How are agile working and flexible working different?

flexible working outdoors

What is the difference between agile and flexible working? For years the terms have been used interchangeably. Here we take a look at the difference and provide a simple definition of each and give a clear explanation on how they differ.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working arrangements, which have been around for a long time refer to flexible working hours. These are usually individually negotiated between an employee and employer and are seen primarily as an employee benefit. It is a way of working that suits the needs of the employee such as working from home, having flexible start and finish times, job sharing and working part time.

What is agile working?

Agile or smart working is business-driven, harnessing technology to create a new norm that allows people to work where, when and how they choose provided business needs are met. Agile working is enabled by technology to create a new model that optimises performance and empowers people to do their best work with minimal constraints and maximum flexibility

According to The Agile Organisation the aim of agile working ‘is to create more responsive, efficient and effective organisations’ as the benefits can include higher employee productivity, lower office costs, a reduced carbon footprint and more motivated workers. The term is often associated with clever office design, activity based design, hot desking and space optimisation. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors explains that ‘work is an activity not a place’ – it’s about how you work, not where you work.

In conclusion adopting agile working requires a change in structure and management and focuses on removing boundaries in order to get work done as quickly as possible.

If you are considering introducing agile working into your business and you would like to find out more then please get in touch with our team.