At the moment we talk about agile working as an appealing alternative to standard 9-5 office life. But in the future agile working may well be the standard. Will we need to talk about flexible working as a perk, or will a greater level of freedom simply be expected? And if so, how do we keep our workers safe, healthy and productive when they’re out of sight and out of typical work set-ups?
The move to agile isn’t just a myth: it’s really happening. According to one recruitment survey, 92% of Millennials identify flexibility as a top priority when hunting for a job. It doesn’t take a study to know that people typically enjoy having a say in how they spend their daily lives. Sitting all day is bad for us — we already know that from well-publicised research, and inflexible policies and micromanagement can create a tense working environment.
Agile working is all about having the freedom to choose how, when and where we work — not just to make the working day more enjoyable, but to noticeably enhance performance and boost organisational productivity. After all the happier the worker, the higher the quality of work produced.
Agile organisations are noticing the benefits. People want to work for them and stay working for them. Staff feel valued, trusted and loyal. Everyone enjoys a better work-life balance, which alleviates stress and, if the extra time is spent wisely, can enhance physical health. Time once spent sitting in a traffic jam can now be spent in the gym, or on a dog walk, or taking the children to school. The key is to instigate agile working properly, with thought, planning and appropriate infrastructure. You can’t take away employees’ workstations, give them a laptop and expect them to be happy with it. Agile working is about making informed choices. What works for one person might not work for another — and this applies to hot-desking and home-working too. Not everyone thrives when they’re left to their own devices so it’s important to support staff as individuals. Communicate with and involve employees in the decisions that affect them.
Our job at Posturite is to give people the tools to make healthy choices about work. This is a broad description of what we do, but it tends to involve the provision of ergonomic equipment, workstation assessments, training, and the dispensing of expert advice through our consulting service. Our recently launched e-learning course WorkRite Agile shows agile workers how to incorporate healthy
behaviours into their everyday working lives, from identifying health and safety hazards in a range of environments, to working more physical activity into the day.
How often should we get up to move around? How can we reduce the risk of developing back pain or RSI when we work at a desk, or in a cafe, or on a train? These are the small but significant elements of our working lives that we all too often ignore, and which can result in costly injury and time off sick.
We know that training staff, especially staff who may not always be in the same place, can be a massive challenge. E-learning is the perfect format for agile workers because it takes place online in a single system managed by admin members (either someone in your company, or by our own WorkRite support team). Training data is collected and stored securely for easy reporting. Automated emails are sent to remind staff to complete their training. The course itself is a game-changer in terms of usability, taking users on an interactive and personalised journey through their most common working environments, including:
• In the office (including hot-desking)
• At home
If your employees are working in agile ways - perhaps occasionally working from home, or checking emails on the train, then ask them to complete WorkRite Agile. They will learn about suitable ergonomic positioning, posture and healthy working habits so that they can protect themselves from the work-related MSDs and other health issues that cost companies millions each year.
If you are interested in seeing WorkRite Agile for yourself then we would love to arrange a free demo for you. Simply contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will set you up with a no-obligation account.
Agile working is still in its infancy but over time, with younger generations joining the workforce with new expectations, it’s bound to become standard. Make sure you’re prepared for the risks with WorkRite Agile.
Find out more at www.posturite.co.uk/workrite/workrite-agile/