Free to succeed

Free to succeed

It often seems that just when you’re getting to grips with one new development another comes along that’s heralded as being even more important. And as many companies now formalise their flexible working policies, the buzz is building around agile working.

Although the two share common ground, there purposes are not as similar as the names would suggest. Jo Moxon, Capability Director at BGL Group, explains that ‘flexible’ is simply an aspect of ‘agile’. “For me, flexible working is about variety in the hours people work, along with the location they work from. Largely the outcomes are the same – it’s just done in a different way. Whilst businesses do benefit from flexible working, I see it primarily as a great engagement tool to allow the individual a better work/life balance.”

Heather Wilson, Director of People & Organisation Development at Rockpool Digital says that agile takes these ideas much further. “Agile working is not a process, it’s a culture. It’s about redefining how we look at working. It incorporates elements of flexible working such as flexi-time and working from home but goes much further than that. It shifts the focus to outcomes and performance rather than time spent.” She explains that in theory it should allow staff from any position in the company to be utilised for any project. “Agile working allows companies to get the best out of everyone. It’s about not pigeonholing employees by their job title or the function they perform, and using processes, technology, people, as well as time and place, to create the optimum environment to perform.”

 Read the full feature in March's HR Grapevine Magazine >

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