An agile workplace offers workers almost total flexibility while also maximizing the output and the quality of work by providing them with the tools and support needed to efficiently carry out the work. Not constrained by the usual nine to five working hours, agile workers can choose whether to work remotely, from one of the offices or a mixture of the two. This way, employees can find what works for them and focus on the work at hand.
Over the last 18 months, our ways of working and office experiences have undergone unexpected changes, but as we progress further into 2021, it seems that agile workplaces will become part of the “new normal”.
How COVID-19 is driving the agile workplaces
COVID-19 has caused great upheaval and unrest to our social lives and the way we work. Though agile workplaces were gaining popularity as an up-to-date method of managing how people wished to work in the 21st century, the devastating arrival of COVID-19 hugely accelerated its adoption across all types of businesses. Business owners anxiously puzzled over how to accommodate social distancing and lockdowns, while at the same time keeping their business running successfully and their workforce in employment. The adoption of agile workplaces was the obvious answer, and traditional businesses were reluctantly pushed into 2021.
As restrictions start to ease, businesses have a chance to not only return to the office safely but also with improved processes and ways of working — meaning 2021 is an important year for progress.
Why an agile office is the best of both worlds in 2021
The only constant in this world is change, and agile workplaces are certainly changing the world of work for the better. The Harvard Business School found that 61% of workers would rather not return to the office full time after the COVID-19 pandemic and instead would prefer to work a mixture of days between the office and home. Whether you’re an employer or employee, there’s a great deal to like when it comes to this new way of working. Here are some of the reasons why agile working is being so eagerly adopted and what the agile workplace means in 2021:
1. Total freedom and flexibility
With the ability to work whenever and wherever they want, employees will be able to enjoy a newfound sense of freedom and flexibility. Not only can workers find their productivity sweet spot by avoiding the nine to five routine, but they’ll also be able to work the schedule they prefer and build their day around the things that matter to them most.
2. Maximum productivity
Although studies suggest that people who work remotely actually display increased productivity and take fewer sick days, many people simply don’t have the best working conditions at home. This is where the ability to work from the office means that each employee can find the way of working that suits them. One thing that’s certain is that when trusted and given more freedom, employees will feel more empowered and valued and consequently will increase their productivity.
3. Employee wellbeing
Humans are sociable creatures, and being able to go into the office to interact person-to-person with colleagues increases wellbeing and combats the sense of isolation that may come with total remote working. Therefore, this isn’t an area that employees and employers should shut off. Mental health care is an important feature of the agile workplace in 2021.
One of the advantages of the agile workplace is that the actual physical office space can be streamlined and optimized to accommodate the smaller numbers of the in-office workforce, which means massive floor rentals and large amounts of equipment are no longer needed. Remote working should be cost-saving since once the new technology is introduced, bills for office services, equipment and travel costs should reduce. 2021 heralds a cost-effective way of doing business with the agile workplace.
5. Crisis resistant culture
COVID-19 surprised us all. Many of our work arrangements, work culture and situations were completely unprepared for such a crisis, and sadly some businesses didn’t survive. The agile workplace — with its part office and part remote working — has the systems in place to buffer the present crisis and even possible future crises.
As businesses adapt and look to the future, how we work is changing to accommodate the new lifestyles and ways of working that society has become accustomed to. And it seems that an agile workplace will mean success against all the odds in 2021.