Agile working can’t be ignored if you want to compete

Companies like Google and Facebook have had agile working environments for years, and it’s now being adopted by a broad range of businesses to boost their competitiveness, according to new research from online recruitment specialist Jobsite.

But what is agile working? Paul Allsopp, managing director at The Agile Organisation, explains: “Agile working is concerned with bringing people, processes, connectivity and technology, time and place together to find the most appropriate and effective way of working to carry out a particular task. It is working within the guidelines of the task, but without boundaries on how you achieve it.”

With agile working becoming more commonplace in UK businesses, most recruiters (73%) and candidates (54%) are now aware of the concept. In fact, over half (57%) of those who worked or are working in an agile environment have been doing so for over two years.

Jobsite’s report, Recruiting for the agile workforce, gives some examples of organisations that have successfully implemented agile working practices.

They include broadcaster Sky, which has transformed its entire West London office to enable agile working for employees. “Everything from work spaces to food choices are oriented around the company’s flexible and productive approach,” Jobsite says.

Scottish Water saved £5m in construction and operating costs, while also boosting competitiveness and efficiency, by using agile working methods in a new office.

And the British Medical Journal entered new global markets using cloud technology and agile working, with its IT team working across the business to develop new products and services that meet commercial objectives.

When implemented successfully, agile working can raise productivity, profit and employee satisfaction. Over two-thirds of recruiters (68%) and candidates (73%) believe that it helps workers to strike a better work/life balance.

And it’s coming to a workplace near you very soon: nearly half (43%) of recruiters believe that agile working could eventually replace the traditional office environment. That’s more than twice the amount (18%) of those who think it won’t.

For businesses that want to compete, the digital transformation of the office can no longer be ignored, Jobsite says.

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