Enabling an agile workspace means more than just giving users laptops and sending them off into the world. A truly agile workspace will improve the work-life balance for your users, making a positive impact on both your organisation and its end user clients.
The case for the four day working week gained further momentum earlier this year, as a New Zealand firm’s pilot scheme resulted in staff being happier and 20% more productive. As lines continue to blur between work and home life, both employers and employees should take the opportunity to reflect on how better productivity is intrinsically linked with a good work-life balance.
Part of the solution to achieving a good work-life balance lies in the flexible, efficient working enabled by an agile workspace. But enabling an agile workspace means more than just giving users laptops and sending them off into the world; it’s important to think about what a truly agile workspace can mean to your organisation, your users and your end user clients.
At Six Degrees, we believe that the agile workspace represents the future of work. Delivering users the same experience wherever they are is great, but it fails to address a key aspect of our working lives today: that we have different working needs at different times.
Simply grabbing a laptop and smartphone and ‘getting on with it’ is not enough: to maximise productivity and deliver effectively, it’s essential to equip yourself with tools that empower you to work efficiently and appropriately, anywhere.
So how do you enable an agile workspace? Well, you can start by considering the following four challenges. All of these are based on discussions we have with clients every day. Each organisation is unique, but you should recognise many of these yourself.
Get the Technicalities Right, and Running
This is extremely important! Ensuring you have the technical capabilities in place to enable your employees to work in an agile way is first and foremost if you are considering work-life balance.
If you are reviewing your agile working offering, you’ll need to ensure that you have hardware, laptops, phones and mobile phones for your employees to work from. As part of our inductions for new starters at Six Degrees, we ensure that hardware and software is set up so our people have the necessary access straight away. If your users are working on their own devices, do they have the right security protection and the right access to the servers and software required to carry out their roles?
Once you’ve got your hardware, software and servers ready, have you considered what might happen if your server or software access drops out? If your employees can’t work, what will happen? Having a service desk for your applications and servers will ensure you are always up and running, and any problems are rectified for employees as quickly as possible.
There is a misconception that agile working makes users more isolated and less collaborative. This can be the case if agile working is implemented poorly. In fact, collaboration can be enhanced by the many communication methods available within the modern agile workspace.
The latest communication and collaboration technology allows users to work in a manner that’s most appropriate to their immediate requirements. It empowers users by recognising that they need time to communicate and collaborate, but they also need time to concentrate and contemplate.
At Six Degrees we work with leading cloud vendors like Microsoft, Avaya and Citrix to collaborate effectively internally and externally regardless of device or location. Not only does this enable efficient service delivery, but it also means that internal messages from our CEO and our People team are communicated live to all of our users, regardless of their location.
Outline the Boundaries
If you are taking steps to enable your agile workforce, do you have the right permissions and culture in place? It’s important to communicate your agile working policies across your organisation. It’s also important to promote productive agile working and outline your expectations to employees. Are your employees encouraged to email around the clock, or is your expectation of your employees to do the job in hand, but to promote a culture where around the clock ‘always on’ working is neither expected nor necessary?
Review and Evolve Your Agile Workspace
As organisational requirements develop and new technologies evolve, you will always needs to evaluate your agile working practices. Do you need more equipment, a larger server, a new application, or new policies in place to optimise work-life balance for your employees across your organisation?
The way we work is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Adopting an agile workspace will help you improve employee wellbeing whilst meeting today’s complex organisational challenges head on, driving competitive advantages and empowering you to achieve your organisation’s strategic goals.
Download our whitepaper to learn more about the agile workspace and how Six Degrees can help you enable yours.