“It always seems impossible until it’s done”- Nelson Mandela
Agile working takes on the belief that work is an activity and not a place. The practice is also referred to as flexible employment, remote working or tele-working. It illustrate working from home, not coming to work every day or coming to the office only when necessary but still achieving set targets by your employer.
Indeed, effective working is not so much about the location or even the time people work, it is more about what is achieved and how efficiently work is done. This style of working involves to a high degree, modalities of time and place flexibility.
Many organizations in Ghana are accustomed to working in a traditional office space which require staff to probably be present and seated behind their desk doing their job from 8am to 5pm. However there are a few others that have inculcated remote working to their company’s culture. Can you think of a company in Ghana that practices agile working?
If you find that your organization strictly adheres to the traditional way of working, it would be prudent to try to embrace new styles of getting the job done which have proven to be more profitable for both the company and employers. Especially in these times you cannot compromise the benefits of remote work culture.
It is true that every organization has their own culture and style of working which produces the results they want but being open to new ways of doing the same may bring you tremendous results that you may never have expected especially considering how lifestyles have changed over the last decade. Given that remote working is becoming a necessity you may want to consider ways go adjust to it as an employer or business owner.
The buzz about agile working has increased over the years because it has yielded in results for companies that use that style of working. For employers and business owners some of the reasons why you should adapt to this system of flexible working are these;
- Agile working increases productivity: Ultimately, encouraging your employees to work at their convenience from home creates an environment that enables them to be as productive as possible. Being able to work quietly without interruptions allows workers the focus they need to execute their tasks. Imagine your staff stays at Kasoa and your office is on the Accra high street, do you not agree your staff can be more productive coming to the office a few times in the week and working from home on other days?
In 2019, at the eighth edition of HR Focus Conference and Awards,the Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai urged human resource practitioners to change their mindset against the traditional method of practice and embrace agile transformation and a more technological approach to achieve customer needs and results.
- It increases employee work satisfaction: Once you implement a flexible way of working, you give your workers greater control over their work environment. This improves employee satisfaction and happier employees tend to provide better customer service, resulting in longer client relationships and more reliable revenue streams. Just consider the hustling and bustling life in Accra with unbearable traffic in and out of town. Employees easily get stressed in such a condition, given that a huge percentage of the work force rely on public transport for movement. Again giving your staff more control over where and how they choose to work will contribute to higher levels of creativity, innovation and problem solving. These add value to your company and motivates your workers as they feel they are contributing.
- Reduced office and property costs: When your employees work remotely, management will have to spend less on property cost as you do not necessarily have to rent a permanent place to serve as a work space. With your staff tele-working from home or anywhere else, cost reduces for office supplies and you may even end up spending little to nothing on an office space depending on the type of agility you choose to go with. Take this situation for instance, whiles your head office may be located in Accra, your staff can be staying in Kumasi and with his computer, internet and phone, he can be as productive as when in the office. Instead of having acquire a permanent office in Kumasi to facilitate his work, that money could be channelled into other areas of equal importance. Let’s face it, the pressure on your electricity, water and toiletries will reduce when just a few of your staff come to the office at a time.
The global marketplace is changing faster than most of us can keep up. Times have changed and we must change with it. A popular African quote says, “For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it”. So why not prepare for the future which is already here!
Samuel Agyeman-Prempeh is a corporate trainer and professional ghost writer assisting busy executives to write and publish their books, articles and speeches. He has served as Head of Protocol at a diplomatic mission, Corporate Affairs Officer at a French multinational agribusiness and as Events and Media Correspondent for a digital ad agency.
His initiative Role Model Africa has received mentions in Daily Graphic (Ghana), Daily Sun Newspaper (Nigeria) and Africa Rising (an offshoot of VOA) for its commitment to human capital development.
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