The Benefits of Agile Working Practices
Without naming names, it is clear from the projects we work on here at Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) that agile working practices can deliver significant financial benefits to organisations. Research shows that real estate savings can be substantial and more than offset the cost of implementing the technology infrastructure needed to make people fully mobile. In addition, employee satisfaction, worker productivity and effectiveness can also be delivered when agile working is implemented well.
Agile working benefits are sometimes overshadowed by concerns relating to change and whether cost savings can be achieved without damaging the business. To realise significant benefits, there is no doubt that organisation-wide behaviour change is usually required, in addition to the right technologies and processes.
The benefits of this type of workplace transformation project aren’t always apparent, particularly to business leaders who can be hesitant to embrace the opportunities. Often this is because nobody has articulated the benefits in language they understand, or with outcomes that are relevant to them (and not just to Real Estate!). Also, while many organisations are now reaping the rewards of this way of working, not all are very forthcoming about their savings and improvements – not wanting to give a jump to their competitors.
Employee Satisfaction and Agile Working
Clearly there are many benefits of agile working, seen through the many clients we have worked with. But there are also lots of potential wins for employees as well. By providing them with the best tools and environment to do their job, the most successful agile initiatives also seek greater empowerment for staff, potentially improving satisfaction and helping teams work their best.
In addition, if home working is made available, people can choose to avoid a difficult, lengthy and expensive commute some of the time. While many people like to come to the office for a variety of reasons, starting every day with a stressful, pressured commute undoubtedly drains people’s energy right from the start of the day. People working for our clients often say that being able to avoid that commute even one day a week is really valued.
Essentially, agile working is about empowering people to work in different ways, both different locations and at different times, perhaps through the adoption of flexible working practices. It’s reported that 57% of millennial interviewees consider work-life balance an important factor when considering jobs. Most research sources find that at least a third to a half of survey respondents would like to spend some time working from home if that option were available. With the right management and implemented in the right way, most people’s role are suitable for some “remote” working. It seems that there continues to be a demand from people wanting an way of working that gives them flexibility and good work-life balance.
Agile Working and Cost Saving
In the experience of Advanced Workplace Associates, agile working can save companies millions in real estate when adopting agile methodologies. By providing employees with an agile workplace and empowering them to make choices about when, where and how they work, it fundamentally enables them to do their best work – probably with less resources because resources are shared rather than owned. Also, if home / remote working is on offer, there will be less demand on the physical workplace – potentially allowing you to reduce the amount you need to support your workforce – and maximising the utilisation of the space that you have.
Amazingly, when the American Management Association introduced teleworking and other agile methodologies, there was a 63% reduction in unscheduled absences. This data speaks for itself!
If you’re looking for something to energise your organisation, a move to agile working may give you the opportunity to make a step change by aligning your property strategy with your organisational goals and vision. Feel free to contact an AWA workplace consultant by calling +44 207 743 7110. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry.
If you’re located in the UK, you might like to know that Advanced Workplace Associates runs a 2 day fast track training course which we call the Agile Working Bootcamp. This intensive course is designed for CRE/FM people who need to implement agile working – to help them think through the process and understand what is needed to make this way of working fly. Alongside peers from other organisations, you will learn from 2 highly experienced and knowledgeable AWA workplace management professionals.