Why Agile Working Office Style is Growing in Popularity?

Why Agile Working Office Style is Growing in Popularity?

Advantages agile working environments offer individuals and businesses

Words by Solmaz McUtchen / June 2020

If you are up-to-date with the latest office space trend, you will no doubt have heard the term “agile working”. An style of office that is growing in popularity not only to keep up with the rising demand in telecommuting and the desire to cultivate a work-life balance, but also because of the many advantages agile working environments offer individuals and businesses. 

Agile work environment, by Hub Interiors
Agile work environment, by Hub Interiors

The most important benefits of an agile working environment are that purpose-built workstations improve the efficiency and thus the productivity of your employees. But this is not just for profit making; when employees enjoy the office environment they are working in, they come into the office more regularly and stay with the company for longer.

As generation Z employees enter the workforce right now, they share the same mindset but also recognise working from home does not necessarily benefit the work-life balance lifestyle.

What is agile working? 

Agile working aims to empower employees by giving them a choice of where and how they work in the office. A well designed agile working environment gives employees the freedom to work in various parts of the office by taking advantage of wireless technologies, sound-proof booths and adjustable and/or modular furniture.

What is the difference between flexible working and agile working?

Agile working strategies differ from flexible working arrangements in terms of aims, drivers and scope. Flexible working is usually concerned only with working time and patterns, and the location of work, and so it is limited in focus. 

The scope of agile working is far greater. The two also differ in objective. Flexible working is usually implemented specifically to improve conditions for workers, while agile working takes into account business performance examination as well as employee conditions. Agile tends to be more focused on business performance outcomes than on employee working arrangements.

Advantages of agile working

No. 1 advantage of agile working is to help reduce the work-related stress hence increase employees productivity. Together with work-life balance, health and well-being are a priority. The World Health Organisation reports work-related stress is a worldwide epidemic. According to researchers, the stress factor is exacerbated by open-plan offices. 

Inlite Lighting, by Hub Interiors
Inlite Lighting, by Hub Interiors

According to researchers, the stress factor is exacerbated by open-plan offices.

Seems like the belief that open-plan offices would ignite collaboration and innovation has not fulfilled its promise. Anybody that works in an office knows they are more likely to hear the latest drama in an episode of Married at First Sight than a morsel of inspiration. 

Agile office designs take into account mental and physical health. They install dedicated quiet-zones so people can focus on their work, encourage people to move around the office easily and take the stairs instead of the lift. Also, they allow natural light flood into the workspace by the lack of walls, and planter boxes add more nature to the office. 

Appealing features in an office are proven to increase engagement levels. They are also more likely to help your talent acquisition efforts as well. Recreational features in the office do not have to be as elaborate as slides like Inlite Lighting office fitout. 

Recreational areas in office. Inlite Lighting
Recreational areas in office. Inlite Lighting

WORKSPACE UTILISATION

Many companies are spending money on office space that is under-utilised on regular bases. The introduction of agile working results in a more cost effective workplace in terms of office fit-out and occupational costs and can free up office space for other work purposes such as collaboration zones or breakout areas.

ATTRACT AND RETAIN THE BEST TALENT

For the best example, take a look at exceptional companies such as Google, Unilever and BT who have maintained an outstanding reputation as employers. Stimulating workplaces have been created to show employers they are valued, and highly skilled staff have remained loyal, staying longer and performing better. Some companies are even incorporating gyms, end-of-trip facilities, outdoor BBQ area, recreational areas into the office space. Taking a short break from work proves to be reinvigorating for the mind. 

REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Designing a new office brings the opportunity to create a greener and smarter office environment. This can greatly improve sustainability while reducing cost and a company’s carbon footprint.

INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY

Visually appealing features in an office are proven to increase engagement levels. Not only can great office design strategy elevate productivity and morale, but it can also help to promote and reinforce a corporate identity.

INCREASED INNOVATION

Agile working is the key to increasing creativity and innovation within an office. An effective office design strategy can help to stimulate divergent levels of thinking by providing an environment that is conducive to employee needs, therefore keeping workers engaged at work. A flexible physical working space also enables technology to adapt to the needs of the workers who use them.

Breakout/ casual meeting zone. Civica by Hub Interiors
Breakout/ casual meeting zone. Civica by Hub Interiors

Within the first quarter of 2020, the corporate world was forced to demonstrate that we can, indeed, work from anywhere. Although working from home does not necessarily benefit the work-life balance lifestyle, agile office environments offer so many benefits. And for that reason, it’s no surprise that more companies are redesigning their offices to incorporate features of agile working.

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