Stuck in a world that continues to change, leaders are looking for the answer to an unresolved question: What's next?
Meanwhile, they're plagued by the risks posed by business model challenges and talent shortages. In response, companies must set their sights on solutions that meet two needs: First, they need to stay focused on meeting employee demands for flexibility and better in-person collaboration. Second, they need to identify ways to speed up and optimize their business operations and decision-making.
With those things in mind, it should come as no surprise that agile working technology is having its moment.
Before we get any further, I'd like to preface this with an admission. I know that agile is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days. You may feel a reflexive eye roll coming on as I reference agile working and technology you can use to promote enterprise agility — but if you can manage to stifle the eye roll and hang in there, I promise there's some good tips and explanations that will make it all worth it.
As a concept, the agile model originated in the software industry as a framework for making the best decisions at speed and scale, with the ability to make adjustments quickly when necessary. But there's a good reason agile methods are being applied to other areas: agility works. In fact, a 2017 PwC report found that agile projects are 28% more successful.
It's time to unleash your organization's potential and make sure you're keeping up with the times. So, what is agile working?
In an attempt to keep moving your organization forward, you may be looking for ways to generate a stronger sense of community and maintain momentum. But the most recent surge in COVID-19 cases is keeping many back-to-the-office plans in flux, making it difficult to know how to proceed.
Given the successful transformations of their business operations and digital capabilities, many companies are reframing the concept of the corporate office and its role in building community within the organization. In a PwC survey from last month, 28% of executives said the biggest risk to achieving their company's goals for growth in 2022 was having a business model that wasn't agile enough or lacked digital capabilities.
It's a new world of mobility, decentralization, and constant change. Hundreds, if not thousands, of digital and physical interactions supplement and merge together to color the overall employee experience each day. In our current climate, the ability to pivot is an essential requirement for survival.
With so many balls in the air, continuing to make improvements and drive efficiency within the organization helps establish a competitive advantage. Agile working is about being receptive to the way things are changing while maintaining a sense of structure and organization.
With all the distractions of the day and the demands they have to tackle from every area of their working and personal lives, it's easy to understand why today's workers feel over-extended. That being said, people are looking forward to coming back to the office — but on their terms. Here are a few of the ways employees benefit from using agile working technology:
The workplace is quickly changing, and in order to understand what it might look like in the future, it helps to understand how it evolved to its current state. Corporate offices have plenty of opportunities for community and focused work but employees only have so many hours in a day. Between rapid technological advancements and the major acceleration of digital transformation efforts, the wide-spread acceptance of both remote and hybrid work options, and a burnt-out workforce that isn't afraid to seek employment elsewhere — just to name a few — there are a lot of gaps companies must plug.
Modern workers also want to use their in-person time more effectively. Nobody has the extra time to manually organize and sync their calendar with their reservations — so that any changes and updates that need to be made along the way aren't missed.
Here's what employees don't want: To leave the comfort of their home, drive 45 minutes into the office, and sit in the office all day long just because that's what leadership expects them to do. They don't want to carve out extra time to work in the office just to have it slow them down. Nobody wants to spend the time to juggle having to search for a desk in the morning, trying to find an open room that will accommodate their meeting, then figuring out where there reserved spaces are located.
Agile working technology helps create efficiency at scale. While it's helpful to take away some of the non-value-add tasks that drain their energy, companies have the most to gain from having access to the right solutions, for the right circumstances, at the right time, in the right way. Simply put: Businesses need to see what's working and what isn't so they can adjust their strategy accordingly.
Employees plan on coming into the office so they can connect with their colleagues. Sure, they could always just continue to handle this all online. After all, remote working strategies made internal communication possible for the past couple of years. But what people are really drawn to — what they'll always appreciate about getting chances to collaborate in person — is the value of having facetime with one other. You know, the way they used to be able to do, without talking all over each other because the audio is lagging and somebody forgets to go on mute. Remember those days?
In work environments in which employees can have a say in their experiences, there's a chance for greater efficiency and more rewarding collaboration in the office.
Increased adoption of remote and hybrid work options signify the shift in thinking about how and where work gets done. The switch to these flexible work arrangements is helping companies address the emerging challenges they're facing today and rise to meet the needs of the modern workforce. Thankfully, agile working technology can help make the transition to new ways of working smoother, more scaleable, and easier to adjust. Plus, it allows the workplace to become more accessible throughout the process so employees can continue to connect with their environment and one another as things change.
In another year or so, what those experiences look like might be completely different. If your organization is planning to become distributed by default, it will benefit from having the flexibility to make adjustments as your organization's goals and needs shift. By improving collaboration, engagement, and cost efficiency, agile working technology keeps employees at the center of your workplace strategy.
For those ready to let go of the limitations that existed yesterday, hybrid work models offer agility so it's easier to continue moving forward — even within the context of a shifting landscape. Are you ready?
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