Agile working is about 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 guidelines of the task, but without boundaries of how you achieve it. It is FREEDOM! That Works For Me’s Nicola Good explains…
Agile as a way of working
Agile has been a buzzword for some time in the project management and development worlds. PM’s everywhere are throwing out previous methodologies and focusing on working Agile, whether that’s in a team, on a project or during development lifecycles.
There’s a lot to be said for working things out as you go along, but this rarely suits a business all the time, especially when you don’t have unlimited budgets available to you. Planning everything down to a tee can be stifling and does not allow for unforeseeables. It seems the optimum process is somewhere in the middle of a waterfall (planning every minute of the day) and seeing how you go – and this process is called Agile.
When thinking in Agile terms, you get to plan and have your end goal, but this way of working lets you plan in a way that allows for the unknown – things that occur which you simply can’t plan for, but that you are prepared for.
The big questions:
Why would we need to work Agile?
Working 9-5 every day for the rest of your career just doesn’t make sense. The needs and benefits of flexibility are vast and abundant, and when I say flexibility, I don’t just mean a day off here and there for life’s little surprises, I mean real flexibility…Time off to decompress and re-evaluate, time away to care for family who need support, reduced hours while you do the school run for a week – every other week for ten years…working from home because you choose to, or because have no other childcare options, a part-time role to keep your plate spinning in one industry while you have a crack at another…There are reasons abound why flexible working is good for us – and plenty of benefits for employers too.
The answer to working and having a life doesn’t lie in crippling full-time hours or pushing yourself to breaking point by sacrificing the precious few hours outside of work-time, the answer is that we should have an Agile way of working applied to everyday life.
What does fulfilling your role in an Agile way mean?
Agile working in an organisation empowers staff to make decisions about when, how and where they want to work. It can be split into 4 distinct categories:
- Time – when you work
- Role – what you do
- Location – where you work
- Source – the teams and tasks you work with
I’ve been on board with this type of practice for some time, I love planning and it’s great to have a project plan so you know what you’re working towards – but we know that this will likely change, and it’s great to be able to take comfort in the knowledge that you’re ready for that too.
Are we getting there?
It feels like we are slowly moving towards this way of working (Virgin, Unilever, WordPress and even the NHS are making waves) but sadly – its baby steps. Some of the big FTSE 100 businesses are introducing return-to-work schemes and flexibility programmes, recognising the need for employees to work hours around their lives. How sad is it to lose an employee that you have trained, who understands your business and their role within it just because you can’t allow then to work 25 hours instead of 35? We are all grown-ups in the workplace – we know what we have to do to get the job done, let’s empower people to get on and do it!
Also, its a two way thing, instead of running out the door at 5pm, when an issue crops up I’m sure you’d be more willing to stay and resolve it if your employer offered you the same level of flexibility back.
It feels like many businesses are still stuck in the fixed hours mentality. Research suggests 70% of respondents have the desire to work flexibly, with 65% adding it would improve their wellbeing and satisfaction at work – what’s not to like?!
Working flexibly works. It’s something all businesses should be thinking about right now! And it’s something we’re working on making a reality – register with That Works for Me to find out more.
When is our flexible working platform launching?
We are inching closer to launch every single day. We are hoping it will be in the next two months as we are currently in the testing phase, ironing out the final tweaks. The best way to keep informed is to subscribe to our updates. We promise not to bombard you but will let you know when we’re ready to go so you can too. You could also follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.