In an era where efficiency is everything, the need to make working more agile and flexible has become especially prominent. At the organisational level, the potential benefits of an agile approach – think increased productivity or an ability to better match the workforce to fluctuating market demands – are too good to ignore.
When employees think about flexibility, they think of the added freedom of being able to work in a way that suits their individual circumstances, which increases motivation and engagement and improves their performance in the long term. So the big question we’ll be aiming to answer in this paper is: are organisations going to be able to satisfy both the need for organisational agility and employees’ wishes to work flexibly?
Given that we live in an age of technology ubiquity and an ‘always-on’ generation, it might be assumed that agile working is a relatively simple task. But our research has revealed that this is not necessarily the case.
Technology has had a hugely positive impact on our lives in many ways, but it can also be a double-edged sword: constant access to technology is often more of a distraction than an enabler of greater productivity.
This paper aims to examine some of the issues in more detail, using research from the Workforce Institute at Kronos to explore what’s needed to improve agile working and how leaders need to think about creating the right framework to ensure that business goals are achieved, but also that employees are able to work their way.