Flexible working is a term we have become familiar with over a number of years now. Essentially it’s a way of working that suits the needs of employees of all kinds. Small businesses need to consider agile working if they are serious about creating the best talent and maximising productivity.
Entrepreneur, billionaire and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has long been an advocate of flexible working, working himself from his home, Necker Island, for six months of the year. In a CNBC article in 2018 Branson cited three top reasons for allowing staff to work flexibly as:
- the rising demand for flexible work amongst employees
- top talent choosing to work for businesses that offer flexible work and
- costs savings achieved by reducing office space and boosting productivity.
Vodafone conducted a global survey about flexible working back in 2016, revealing that companies who had implemented agile strategies:
- Increased company profits (according to 61% of respondents);
- Improved productivity (83%);
- Positively impacted company reputation (58%); and
- Improved staff morale (76%).
A new term that is increasingly popular in business circles is agile or smart working. Business leaders have begun to recognise that the traditional nine to five office environment is often detrimental to productivity and employees have different needs today as they try to manage both work and home life. Although the words have similar meanings, they are two different things when it comes to working. In simple terms, one is to have greater flexibility in your work-life balance and the other is to make you work in a more agile operationally.
Agile is business-driven, harnessing technology in a way that allows people to work where, when and how they choose provided business needs are met. This new model optimises performance and empowers people to do their best work with minimal constraints and maximum flexibility.
Benefits of an agile workforce:
- greater employee productivity,
- decreased office costs
- a more motivated workforce.
An agile workforce can work in an office but also from home, a coffee shop or a break out area to complete the tasks necessary to their job on any given day. This approach stems from implementing the right practices and processes to allow employees to work anywhere. It has now become clear that today’s workforce want ‘Martini’ working – any time, any place, anywhere.
Why agile suits small businesses
Small businesses can adapt much more easily, to suit client demands and market fluctuations. Agile methodologies are also predominantly designed with small teams of people in mind, because they rely on daily interaction and feedback. Larger organisations can struggle to implement agile methods as they cannot adapt as quickly and their business structures have become embedded. It is a more difficult process to change this mindset.
How can a flexible business assistant support your agile workforce?
- Flexible or freelance business assistants work around your schedule to provide support as and when it’s needed (and only then). Think of them as your ‘on-call’, ‘go-to’ assistance.
- With a flexible or freelance assistant you only pay for time spent working on your project.
- Work is not restricted to usual business hours – they can work around you.
- They are often experienced individuals, or one of a team of assistants, who can take on those everyday but essential tasks you don’t have time to do when you’re busy growing your business.
- There’s no need to pay for office or desk space for your flexible or freelance employees.
- Your business will save on agency and/ or recruitment fees, then save again on employee training.
- Your assistant and/ or their colleagues may have skills that you don’t, that you desperately need but don’t have time to learn.
- A flexible or freelance assistant cares about your business – and your satisfaction with the work they do – after all, it’s their livelihood.
How Buy Time works:
Each Buy Time customer is carefully assigned a dedicated assistant who works in accordance with their client’s individual needs. We adapt to our clients – working from their office, home or virtually. Our company’s scale means there is always someone in the team with the right expertise, and available to assist.
Our focus is our client. We therefore offer a flexible and transparent pricing structure, with no membership, contract or joining fees. Simply Buy Time as it’s needed. Our long term relationships have benefited from this approach for well over a decade.
Do get in contact if you would like to find out more about how we can help support your business on 0203 292 0566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.