…with ‘new ways of working’.
The Office of National Statistics recently revealed that the number of workers in the UK who have moved to remote working has increased by nearly a quarter of a million over the last decade, and by 2020 it is expected that half of the UK workforce with be working in this way. (1)
Introducing an agile working policy to your company shouldn’t be difficult. According to HSE (2) 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17. Agile working not only improves work-life balance, reduces costs on travel but has proven to boost productivity and happiness among staff.
Originally office spaces were made up of desks that were assigned to an individual employee, whether they be remote or field based, part time or in some cases a sub-contractor, this approach has since become a redundant method for managing office space occupancy.
As a company expands they will undoubtedly outgrow their space and as a result have no option but to move offices to something larger. This process can be costly, disruptive and have a negative impact on a business.
One way to avoid this is to ensure sufficient considerations are paid to design and optimisation of an office area when introducing an agile workplace policy. BT explored flexible working practices and found absenteeism reduced by 63% when employees worked flexibly. They also found that on average they were 20% more productive compared to their office-based counterparts. (3)
There are many ways a workplace can increase productivity with flexible working practices. The open plan office was sold to us as a way to encourage a more open, inclusive and collaborative workforce but unfortunately this office layout can bring with it some issues for concern. For those in teams who require a deeper level of thinking to complete their jobs and meet their objectives, offer to them a ‘quiet space’ to work, or the option to work from home a couple of mornings a week (4).
Bruce Daisley, a VP at Twitter, offers top tips for finding inner calm and motivating work forces. During a series of podcasts ‘Eat Sleep Work Repeat’ (5) and via videos and blogs on how to navigate modern life and in finding happiness at work, Bruce touched on some interesting concepts, one “A Monk Mode Morning” (6).
This idea comes from Cal Newport, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington, on his search for a better work-life balance. Bruce explains that “Monk Mode” is somewhere to go first thing, a place that is silent and where there are no interruptions for perhaps a block of 90 minutes. An advantage of this ‘time out’ is no rush hour commute, which reduces stress and 90 minutes of work has already been completed for the day, starting the day positively resulting in an increased level of productivity.
Bringing people together
Leading international academic researcher Jeremy Myerson said technology has had a big impact on workplace design, allowing people to work anywhere as long as there is the right technology in place. Myerson also believes that organisations have just three elements to get right in the workplace: people, place and technology. (7)
Technology plays an important role in the roll-out of agile working, enabling the connections to collaborate, share knowledge and maintain relationships, securely, no matter the location. This is where the experience of the right communications partner is key. TwistedPair offer smarter, richer communications solutions, steeped in innovation and led by industry trends and standards.
As technology experts, TwistedPair will assist the planning journey, making suggestions on suitable equipment depending on business needs, objectives and vision, making recommendations that will enhance communication between rooms and across continents – everything from video and audio conferencing tools, acoustic panelling and sound masking to minimise sound issues, to top spec ethernet and business WiFi solutions that will liberate a business to keep pace. All solutions are mapped with intelligence IT teams are craving, which will allow them to better understand how desks, meeting rooms and spaces are used and help them to keep track and pace of remote working employees and their growing needs.
Twisteds’ expert team understand the threats and the opportunities. Ensure you have a friend in the ‘tech’ camp who’s got your best interests in mind and arm your business with the tools to perform better and with a more engaged workforce – this partnership will be a worthwhile investment!
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