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Research shows that 93 percent of companies that adopted an Agile framework before the COVID-19 pandemic hit outperformed those that did not. Even if you weren’t on the Agile train before the pandemic, you can still start reaping the benefits now.
COVID-19 has taught us that our old concepts of a productive work environment aren’t as effective as we originally thought.
People don’t need to always be in the office, working set hours, or spending lots of time in in-person meetings to get things done. An Agile office can be a much more productive environment that sets workers up for long-term success and job satisfaction.
Read on to learn more about the Agile framework, the benefits of an Agile office, and how you can implement this model in your workplace.
Agile working is based around the idea that work is an activity, rather than a set location. With this definition in mind, it makes sense that Agile working is sometimes referred to as activity-based working.
The Agile working model is all about bringing people, processes, and technology together. The goal is to find the most effective way to carry out a specific task, without placing a lot of unnecessary boundaries around the way that task is achieved.
In an Agile workplace, it is important for teams to agree upon boundaries, objectives, and key performance indicators. However, within those agreed-upon elements, employees have a lot of freedom and are empowered to work in innovative ways that help them be more productive.
Every organization implements the Agile working model in unique ways. There’s plenty of room for customization to make this framework fit different types of businesses.
However, one key tenet of the Agile framework that should apply across the board is the concept of freedom. Employees should be given plenty of freedom to decide when they work, the roles they perform, where they work, and the teams and tasks they work with.
An Agile office runs according to the basic principles of the Agile working model.
Agile offices are become more and more popular, especially in the wake of COVID-19. More business owners and team leaders have realized that workers can be just as productive (if not more productive) working on their own time and in a location of their choosing.
One of the main ways that Agile offices are distinct from other types of offices is the amount of freedom they offer.
In an Agile office, you won’t find a bunch of cubicles and cookie-cutter offices. Instead, Agile offices are designed with maximum flexibility in mind. They feature lots of open space and Agile furniture, which is easy to move around and rearrange to meet different workers’ needs.
The following are some examples of what you might see in an Agile office:
With an Agile office comes a unique office culture. The following are some key characteristics of Agile work culture:
One of the biggest goals of the Agile working model is to keep things fluid and moving freely amongst your team. Workers should have the freedom to choose when and where they work. They should be free to find the best solutions to problems without being weighed down by unnecessary rules and office policies.
In an Agile office, workers need to be empowered. If they aren’t being taught the skills they need to do their jobs well, the company cannot perform optimally. Employee training should focus on both hard and soft skills so that workers are equipped to handle a variety of situations appropriately.
Agile offices need leaders, not managers. They need people who want to empower and inspire their teams, not micromanage them to make sure everything gets done by the book.
Working in an Agile office sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? Not only does it create a better environment for the workers, but it also empowers them to do better work.
Some team leaders and business owners are still highly committed to the traditional 9-5 business model. What these people don’t often realize, though, is all of the benefits that can result from switching to an Agile model.
The following are some of the greatest advantages companies experience when they make the switch:
Are you still confused about what an Agile work environment looks like or how you can implement these principles into your office? Here are a few examples of companies that use the Agile working model:
Basecamp is one of the loudest champions of the Agile framework. The company’s CEO, Jason Fried, regularly emphasizes the importance of workers being free to find a workspace that fits their style, without having to worry about being interrupted with unnecessary meetings or being micromanaged by those in leadership roles.
The majority of Dell’s workers still work in a traditional office setting, rather than remotely. However, the company still values flexibility, explaining that it gives team members more freedom and a better sense of work-life balance, both of which help them to be more productive during the workday.
With 100 percent of their workforce working remotely, WordPress is the ultimate flexible employer. Team members are given the freedom to decide when and where they work, which allows them to get more done (often in less time).
By being a global, completely remote company, WordPress is also able to choose from a wider talent pool. This also helps them to continue growing and maximizing productivity.
Feeling inspired to create an Agile work environment for your team? Here are a few steps you can take today to make that happen:
There’s no need to completely overhaul the office and rip down all the cubicle walls at once. Start by creating more open, communal workspaces or letting employees know that they’re free to work from home or follow more flexible schedules.
When you first switch to an Agile work environment, there’s likely going to be a lot of questions and confusion. Encourage communication among different department heads so you can address questions and concerns as soon as possible.
Invite other workers to ask questions or express concerns, too. Remember, everyone should feel empowered and free to speak up.
The most productive Agile offices are those in which the company’s mission and values are clear and shared by all. Giving workers control over their work is a great starting point, but unless they’re all working toward the same goals and purpose, it may be hard to see the kinds of benefits the Agile working method promises.
Now that you know more about the benefits of an Agile office, are you ready to experience them with your team? Follow the steps outlined above so you can create an Agile environment in your office and give your team the tools they need to succeed.