For us, to define agile working (or activity based working, as it’s known in some parts of the world) is about working with people and organisations to explore how exciting new choices about when, where and how people work. These workplace changes can bring major value and transformation in the context of business priorities.
Establishing the ‘why’ is the first base for us. We run a detailed study that touches everyone to develop the ‘Case for Change’. The ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’, which brings together all the pro’s and con’s and rationale for transition to agile working backed by solid data. Studies include vision workshops, workplace utilisation studies, structured interviews, on-line surveys, and also infrastructure reviews.
Then it’s about supporting or managing the project development team in delivering an agile workplace infrastructure that creates a frictionless user experience and also helps team members do their best work every day. This we do through extensive workplace management or active participation in the project team.
Getting the right workplace is important, but getting real and sustainable behavioural transition is more important.
So, the next stage for us is about designing and delivering behaviour change programmes. It is vital that these are sympathetic to our client’s culture whilst at the same time in line with the intended workplace strategy.
Through the programmes we work with leaders and their teams to support them in ‘debunking’ the subject, supporting them in understanding the opportunities and getting them comfortable with the transition to the agile workplace and agile working.
And over the last 10 years this is what we’ve done in some of the world’s best known organisations involving well, over 50,000 people….. changing their world of work. It’s our passion and our team love each fresh challenge.
The Skills and Experience
Success requires change consultants and workplace consultants with a deep experience of implementing strategic agile working programmes and an up to the minute understanding of agile working technologies, agile workplace design, behavioural change techniques, legislation and research.
Specialists that are as comfortable working at board level to help leaders understand the concepts and opportunities as they are with middle managers or operational workers. Specialists who understand how agile working and agile workplaces can improve knowledge worker productivity and understand the latest scientific research on the topic. This is our team.
At AWA we have some of the most experienced and talented technologists, workplace strategists, behavioural change experts, workplace management specialists and change managers anywhere in the World to cover every aspect of agile working change.
The Agile Workplace and Agile Office
The purpose of agile working is to give people their best day at work every day armed with new understandings and models of working. When implementing agile methodologies, the office space will need to be designed by using all the data from the initial studies. Its more than just a modern interior design. The aim when creating agile working environments is to ensure the office design is the right size in order to sustain a seat ratio and style suitable for the business.
Amongst other types, we need to consider:
- social spaces
- meeting spaces
- storage spaces
- eating spaces
- exercise stations
Agile Working Technologies
Agile technologies are a fundamental to the success of agile working. It’s important the workspace is designed to provide a user centered friction-less experience with reliable bandwidth, easy connectivity, quick response times, sophisticated collaboration tools and applications anywhere the agile workers choose to work, inside or outside the office. User adoption programmes are key, and will also get people confident to use and understand the tools.
Agile Workplace Management Technologies
Increasingly, technologies are also being used to manage the workplace using sensors which provide real time information. This information is incredibly useful for building users, Real Estate and Facilities Management professionals. Too often the workplace strategy and management of the agile workplace is an afterthought, but in reality it should be considered up front to ensure employees work their best from the start.
Agile Work Practices, Protocols and Etiquette
To make the agile workplace work we need new agile working understandings. This also includes new practices, protocols and etiquette in order to work with agile communities. Our AWA workplace consultants understand what management must change and also how to make an agile workplace work. In conjunction with this, we often adopt flexible working policies.
Along with the agile workplace strategy come new more sociable and intelligent behaviours. These new behaviours will get people comfortable with consuming space as they need it. It is important to embed a culture that encourages employees to use the new flexibility in the office to build new relationships.
Agile Management Skills
To manage an agile team or community requires new understandings as well as new practices. It is essential for the leaders and their people to work in a harmonious handshake.
It can be difficult to manage people who are not all together all the time. Agile workplaces require new agreements and practices that are used to maintain relationships, performance and trust. AWA understand the key factors necessary for business success when managing agile teams. We understand from our latest research, ‘Managing the agile organisation’ programme the requirements and also how to achieve them.
Additinally, we have our own personal experience running an agile organisation for over 25 years. These components mentioned give AWA insights into how to ‘manage agile’. We also provide training programmes to our clients in order to upskill leaders and teams.
Read more on agile from around the site:
Karen Plum, Director of Research leads our Agile Working Bootcamp
From Graham Jervis, Director at AWA Agile Working? The Agile Workplace? What do we really mean?
Find out about how agility can improve the workplace productivity of knowledge workers.