More companies are making the switch to agile working. Removing yourself from an assigned desk and stepping out of your comfort zone can be a difficult transition. In other words, it’s creating a sufficient and supportive work environment. But with a new layout comes change.
Some employees will embrace change but some will reject the idea as well. If you’re thinking of introducing a new way of working, try these steps to make the transition a walk in the park.
1. The best laid plans
The first phase of planning is to break down exactly what you want to achieve with the new change. Establishing what the goals are will ultimately play a huge role in the blueprint of the plan. It might even help to do a test run with the proposed plan and ask staff to have their input. Asking for feedback could make the transition easier and recognise what needs to be changed or if there’s anything in particular the staff are in favour of. Adjust the plan and have it ready to roll out 6 months to a year ahead of time.
2. Communication is key
They say the key to a relationship is open communication – the workplace shouldn’t be any different. Keep staff in the loop of the process and pitch ideas to see how they survey amongst the team. It’s also a good opportunity to express how agile working will benefit the office and answer any questions employees might have. An agile workplace means stepping outside of the comfort zone of an assigned desk and approaching a more flexible workplace. Nothing is more important than having your staff on board so they can champion the switchover.
3. Take the risk, reap in the reward
Taking risks is inevitable in any work environment. Organising a new setup like agile working is a big task and an even bigger risk. It could be a complete success or the wrong investment. When the plan is being developed, there will be times when certain aspects just don’t work. Be open to new ideas or take advantage of suggestions from employees. Outside help can either make or break the plan – just be open to taking that risk. An agile workplace means having an agile attitude.
4. Provide the technology
Having a new office layout means the basic tools and software will be new as well. Equip your staff with the essentials they might need like new laptops, facilities for remote working and the right tech pieces to keep the office mobile and flexible. It might be a good idea to have each tech piece be able to identify the owner for those who leave their items in a spot while they’re at a meeting all day. The idea is to leave spots in the office open to encourage productivity and keep the workplace agile. As an entirely cloud based business, there are plenty of tech based tools we use on a daily basis to help keep our communication and workflow running seamlessly regardless of the locations of any one individual. Tools we incorporate are #Slack for instant messaging and project discussion, Trello for workflow and tasks, Dropbox for file sharing and Zapier to integrate and automate various systems and process.
5. Comfort and health
Agile working is ultimately about creating a supportive work environment. Sitting at a desk all day, can leave the worker feeling restless and unproductive. Make sure the office furniture encourages movement and better ergonomic positions. Taller tables and desks are becoming more popular which can be used for rapid meetings reducing time usually spent during those meetings. When it comes to health, it’s a good idea to have snacks like fruit available. If you want to go the extra mile, treat employees to a catered lunch or create snack packs so they don’t have to bring in lunch. Offer these simple gestures and any employee will leave the office feeling valued and ready to tackle the rest of the week.
6. Celebrate victories
If a team or someone has reached their goal for the month, it’s important to recognise it. Victory big or small, every one needs to be celebrated. A good way to celebrate is to get the office together and be specific on the achievement. Maybe it’s great feedback for customer service or reaching KPI’s for the month. Team members will know they add value to the company and have confidence in their capabilities. We love to celebrate by going out to lunch, a trip to the movies, and plenty of physical or virtual pats on the back all round for great work done.