flexible working, working from home

Flexible working isn’t just about being available for doctors’ appointments and Amazon deliveries.

Utilise the agile workspace to drive your users’ creativity, productivity and collaboration, and help them achieve a better work-life balance.

The complex challenges that face modern businesses are changing the ways in which we communicate and collaborate. The recent National Work Life Week highlighted how lines continue to blur between work and home life, and provided the opportunity for both employers and employees to focus on well-being both at work and at home.

How can your business deliver a meaningful work-life balance that fosters creativity and innovation, increases productivity, and gives your users an opportunity to recharge away from the daily bombardment of emails, meetings and conference calls?

Moving On From Flexible Working

Part of the solution to achieving a good work-life balance lies in flexible, efficient working enabled by an agile workspace. But enabling an agile workspace means more than just giving users laptops and sending them off into the world. As a business owner, it’s important to think about what a truly agile workspace can mean to your business, your users, and your clients.

Many businesses seek to provide flexible working for their users. Flexible working is a trend that’s been around for some time now; hot-desking and being able to work anytime, anywhere is highly desirable for employees, and employers who want to retain and recruit the very best skills where competition is fierce invariably seek to adopt this agile working style.

However, we believe that the core principle of flexible working – delivering users the same experience, wherever they are – needs to be revisited if businesses really want to tackle today’s complex challenges head on.

Introducing the Agile Workspace

At Six Degrees, we believe that the agile workspace represents the future of work. Delivering users the same experience wherever they are is great, but it fails to address a key aspect of our working lives today: that we have different working needs at different times.

Say you’re a Project Manager, and you’ve been tasked with presenting a complex project plan to your company’s Board of Directors. In order to prepare, you’ll need to engage with a number of stakeholders who will be actively involved in the project execution. But then you’ll need time to go away and really focus on creating a concise, compelling presentation that provides a comprehensive overview of the project execution plan, its risks and its benefits. And finally you’ll want to deliver an excellent presentation to the Board, some of whom may be in different offices or even continents.

Each of the three discrete phases of this project will require its own unique working structure in order to achieve the best results. Simply grabbing a laptop and smartphone and ‘getting on with it’ is not enough: to deliver effectively, it’s essential to equip yourself with tools that empower you to work efficiently and appropriately, anywhere.

Harnessing Technology to Inspire Humans

The latest communication and collaboration technology empowers users to work in a manner that’s most appropriate to their immediate requirements. It empowers users by recognising that they need time to communicate and collaborate, but they also need time to concentrate and contemplate.

So how can this technology help you deliver your presentation to the Board? Let’s look at each of the three phases one at a time.

When you’re working with other stakeholders to create the project execution plan, you’ll need to work collaboratively, making dynamic changes as the parameters of the project are fleshed out. Agile workspace technology facilitates collaboration across multiple channels, allowing you to introduce video calls to instant messaging chats, embed ‘click to call links’ in documents, and use all available collaboration methods in a straightforward, intuitive way.

Once you’re ready to create the presentation, you may want to get away from the office to work from a space that suits your personality, drives your creativity, and gives you time to focus. The agile workspace allows you to achieve the same ubiquitous experience in all locations and across all device types. So whether you’re at home, in a shared working space, or at your favourite local coffee shop, you have access to the required tools in a consistent manner.

And when you’re presenting to the board, agile workspace technology delivers conferencing facilities through a single platform that provides a seamless experience no matter where you are, or where your audience is located.

Each of these three phases have their own unique requirements that need to be addressed. However, an agile workspace solution should also be seamless and continual. Simplicity is key – users should be able to access the tools they need, when they need them without unnecessary complexity, and with a consistent user experience throughout.

Empower Your Users and Drive Innovation

The agile workspace will help your business get the best out of your users no matter what their location, function, age or experience. It will help them work better collaboratively, whilst giving them the time they need to focus away from the office.

And it goes beyond basic flexible working to help your business deliver a meaningful work-life balance that improves employee wellbeing, which is so important in today’s fast-paced working environment. In 2016-17 12.5 million working days were lost in the UK due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. This serves to highlight the importance of initiatives such as National Work Life Week, putting in stark relief the need for all businesses to take tangible steps towards improving work-life balance for their employees.

The way we work is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Adopting an agile workspace will help you improve employee wellbeing whilst meeting today’s complex business challenges head on, driving competitive advantages and empowering you to achieve your business’ strategic goals.

About the Author

Matthew Brouker is Group Product Director at Six Degrees, a leading cloud-led managed service provider that works as a collaborative technology partner to businesses making a digital transition.

Six Degrees works collaboratively and builds long-term partnerships through exceptional services that match its clients’ needs. It continually innovates the right solutions to enable clients’ brilliance.

For more information, visit www.6dg.co.uk