Agile Working: the New Norm in Offices

How people work today is drastically different from how it was years ago, and it’s not difficult to pinpoint what triggered the change: technology. Flexibility is now the name of the game. That’s why the challenge for business leaders is to align corporate culture to this new way of working. Otherwise, what you’ll get are the ills of employee dissatisfaction: poor performance, reduced productivity, and low morale. If you want to start on the right foot, you should improve your office design.

The New Way of Working

For sure, you’ve seen how employees’ approach to accomplishing their tasks changed over the years. Before, they were glued to their cubicles from 9 to 5, only standing during lunchtime. Now, cubicles have are frequently unoccupied. Employees gravitate toward areas where they can meet and talk directly to colleagues, like the cafeteria or vacant meeting room. These areas can quickly become new workstations. Many people also want to work remotely. Because of technology, people have discovered that they can control how they do their jobs.

Smart business leaders encourage employees to choose where, when, and how they can get the job done. There’s a buzzword among corporate circles describing this form of management: agile working. It’s good for boosting productivity and morale, and it’s not hard to see why. When individuals work at their own pace, they feel happier because they feel like they’re in control. Millennials have taken over most of the workforce, and agency and flexibility are some of their core values. Under these conditions, people are less likely to leave and look for jobs elsewhere.

The Key to Agile Working

Happy office staff throwing papers in the air

The rationale concept behind agile working is that work is something that people do, not a place they go to. In most offices though, you’ll notice that employees are organized according to the department they’re in, not the tasks that they’re trying to accomplish. They follow their inclinations, going to cafeterias if they need to collaborate or work remotely. If you want to shift to the agile framework, you need to change your environment and create activity-focused spaces.

The first step is to think about the tasks of your employees and align them with your facilities. It’s logical to have an area where people can focus on their jobs. These are personal workstations. You should also have rooms where employees can put their heads together and discuss projects. These are the collaboration hubs. Aside from conference rooms, you might want to add huddle rooms, conversation pits, or brainstorming pods. Consider getting high-quality, used office furniture so that you can improve the room’s functions. Don’t forget to dedicate areas for relaxation, too. Employees need to take a break. That’s part of their “activities” as well. If you can provide spaces for telephone conversations, the better.

In the end, the concept of work has changed a lot. The work environment has to change, too. Think about applying the agile framework to your office. It might be an excellent addition to your corporate culture.

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