The corporate world is moving forward at an incredible pace with technological advancements and cultural changes all around. Organizations have to innovate and adapt continuously to keep up with evolving market conditions. That is only possible if workplace agility is present where every change is embraced.
An agile workplace is equipped to deal with any challenges and is successful in instilling productivity in the workplace. It fosters a positive work environment and prepares employees to become better leaders and top performers of tomorrow.
But what exactly does workplace agility mean? How can an organization pave the way towards it? Let’s delve deeper into it.
What is Workplace Agility?
According to Cambridge University, the meaning of agility is the ability to think quickly and clearly. Now when you relate the same with a workplace, the importance of the word “workplace agility” becomes much more straightforward.
Workplace agility defines an organization’s ability to work swiftly, seamlessly, and cohesively to generate increased productivity and engagement levels. The agility trait also helps an organization adapt and blend in well with the developments and changes that occur with time across the marketplace.
Reaping the Benefits of an Agile Workplace
An agile workforce has its share of benefits that help in the organization’s growth and progress. Let’s have a look at them in detail.
1. Scope of Flexibility
In an agile environment, the employees need not practice presenteeism where you have to turn up to work just to mark your presence and merely be seen at your desk from 9-5.
An agile workplace opens up the opportunity to implement a much more flexible schedule for the employees. If employees feel that they cannot achieve productivity after 3 or 4 pm, they can switch up the work environment and renew the energy to work more. That ultimately results in increased productivity and enthusiasm.
2. Flattens the Hierarchy tree
Being an agile workplace does not mean that it is limited only to the employees. The management and the higher-ups play a crucial role in it. They have to bend the rules to stay competitive and empower employees to foster higher engagement levels.
An agile workplace culture removes the hierarchy factor as the whole organization collaborates to achieve its long-term goals and objectives. There is mutual trust and respect. And since everyone understands how they work, the room for micromanagement diminishes entirely and provides no workplace toxicity scope.
3. Improved Well-being and Satisfaction
In an agile work environment, employees are free to manage their hours, complete tasks, and approach a peer during times of need. It provides a perfect atmosphere for the employees to present innovations and ideas that elevate their work efficiency.
With the autonomy to work without any interruptions, employees complete their tasks within the stipulated time, which increases their satisfaction levels. It also helps them maintain their health as they do not have to stick to work for longer hours and take time out to rest themselves with a flexible schedule.
4. Reduced turnover and office costs
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, workplaces quickly adopted the work from home policies, one of the millennials’ most desired perks. And it is here to stay for a very long time. In fact, with work from home policies, organizations will become much more agile and flexible.
In return, organizations will attract more talents and retain their employees, which will reduce turnover rates. Furthermore, with agility, employees can work from anywhere to reduce their commuting costs and save office space that will positively impact the organization’s yearly budget.
5. Promotes Diversity
When your workplace is agile, unlike other businesses, you will have the flexibility to hire any talented individuals as you like. Be it on a temporary or permanent basis despite their skills and competencies. An agile workplace believes in providing opportunities to anyone who has the zeal to work, breaking the conventional ways of working in an office.
Furthermore, it opens up endless possibilities to recognize the styles and needs of every individual. With different backgrounds and life experiences, you will be able to promote diversity and an employee-centric culture.
The Path to become an Agile Workplace
First, you need to have the fundamental knowledge of agility and incorporate it into an organization. Below are some crucial pointers to help you out to successfully implement workplace agility.
1. Freedom of expression and experimentation
Agile organizations understand the importance of tapping into an employee’s resourcefulness to generate fresh ideas and innovative ways to address challenges. It is vital to present employees with the freedom and resources to experiment without facing criticism. Employees should feel safe while expressing their thoughts and ideas.
Encouraging employees to try new things and learn from the mistakes makes the work environment psychologically safe and safeguards the idea of being agile.
2. Speeding up Efficiently
Business agility is only possible when your workforce can swiftly take action to solve problems. Practice an effective decision-making process, and employee empowerment that helps the cause immensely. It maximizes the speed of assessing a situation and enhances efficiency because employees will have a duty to fulfill.
Furthermore, a sense of responsibility among the employees will make them accountable for their tasks, bringing the best in them. Leaders should also consider incorporating development systems to assist the employees in upskilling and reinforcing agility in the workplace.
3. Robust communication
Communication has always been a crucial element in an organization to achieve a smooth workflow. A robust communication system has made geographical separation less hindering and allowed organizations to connect with employees working remotely.
Remember that communication is a two-way process. A healthy communication system will foster increased transparency and honesty. Everyone in the organization will continuously stay in the loop about the daily changes and activities, making the workplace more agile and flexible to fast developments.
4. The practice of Collaboration
It is essential to incorporate the practice of collaboration in an organization because it garners team-building opportunities. Not only does it fosters cross-team cooperation, but it also allows effortless information sharing. There is a seamless trade of knowledge and expertise among teams and employees that significantly boosts cross-functionality.
5. Best use of the available Tools
Tools in the present era have made life much more straightforward and streamlined the activities. Understanding the mechanisms swiftly and onboarding them will give the company a competitive advantage and portray an organization’s ability to be an agile workforce.
The availability of tools will make the workforce much more proficient at their tasks, and it will also increase the employees’ engagement levels. But before that, make sure that everyone has the willingness to adapt to it and embrace the changes for a better future.
Summing it Up
The ability of an organization to become agile is a process that needs to be developed with time. It requires everyone’s constant support, without which the system might falter in the long run. The leaders also need to emphasize the room for improvement and provide endless opportunities to the employees to become a more agile force that is fearless and adapts to changes willingly.