational priority. The agile workplace keeps the workforce well-knit with more open space and open-door policy, creating a productivity nexus. Employees are treated with equal respect and ownership. Better management brings better teamwork, which ultimately leads to better productivity. This acts as a collaborative approach towards their own goal as well as the organization’s objectives.
  4. More creative space
    Introducing a positive vibe in the office by eliminating the redundant hassles and including more vibrant and energetic interiors can make space for more creativity. Employees can get time to think about new dimensions and bringing in innovative ideas for the growth of the organization.
  5. Work-life balance
    Agility brings flexibility in work and the workplace. This gives the workforce an opportunity to inculcate a work-life balance. In fact, according to a Regus article, 79% of the employes with a flexible work system reported that they are satisfied with their work-life balance. Employees can spend this time with their families, have personal time off for themselves, learn new skills, or in other such leisure activities.

How can an organization benefit from workplace agility?

As mentioned, agility is not only for employees. Here’s what it holds for the organization.

  1. Reduced office cost
    A flexible workplace has more open spaces with fewer cabins, which reduces the expenses for office space and equipment, reducing the overall operational costs. Additionally, encouraging remote work policy reduces the number of people at a time in the office, further shrinking the space and maintenance needs. As per a Workplace Insight study, employees spend less than 20% of their working day at a personal desk, and prefer working either remotely or in shared spaces.
  2. Sustainable workplace
    Agile workplace opens doors for more sustainable solutions like greener interiors, saving electricity, and reducing carbon footprints. Taking these steps goes a long way in establishing a healthier and safer place for employees to work long hours.
  3. More innovation
    Agility is about opening up for new changes and innovations. An office that promotes creative thinking paves way for innovation. This helps the organization at large, with the implementation of better and advanced solutions in place to upgrade the work culture. This also works in favor of employees, as they prefer a technologically advanced space than a traditional one.
  4. Talent acquisition
    The flexible workplace is in demand, more so among people with rich talent in their fields. Their minds cannot work in constrained environments for long. Hence, they aspire for places where they get the freedom to work in their own style. Organizations that adopt agility can have a better chance of hiring such talents. According to a CBRE report, one-fourth of the organizations may evolve to activity-based, unassigned workplace strategies to meet the needs of the talented hires.

How to make your office an agile one?

Well, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this. Every workplace needs to understand their people’s needs and expectations from it. Working towards fulfilling these needs will definitely help in creating a personalized agile workplace ideal for your organization. It’s not just about changing the physical space, rather the entire organization needs to evolve in its thought process. The evolution of the workplace into an agile place is seeing behavioural changes both at employee and leadership levels. It brings 360-degree benefits for the entire organization. It’s now just a matter of time when the entire workforce space will evolve into a more dynamic & agile workplace.


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