United Kingdom

Agile working works both ways

By Simon Collins, Chairman and Senior Partner, KPMG in the UK

I am very pleased that KPMG is able to support the Agile Future Forum, launched today, and led by Lloyds TSB. We hear a lot about flexible working and the way in which it helps individuals balance work and life – something that every organisation should be committed to providing.  We know that it makes absolute sense and enables individuals to give the best of themselves at work.

But this initiative, if you like, is looking at the issue from the other end of the telescope: recognising that businesses benefit from flexible working patterns too.  It is not only about the individual. 

To be successful, every organisation needs to be agile, nimble, able to adapt.  Agile working is an integral part of that mindset.  If a company’s people are working in agile ways, its thinking is more likely to be agile as well.  A flexible, scaleable approach can often lead to cost efficiencies too. 

We found that ourselves during the height of the downturn, when being able to flex our workforce enabled us not to make widespread redundancies – and gave many people the opportunity to do other things on sabbatical or change their working pattern.

This initiative is about recognising the mutual good in agile working and encouraging more companies to look at introducing it into their workforce.

I personally am convinced that agile working can help UK business on its journey back to growth.  More and more, it will become the ‘modern way’ and so is something that every employer needs to consider.

More details on the Agile Future Forum are available at http://www.agilefutureforum.co.uk/

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