With many different styles of work coming into the light in recent times, thee many three are agile, flexible and hybrid working. Referring to separate styles of work which require different types of office design and infrastructure. In this article, we will dissect the difference between each of these styles and what benefits that they bring to the table.
Dexterity within the workplace is needed, whether this involves one or two or all three of the working styles. Between the three working ways, there are a lot of similarities, but also a few differences with the terminology used to describe them. To simplify things, it is possible to think of the three models as the how, when and where.
What Do They Mean?
Agile Working – this is what we call the ‘how’. It is about bringing people, processes, connectivity & technology, time and place together to really find out the most appropriate and effective way of working to carry out certain tasks. It is known to be working within guidelines but without any boundaries.
Flexible Working – this is the ‘when’. It is based off a way of working that suits an employees needs. It does this by incorporating the working hours and how the traditional 9-5 working day can be adapted to suit an employees work/life balance.
Hybrid Working – and finally, this is the ‘where’. Hybrid working is plain and simple, a mix of remote work and office-based days. This promotes a blend of both environments and worlds, adding to the idea of a perfect work/life balance.
Let’s Discuss Hybrid Working
As we said before, it is the mix of working remotely, or more commonly known as working from home and office-based work. The working week you carry out the hybrid working style in will usually be split up into 2 sections, with three days in the office and two days at home, or even vice-versa in some cases, but workers are usually expected to work from more than one location during the same week.
The hybrid working model has a specific aim, which is to give employees the chance at maintaining a perfect work/life balance. It does mean overall, people will be spending a lot less time in the office than usual, but as a result, we will see the office shape itself to support a more transient workforce.
Benefits of Hybrid Working
The first one is quite clearly increased productivity. It can offer employees flexibility and empowerment, encouraging them to work to their strengths which will boost their overall productivity. By promoting a workspace that can view remote working as a positive alternative to completing focused tasks in the office, means that teams can find a good balance of creativity and collaboration. Employees that crave peace and quiet to produce good or any that thrive in an office setting can be given the choice to work where and when they’re most productive.
Organisations must invest equally in four different work modes to enable a successful hybrid environment, these are:
- Working together, together: Teams are co-located and participate in meetings in a shared space.
- Working together, apart: Teams are distributed but hold virtual meetings.
- Working alone, together: Teams share spaces but do not work at the same time.
- Working alone, apart: Teams are distributed, with individuals performing deep-focus work remotely.
Another one to note down is how it improves employee satisfaction. Autonomy is the key to satisfying employees, by providing full autonomy and decision-making on how, where and when your team members work, the employee satisfaction will skyrocket.
This is important for on-site workers too, because employees who return to the office after a year of setting their own schedule, will need to feel that they are trusted to get work done without a manager standing by. Mutual appreciation and positive assumptions are guiding principles in many workplaces. When workers don’t see each other 9-5 every day of the week, it is easy for others to make assumptions about one another – obviously the assumptions are kept positive, trusting that everyone is doing their best and are making responsible decisions.
A Lesson on Flexible Working
This working style has had its definition shifted over the years, especially with the rise of hybrid working. Usually, the flexible working model relates to the arrangements made between the employer and employee to allows for flexible working hours. However, offering flexible working also means that you can welcome employees with different requirements, such as those who prefer remote working or shorter days due to child care responsibilities. This reason is why flexible working may get mistaken as hybrid working models.
Benefits of Flexible Working
One of the most notable benefits when using this working model is that it reduces stress and burnouts. Studies have shown that over a 12-month period, 15,000,000 days were lost to mental health problems such as stress, depression, anxiety and other issues which were all caused (or worsened) by work. This makes the offer of flexible working hours, telecommuting or remote working crucial to employee wellbeing.
By allowing flexible hours in the workplace, employees are free to introduce themselves to the benefit of staggered hours and alternative shift patterns to become more available to customers. even outside of business hours. The positive outcome of this means a reduced work load on a day-to-day basis, reducing the amount of pressure put onto each individual in the office.
This type of work also brings out increased productivity within employees and also the business too. A study has found that 77% of employees felt more productive when they were allowed to work flexible hours. A further 30% said that compared to working in the office, more could get done in less time if they take their work back with them, hence the need to consider flexible working hours a massive advantage of everyday working life.
Finally, Catching Up On Agile Working
Businesses that encourage an agile working model are there to actively support a dynamic working system. This may also include flexible working hours, but it is more on the side of breaking down those barriers of traditional ways of working between staff and what they prefer, whilst also enabling them to work at their best and most efficient level.
Agile workplaces are able to quickly adapt and respond easily to change, with them maximising their flexibility of the office floorplan, as well as offering an opportunity for space justification. The opportunity of accepting agile working practices into the office will attract new generations of top talent.
Benefits of Agile Working
One of the most important benefits of an agile working office is providing an environment best suited to the model. When it comes to furniture, the office space should be designed to support people in achieving their goals of flexibility, productivity and efficiency, and allow ease of collaboration when necessary. Above all, its about flexibility – by allowing each task to be carried out in the most efficient way. To do this, you will need to plan out your spaces accordingly and provide suitable furniture for each environment.
There are companies that produce furniture ranges designed for flexibility and adaptiveness. There are such things as flexible, light and easy to use pieces of furniture, which together create an array of environments set up perfectly for agile working. Available to buy in a range of colourways, which also add an abundance of character to the workplace.
Coming up as another benefit of a working style is increased productivity. Providing employees with an activity-based environment and allowing individuals to work from any setting they choose allows the seam combination of focused, collaborative and creative work to flow, leading to better productivity. Studies have found that 67% of agile businesses reported a significant boost to their productivity, up to 20% in some instances.
These are the three main working models, allowing any employee to work in completely different ways depending on who they are and how they prefer to work. One thing for certain is that all of them increase employees overall productivity, whether it is inside, or outside the workplace.
Do you want to implement these working styles into your workplace? Officio can help. Visit our showcase where you can see our office spaces to rent. If you feel like it, for any enquiry purposes, give one of team a ring on 020 3053 3882 or fill out our contact form here.