Agile working - giving team members the freedom to choose how and where they work - benefits businesses in so many ways. Whether it’s a 50% boost in productivity, or a dramatic dip in retention risk - this style of working helps to drive profitability and inclusivity to unchartered levels. Where possible, it’s time to ditch the old-school 9-to-5 and welcome in the age of opportunities.
As we recently introduced an agile working policy for 10x-ers, I’ve been thinking a lot about the benefits. So, I thought I would share seven reasons why I believe agile working just makes sense.
1. Trust is good for business
When you trust someone to work in a way which suits them, you do so much more than ‘get the job done’. Studies show that employees in high-trust companies experience 74% less stress and approach work with an unbelievable 106% more energy than those in low-trust firms.
What’s more, high-trust businesses benefit from a 50% boost in productivity. In today’s competitive landscape, trusting employees to make their own decisions is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve.
2. Office work isn't better work
There’s an outdated myth that people who work from home do less. But research shows the opposite to be true. A 2020 study of 5,220 professionals found 77% of its participants to be equally or more effective at home, than in the office.
So, if most people do equal or better work at home, surely, it’s better to trust them to decide for themselves.
3. The world is your oyster
Agile working has no boundaries, and this means employers can take advantage of a much wider net of talent. The world is your oyster! Teams can recruit from around the globe if they need to and find the very best person for the role, rather than the nearest. Of course, it’s great for team morale to meet in-person every now and again, but there’s no need to demand that employees commute to the office every day.
Agile working across different regions is a brilliant way to boost diversity of thought and avoid group-think.
4. Agile working boosts retention
Trusting people to work from different locations, in their own ways, makes the company much more attractive for existing employees too. Research from Quantum shows that people with flexible working options are four times less likely to become a retention risk. This reduces upheavals and set-backs considerably, creating smoother business continuity.
Agile working is not just beneficial for parents or people who live far away either. It opens the door for employees to fully self-actualize. To live their best life. If a hard-working team member wants to fulfil a bucket-list goal of spending a year in Italy, we’re here to support. If someone wants to use the time they’d usually spend commuting training for a triathlon, we’re cheering them on. Agile working means we can be a better and more supportive workplace for everyone.
5. Meet-ups become more purposeful
Since introducing agile working, we’ve witnessed an interesting phenomenon. Meet-ups have become more purposeful. Something which used to be as weary as a Monday morning admin update has a sense of occasion. People are more invested, better-prepared, and engaged.
6. Agile working is great for accessibility
Something very close to my heart is accessibility. For example, while our office may be wheel-chair friendly, the commute into work rarely is. Just 31% of London’s tube stations are accessible. And even then, one in four wheel-chair users avoid stressful and crowded public transport anyway, because of the negative attitudes.
If it’s not necessary to come into the office every day, why would we force someone to? Alleviating some mobility stress and giving control back to the employee is extremely important to help everyone feel happy and confident at work.
7. Less commuting means more productivity
The average commute in the UK is 62 minutes a day. But around 15% of workers need to commute for 102 minutes or more. Cramming into a jam-packed train at 7.30am isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. Especially when that time could be better spent resting-up or catching up on some early work.
Plus - as a bonus - it helps to reduce congestion and pollution on our roads too.
Our approach to agile working
Agile working isn’t just about the location, it’s about accommodating everyone. Whether our employees want to work from home, the office, or somewhere else, we’re here to find the right solution.
We also work hard to ensure that interns and apprentices have the fullest experience. The days of “shadowing” established employees, carrying coffees, and taking pointless notes in meetings should stay in the 90s. We ensure that all interns and apprentices benefit from regular face time with industry-leading mentors and collaborate on career-transforming projects… in whichever way they prefer.
Finally, we have our Impact Team, headed by Amanda Jenkins. This team creates a bursting diary of networking events, get-togethers and more for all types of people within the company. Agile working, we believe, is how we can truly make our company 10x better.
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