What Is Workplace Agility

Two people holding dry erase markers making a pie chart on glass.
| 07.28.22
Susan G.

Running a business and managing a team in a time of accelerating technology is challenging. Knowing how to balance technology and your team is at the heart of what is called an agile workplace. The key to business survival can sometimes boil down to adaptation, which is true for larger corporations and small businesses.

So, what is an agile workplace culture?

Being agile in the workplace means working quickly, seamlessly, and cohesively with the team. The goal is to increase productivity and, more importantly, the ability to adapt rapidly to developments in the market and technology. The result is typically a more positive work environment and the fostering of leadership.

The benefits of an agile workplace environment.

Flexibility. An agile workplace helps reduce or even eliminate presenteeism, where employees just show up and put in their set hours. Presenteeism leads to a lack of engagement, decreased productivity, and low employee happiness. An agile workplace typically offers flexible scheduling, allowing employees to work their most productive hours. Employees are generally very enthusiastic about flexible work hours that tend to accompany more autonomy to complete projects. Many agile workplaces also embrace working from home and working remotely. The shift is from bodies in chairs to work getting done.

Collaboration. Workplace agility knocks down the walls between employees and management. Employees at all levels work together to attain goals. This lack of working hierarchy improves creativity and enthusiasm. Mutual trust is fostered and felt, and micromanagement becomes a thing of the past. Traditional structures with siloed departments that don’t collaborate truly stifle innovation, and the corrective action is workplace agility.

Diversity. Agile workplaces tend to come with the benefit of increased diversity. A diverse group of people is more inclined to apply to a position with flexible hours and remote work options. The collaborative environment that fosters creativity is sure to attract diverse candidates.

How to transition to an agile workplace.

Using an agile methodology in the workplace is very attractive. Here are some tips to start incorporating now!

Encourage safe expression. Employees who feel safe expressing ideas are more likely to help a company innovate. Employees should be allowed to experiment and learn from mistakes.

Empower employees. Implement a system for making decisions effectively that helps assess situations quickly and empowers employees to fulfill the solutions. Employees should be able to make decisions on the fly. Leaders are people who take action!

Communicate transparently. Agile work environments are, by nature, more transparent. Everyone can see what everyone else is working on, typically via a ticketing system like Atlassian Jira. Discussions can take place on the project tickets. Keep employees informed during scheduled meetings and keep your door open. You want continuous and easy information sharing.

Use agile workplace tools and techniques. Agile workplaces typically have planned standup meetings, including daily standups. These are quick! There are sprint planning meetings for the projects happening during a set time, like a two-week period. Then there are team meetings where employees get to show and tell, followed by retrospective meetings and end-of-phase retrospectives. A few agile tools include user stories, the backlog of projects, and team walls, which are planning boards where tickets can be seen as if they were on a bulletin board. Look for agile software tools that allow employees to solve minor problems quickly, collaborate, and track their work.

Changing your business culture is not always easy or fast, but the payoff in transitioning to an agile workplace culture is evident. Increased productivity, retention, employee happiness, engagement, and innovation are there for your business if you are ready to make the changes. Harness cloud-based tools and agile workplace software, increase communication and transparency, and offer flexibility, and you’ll be on your way!

The result is typically a more positive work environment and the fostering of leadership.

About the Author

B2Z Insurance is a small business insurance company that provides coverage for on-the-go business owners: simple explanations, easy application, digital quotes, and mobile claims. A product that is easy-to-use and helps you assess the unique coverage needs of your business with confidence—freeing you up to grow your business.

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