Should My Business Convert to Agile?

Millennials are demanding more flexibility in their work schedules. But what about in other aspects of their work? Cue the agile work environment.

agile office

“It’s no secret that millennials are having a profound effect on the modern workplace,” Forbes says. Among the myriad of ways that this up-and-coming generation is impacting today’s workplace, they are demanding more flexible work environments—more freedom and less unnecessary formal structure in their workplace. There’s actually a name for this kind of approach to work and it’s called agile work. Never heard of it? Curious about how to implement it? Wondering how doing so might impact you and your business? We’ve got everything you need to know about an agile work environment right here to make your decision-making process a little bit easier.

What is an agile process?

As the same Forbes article explains it, agile work means, “responding quickly to environmental changes, rather than keeping to a strict process or procedure.” Agile work essentially values freedom over structure.

The practice actually originated within software development teams but has since expanded to become a process which embraces all kinds of teams across a variety of companies, although it’s certainly more commonly found in smaller businesses than in large corporations for obvious reasons.

What is Scrum?

 Within agile teams, flexibility is king, and responsibility is often distributed across members rather than flowing in a top-down fashion from executives. The goal is to be able to work quickly to needs that arise as well as to give individual team members the autonomy they need to get their work done in the best way possible.

Scrum is one concrete way to tackle work within an agile work environment. As Scrum.org says, “Scrum itself is a simple framework for effective team collaboration on complex products.” Again, Scrum came from the software development world, but has been adapted to other forms of working by providing clarity around roles, events, and the rules that make an agile system run.

What is activity-based work?

Activity-based work is an alternative to formal workstations or assigned seating. Instead, larger workspaces are provided based on the types of functions designated to take place there. Activity-based work environments typically have areas for activities like learning, focusing, collaborating, and socializing.

As Serraview adds, “the cool features of an agile work environment (especially when combined with activity-based working) can be the thing that tips the scale in your favor for top candidates.”

Is agile work right for my business?

At this point, you’re probably wondering whether or not a transition to an agile work environment is right for your company or if it’s even possible. As Serraview sums up, there’s a good chance that you’re well positioned to tackle an agile work environment if:

  • You’re looking to shift to a more open and collaborative company culture, often to stir up innovation.
  • You’re fiercely competing for talent in your industry—especially if that talent is largely of a younger generation.
  • A significant chunk of your workforce is working remotely or is otherwise outside of the office already.
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