What is Agile Working and Does It Apply to the Finance Industry?

This month the BBC published an article which revealed that flexible working spaces are set to soar by up to 30% over the next five years. This is according to research carried out by property firm, Jones Lang Lasalle.

The most common understanding of flexible working is an increased leniency around working hours, more opportunities to work from home and being able to tailor your working life around your unique private life.

An area which falls under the umbrella of flexible working which you might not be too familiar with yet though is agile working.

Agile working is currently more closely associated to those within the creative industry but it can provide a number of benefits within the finance and accounting industries which we want to shine the limelight on.

But first, let’s start by defining the concept which is sweeping the modern working world.

What is agile working?

Unilever describe agile working as “an approach to getting work done with maximum flexibility and minimum constraints”.

It involves giving employees more choice and control over where, when and how they work within the office environment, according to task and requirement and is designed to breakdown restrictive traditions such as assigned workstations and departmental seating.

Today, many offices are broken up into diverse segments including creative collaboration spaces, social areas and private focus zones. These are typically defined by the type of furniture, technology and workspace resources that are in them such as soft seating, SMART boards and acoustic pods.

The benefits of agile working for accountants:

Improved levels of concentration – Working environments can be extremely noisy places and alongside this excess noise also comes a whole plethora of visual distraction.

In the finance and accounting sector where accuracy and complete concentration are absolutely crucial, agile working allows staff to escape to a quiet or less populated space if their immediate working environment becomes too loud or too busy.

More streamline information-sharing – Being able to move away from the desk to a purpose-designed breakout space kitted out with innovative collaborative technology will make sharing ideas and information a much more efficient process.

No longer are employees required to crowd around a single screen and risk low participation, long-term discomfort and a potential compromise of confidentiality.

Better physical and mental well-being – One of the biggest advantages of agile working across all sectors, including finance and accounting, is how it encourages more physical movement, lower stress levels and improved job satisfaction.

Employees will feel better and perform better as they can change their physical postures throughout the day. They can also enhance cognitive performance through lowering blood pressure, feeling more of a sense of belonging and being motivated to come to work each day.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the concept of agile working – is this something your workplace is embracing? Is it something you’re trying to implement more of as a small business owner and want to share your advice with like-minded entrepreneurs?

Share your experiences in the comments below or come and join in on the conversation over on Twitter and Facebook.

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