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Employers urgently need to consider agile working, BPS World says

BPS World has urged employers to consider the need for agile working policies, to stay competitive, in a book published today: ‘The Agile Revolution’.

The book is informed by new quantitative and qualitative research that shows that employers who introduce agile working find it much easier to recruit staff and enjoy significant productivity boosts, with two thirds (67%) of agile companies reporting up to a 10% increase in productivity. As skills shortages, at all levels, are already driving major infrastructure projects abroad and sectors such as hospitality reporting closures due to lack of staff, BPS World advise that agile working options are likely to be the deciding factor in whether some employers are able to continue to recruit and retain the people they need. 

The research was conducted among company bosses and employees, and show that attitudes towards the ‘traditional’ way of working are shifting. In fact, 10% of the bosses surveyed go so far as to say that the office is ‘an outdated concept’ in their industry. Whilst BPS World recognise that agile working does not suit many sectors or individuals, the global rise in agile working, at the same time as a rise in skills shortages, means that it is essential for all employers to understand it and how it could impact on their sector. 

Employers already offering agile working were surveyed by BPS World as part of the research, with 10% saying their organisation’s productivity was boosted by an impressive 20% because of it. Most importantly, they reported that it is easier to attract talented employees; in total, 84% say it’s much easier to hire skilled staff, and none reported that agile working makes it more difficult to do so. 

The book, ‘The Agile Revolution’, includes contributions from leading academics, business, and trend experts exploring the wide-ranging impact of doing away with the notion that work happens at the same time, in the same place every day for just one employer. The book details benefits for employers (in addition to recruitment and retention and productivity), such as reduced carbon footprint and gives practical advice.  It explores the potential pitfalls and challenges as well as the benefits.

One of the contributors is Léon Benjamin, a change management consultant and co-founder of Sei Mani. Benjamin has worked with companies like British Airways, Microsoft & BT. He argues from his own experience: “Agile working is about the capacity to change before the case for change becomes desperately obvious. If you’re not fast, you’ll be last.”

Simon Conington, founder and MD of BPS World, advised, “Agile working should not be just seen as employee perk; we found that agile working benefits employers in some unexpected ways. However, skills shortages are affecting the ability of employers to operate, and these will be made worse by Brexit. Many employees regard agile working as a very attractive option and any organisation offering it is likely to find it much easier to bring on board the skills and talent they need. We hope that the book will help employers understand both why they should consider it and how to go about it if they decide it is appropriate for them.”

A debate for HR managers on agile working will take place on 10th October in central London. Please contact BPS World for tickets or

Picture provided by BPS World

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