What Is Agile Working?

Agile working is becoming increasingly popular in businesses. But what exactly does it mean, how can it be successfully implemented, and what are the challenges?

Originally, the term “agile” meant “nimble” or “capable of moving quickly.” When discussing agility, the terms “agile management,” “agile companies” and “agile working methods” are frequently used. In these contexts, digitization is a significant driver that should not be underestimated, as it forces a significant rapid change in the form of technological development and innovations.

What is Agile Working?

Agile working is defined as working “anytime, anyplace, anywhere” – working when and where it is most convenient for you, your work and your workload.

“Agile working is about bringing people, processes, connectivity and technology, time and place together to find the most appropriate and effective way of working to carry out a specific task,”

-according to The Agile Organization. It is working within guidelines (of the task) but without boundaries (of how it is accomplished).”

The majority of employees in agile workplaces do not have assigned desks, and some teams may be seated in designated clusters of workstations. Workers are generally encouraged to select the setting that best suits the activity they are performing at the time.

Additional Benefits of Agile Working

The benefits of agile working in tandem with the business and employees are mentioned below

  • Innovation and creativity

Naturally, offices are full of stimuli; they punctuate our days with unplanned encounters and conversations, which frequently invite our minds to explore novel ideas – and ultimately innovate.

However, in an agile working environment where employees move around different spaces and explore new surroundings, teams are exposed to a higher level of stimuli and, as a result, have greater productivity to innovate. Furthermore, given that neuroscience has shown that stimulating and dynamic workplaces can actually help our brains develop, agile working environments provide the ideal foundation for creativity and growth.

  • Utilization of space

In terms of cost-effectiveness, agile working enables businesses to make better use of their space. If traditional, underutilized desk space, for example, took up approximately 70% of your office, it could be reduced to 50%, and the remainder could be filled with rich, engaging environments.

These could include breakout areas, phone booths, cafes, social areas, kitchens, quiet rooms or collaboration corners, each of which serves a specific purpose. This way of thinking about office design can also help to reduce a company’s carbon footprint. Offices can become more sustainable by effectively utilizing space, tracking occupancy, and powering each section of space with energy-efficient resources (such as motion-sensor lights that automatically turn off when no activity is detected).

  • Talent attention/retention

It’s unsurprising that ambitious, bright minds want to work in exciting, high-spec environments that motivate them when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. Agile working also breaks up the monotony of spending an entire day in a single location, which helps to keep your workforce engaged.

  • The well-being of employees

Agile working has frequently been linked to happiness.


Because anything that keeps us from sitting for eight hours a day can help mitigate the risks associated with our sedentary nine-to-five lifestyle. Long periods of sitting – at the same desk, for example – are thought to increase the risks of several chronic conditions in the long run and slow metabolism in the short run, impairing the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. And the consequences are severe; the medical journal The Lancet discovered that for one million workers who sat for at least eight hours per day, the risk of premature death increased by up to 60%.

How Does Agile Working Come into play?

The agile approach to workspace configuration is ideal for businesses that place a premium on results rather than attendance. Agile is focused on maximizing employee convenience and comfort in order to encourage peak performance. Agile is a good solution for companies that benefit from collaboration between employees within and across departments. Agile is ideal for those looking to build an inclusive culture or who want to remove traditional constraints on workers, such as designated locations, hours and seating arrangements, to promote maximum performance. And basically, that is the importance of agile working for a firm!

What are the Challenges of Agile Working?

Most businesses cannot simply change to an agile work mode by flipping a switch. Conversion necessitates a company-wide mindset shift, which can take some time to implement. Some businesses will find it more difficult than others to shift their company culture from traditional to agile.

Any successful agile transition begins with employee buy-in. Bring the team into the planning and implementation process. Keep in mind that agile working is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Office layouts and styles, as well as how employees use available space, will differ from one workplace to the next.

Remember to take a proactive approach to change management. Using a consultative approach can mean the difference between a smooth and happy transition and a chaotic and confusing adjustment period. Agile office design entails a great deal of freedom and flexibility. That may appear to be a difficult task for an office designer. Yes, it is.


Creating an agile office necessitates far more than simply changing your physical space. The change necessitates a shift in organizational thinking, which does not occur “magically” when new office furniture is purchased. Having said that, I don’t believe it’s possible to adopt an agile mindset and be successful WITHOUT changing your environment. When it comes to making the switch to agile working, begin by asking WHY, then WHO and HOW. If you answer those questions first, designing your WHERE will be infinitely easier.