“What I suggest is that you give people the option” Working from Home, Agility & The Next Step
Now that we live in a world where working from home is the norm, surely we can think about pushing the goalpost a little bit more. We are living in a world where medicine is significantly more advanced than even ten years ago. More and more people are having their needs seen to; diagnosis, medication and internal accommodations in education via support plans are the norm. However, unfortunately, the latter does not always carry forward into the working world.
A generation of students fresh out of education were faced by a world that is not necessarily go out of their way to help them. Working from home, was dismissed for years, leaving disabled people struggle to retain long-term employment in their dream sectors because they cannot always clock in on time, whether it was due to pain, due to an inaccessible public transport system or something completely out of your control, like traffic. This is, and was immensely unfair.
What stops us from going the extra mile for our colleagues? During a TED talk Anne Cantelo said “The Agile Revolution means that instead of thinking about where you work, how you work and who you work for, you break down all those barriers and just focus on what you deliver”. This means that if a company engages in such agility, the focus is not on the office, but instead on the products you manage to produce, regardless of where you are.
When I spoke to a small sample of young people, six of the eight mentioned wanting to work in a place that acknowledged and accommodated to their needs. Thus making this an increasingly hot topic for the working world. When coming out of lockdown, are businesses going to scrap the process that kept them afloat during a year and a half of struggle and strife? Potentially.
Cantelo discussed a study with a Chinese company Ctrip, where 10,000 of the 20,000 employees were sent home to work remotely in order to reduce the overhead costs for their company, and acknowledged that after a two-year study, that there had been a 13% productivity increase in the remote-working employees, and a 50% drop in resignations from the same sample, meaning that flexibility and agility when it comes to providing work-from-home accommodations is feasible for an organisation Post-Covid. She explored the idea of working from home and how it can be beneficial for anyone, regardless of their circumstances by acknowledging that “it’s really important to understand that people are productive at different times in the day.” “It’s a really important issue it makes a massive difference, and as you can see these are the reasons why productivity [at Ctrip] increased so [well].”
Cantelo’s video, posted in 2017 explored the idea of agility and working from home much earlier that it became a household concept. Therefore, surely, the question stands about what can we do to continue to push this particular form of agile business management.
When I spoke to several young people about their ideal workplace, six of the eight young people said that they didn’t want to feel alienated and scrutinised at work due to their personal limitations with regards to mental and physical health. One said that their ideal workplace would be “somewhere [they] don’t have to pretend”, while another acknowledged that what they wanted was for “the environment of work [to] be super friendly and understanding, and if I am ill, it shouldn’t matter whether it’s physical or mentally. I should still be allowed the same consideration and pay.”
Perhaps, this is the way to go in the future, furthering this form of agility to accommodate for others needs outside of the realms of working from home?
Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.
He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.
The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.
To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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