Going Agile – Technology Is Required

As we transition from pandemic to endemic it’s clear that both our personal and work lives will inexorably transform. New lifestyle & work life patterns which emerged out of necessity during the pandemic have become the new norm. Very few Companies view the office in the same way as they did pre-pandemic with a large proportion accepting a blended work model where staff work from home [WFH] 2-3 days a week.

The big challenge for Companies making the shift to an ‘agile’ working model is determining how to efficiently & effectively manage a mobile workforce both in terms of workplace attendance i.e., who turns up at the office and when and; user experience. The latter concerns the challenges of managing the supply and allocation of office resources such as meeting rooms, desks & work points to satisfy the needs of a mobile workforce both in terms of productivity as well as their collaboration needs and their engagement.

An agile workforce needs to be equipped with the tools to seamlessly schedule & book these resources from their mobile phones, laptops, or e-mail platform. If these tools are not in place, it will likely undermine both user experience & engagement as well as undermine their productivity. Resource booking technology solutions are available to help regulate and manage the booking of office resources. Intuitive user interfaces together with easily configurable booking rights assigned to specific users, on specific days will facilitate the establishment of ‘alternative’ working arrangements and positively contribute to your mobile workforce’s user experience.

Flexibility Work Space – With constant and unpredictable changes in technology and working culture, it would be difficult for companies to predict the future job positions as many essential positions today did not exist in the past. With adaptable furniture and flexible workspace, new technologies and headcount can be integrated with ease and minimal disruption.

Given the difficulties facing Companies in respect to talent acquisition & retention, building user experience is important and should not be overlooked. We have seen some Companies fail miserably here due to a disconnect between the local real estate & business management functions with the businesses’ global information technology group who maintained that they alone were responsible for determining what technology to roll-out. The problem in this instance was that, whilst the corporate mandate was to reduce the businesses global real estate footprint as quickly as possible by switching to agile working, no decisions had been taken as to the supporting technology that would be used to enable it. The end result was that the Regional Management Team who were being required to implement agile working were stopped from acquiring enabling technologies by their Global IT who were not travelling at the same speed. As a consequence, the local agile work initiative which was driven by a lease event was ill-supported technologically to the disadvantage of local users. It is therefore essential to consider which technologies will be used to support the efficient & effective allocation of office resources and user experience.