The idea of flexible working in some industries is still limited to allowing people to work part- or flexi-time hours. This notion of fulfilling a set number of hours – clocking in and out – is so strong, it’s endemic in how we think about work, particularly where people are paid by the hour or need to be on-site to fulfil a customer service.
In more innovative and forward-thinking industries, they’re really beginning to appreciate the value of more fluid ways of working – for the business and for its people. They see that imposing a 40 hour week can create a lot of stagnant and downtime, which is neither profitable nor productive, and they’re looking beyond the clock to see how people can use their time better and smarter – however long or short that time may be.
Measuring performance by activity and output rather than logged hours encourages workers to work at peak performance and on meaningful tasks. In other words, getting to the end of the week isn’t the ambition – achieving organisational goals is!
Here at James Tobias, we see it more and more as innovative client businesses ask us to design and build workplaces that enable flexible, fluid and agile ways of working. For them, it makes the best use of often premium office space, making it both more comfortable and more efficient (better for the bottom line!). While employees enjoy a more empowered, active way to work that’s fluid and dynamic.
That’s all backed up by research that confirms allowing people to choose when, where and how they work, with minimal constraints, makes for organisations that are much more flexible and responsive to changing needs and situations.
Like the studies that show remote or location-independent workers are more productive and happier than their office-based counterparts. Or like the 75% of companies who have introduced flexible working policies – of which 61% have reported increased profits and 83% improved productivity. In the US, 61% of organisations in a poll said that flexible working improved teamwork and an even more impressive 77% said it improved staff morale.
Beyond flexible working, the buzzword is ‘agile’. This is next level flexibility where the focus is on working better not harder.
Trust us, you’re going to be hearing lots more about agile working and you’re going to want to explore the benefits for yourself.
It’s increasingly at the heart of every brief we receive to design a workplace experience, with clients asking for features that are designed around enabling activity, hot desking, remote working and optimising space – absolutely essential where office space is at a premium.
Our bespoke approach and considerable expertise means we’re adept at making the most of any and every space.
For example, because we know that some businesses need to reconfigure their office space periodically – sometimes several times in a single year – we’ve created a range of solutions that are inherently flexible and adaptable: their aluminium construction means they can be easily moved and adapted without compromising strength or quality.
With top talent becoming more interested in – and attracted to – flexible working, it could pay dividends to invest in an environment that encourages it. The bottom line is that if you’re embarking on an office refurb or new premises, it pays to think about building in flexible working practices – your people will thank you by being happier, more engaged and productive, and that’s all better for business!Tags: bespoke charge and sync, Cosy Cove, MediaWall, StorageWall, workwall