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Why it’s worth bending over backwards for agile working.

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26 September 2016

Peter Knowles

Blogs by author:  Peter Knowles , Business Development Director, Flexible Working Services, BT

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Agile working can save you money, increase employee morale and improve your service. But it’s often not implemented properly, and that’s where we can help.

Now’s the time for agile working.

As we enter an era of greater economic uncertainty, it’s time for businesses to re-consider the bottom-line, and look at ways they can reduce unnecessary spending and improve productivity. Agile working has the power to do this, but only if it’s utilised properly.

Most importantly, it can help your organisation to manage its main costs. Whether you’re having problems with property rationalisation, recruitment and retention, or you’re simply looking for an effective way to cut spending and maintain performance, there is an agile working solution.

Agile working can be the silver bullet that increases morale and decreases operational costs. But letting a handful of people work from home, or setting up a few hot desks and break-out rooms with a couple of sofas isn’t enough. The true business benefits can’t be achieved unless you have an overall strategy and adapt your organisation’s entire structure to fit your agile working aspirations.

Fail to plan, plan to fail — a strategy for agile working.

Agile working has to be strategic. First, it’s important to have a plan. If you collaborate with us, we can help you to create a pathway that works for your business, taking into account your organisation’s structure and the specific targets you want to achieve.

We work in a holistic way, so from this initial plan, we’ll work with departments individually to help them make the changes necessary for a new way of working. For example, we assist the HR department with changing policy, updating employee procedures, implementing flexible practices and changing the workplace culture to embrace different ways of working.

At the same time, we’ll work with the tech team, advising on the best way to enable their employees to make the most of working on the move. And we also collaborate with the property team to scope out the redesign of buildings and develop improved strategies for property rationalisation and increasing utilisation.

Working with teams individually helps to ensure that flexible working is rolled-out effectively across the entire organisation. This is a focused process, moving from department to department, floor by floor, building by building, using our tried-and-tested practitioner experience and process.

What agile working can do for your organisation.

BT Advise’s strategic and coherent implementation is the best way to make sure that you’ll achieve all of the business benefits. From performance improvements to cost-savings, your organisation will gain in a number of ways, including:

• Greater property rationalisation.
 Less office and building space can mean less maintenance and move costs. This can also be an effective way to free up capital.

• Improved recruitment, retention and employee morale.
 The younger members of the workforce are increasingly looking for jobs that let them work from anywhere. These employees are proficient with digital communication devices, so a desk-based nine-to-five seems old-fashioned to them. This style of office could suggest your organisation isn’t keeping up with the latest technology and that means that the brightest candidates may pass you by, while current employees look elsewhere.

• Better business continuity.
 Employees with a better work-life balance, and the ability to work anywhere, are happier and more productive. This means that they work more effectively in all areas, helping your organisation to perform at a consistently high-level. By enabling your people to work from anywhere, you’ll also help manage any business continuity issues, because the rigor is built into your people not your property.

• A reduced carbon footprint.
 Not just in terms of your property holdings, but also the number of commuters that agile working can take off the rails and roads. Plus, it reduces business miles.

How to successfully secure these benefits.

Maybe you’ve never explored flexible working, or maybe your organisation isn’t sure how to get past the trial stage — even though you want to start implementing it effectively across the organisation. Either way, our BT Advise team can help.

Our input has helped organisations like Greater Manchester Police and the South Essex Partnership Trust to consolidate property holdings, save millions of pounds every year and make employees happier and more productive.

So, for reduced costs and a more efficient property estate, along with improved customer service and business continuity, it’s time to start working in a new way.

Get in touch with our account team, or find out more information about implementing agile working, here.