An agile workplace is one that provides a flexible framework for small businesses to harmonise your employees’ preferred ways of working with your business aims. A culture of agility and collaboration will empower your workforce to focus on goals, results-delivery, better performance, and feel better about their business.
In an agile workplace, employees enjoy autonomy over where and when they undertake their roles and responsibilities.
Collaboration solutions for telecommuting and remote working
For this reason, as they become unified, business communications must offer a diverse range of tools and services that enable the medium – voice, video, mobile data, 4G, cloud – to be best matched to the message. These richly-featured unified collaboration solutions must provide always-on availability so that workers can respond to each business opportunity as it arrives. And we are all moving towards an agile, remote-working workforce.
By 2020, 50% of all US employees will work remotely. Meanwhile, 87% of users believe video has a significant and positive impact on an organisation.
Employees need to be able to pivot seamlessly from voice-to-video conferencing, switching between digital white-boarding and project management work streams. And user experience must be of the same high-quality, wherever your teams collaborate from and from whatever device.
Meetings that improve collaboration and raise productivity
It’s no exaggeration to say that meetings have been transformed by collaboration technology, allied to flexible and remote working. For small businesses this is hugely advantageous, because you are often working with several co-development partners who are also time-limited when it comes to physical travel. Now you and they can consult face-to-face through video meetings.
Making your frontline workers ever-more collaborative adds a further business benefit. It extends scope for interaction with your partners and customers using the same collaborative platforms and allows for rapid decision-making by synchronizing to their availability.
Flexibility brings business benefits and will improve morale
Team members who move their working hours outside of the nine-to-five routine can bring about added value to customer-facing roles. This enables these employees to interact with customers in overseas time zones. A small business can provide extended customer contact and support by responding to global sales enquiries quicker – and drive international revenue growth.
A global study carried out by the Centre for Digital Business Transformation found that "Companies with digital business agility in their workforces were three times more likely to characterise their financial performance as “better than average” over the past five years.
Collaboration technology enables a happier, more productive workforce
People who have what they need to work at their best in terms of autonomy and technology are happier people. Happy workers deliver a greater productivity value too. Don’t laugh – a university research study in the UK found happiness made people around 12% more productive. For a small business, such gains can scale into powerful competitive forces.
An always-on business model
European business culture reflects the global trend toward flexible mobile and remote work patterns. The increasingly mobile international workforce, plus demographic and social shifts, make the global workforce more diverse.
The digital-first world, the interconnected 24/7 nature of our lives, and the resultant always-on business reality mean that work is now something we do, rather than somewhere we go to. So, the more interconnected your employees are, the easier it is for them to be more productive and achieve your small business's objectives.
Read our top tips for setting up your workspace for agile success.
About the AuthorMore Content by Charlotte Sturman