Agility in the workforce is all about creating a flexible and productive environment for employees. Many companies achieve this through providing different work spaces, offering remote working opportunities, and promoting a collaborative culture rather than taking a rigid procedural approach. Another approach that has seen businesses become more agile is a shift to more sustainable practices.
Sustainability improves morale
Nitro COO Gina O’Reilly explained to Entrepreneur that among the benefits of going green, improving employee morale is one of the most evident. O’Reilly points out how this follows a trend of employees becoming more concerned about the environment over the past 10 years. They are more open and willing to adopt sustainable practices, like recycling, redistributing leftover food, biking to work, and composting. In fact, many job seekers who are now joining the workforce put working in a company with good ethics as a priority. Author Leigh Buchanon also found that “almost 70 percent say that giving back and being civically engaged are their highest priorities.” A workforce that doesn’t put sustainability at the centre of its company culture could potentially lose out on hiring top candidates. Millennials and Gen Z’s want to know that a company is agile in its approach to both work culture and sustainability.
Sustainability increases productivity
A study on the effects of sustainability conducted by UCLA and the University of Paris-Dauphine reveals that employees at companies embracing sustainability are, on average, 16% more productive compared to those working at companies that have not adopted sustainable practices. An example in this regard is the London-founded and Sydney-based Lendlease. Its workspace is designed with sustainability in mind as it has high windows to let in more light, an increase in plants to reduce noise pollution, and a policy that staff all sit within 8 meters of the windows. The result of this is that 73% of the company’s staff feel that they are more productive. By offering a positive working environment a company can provide the best agile working conditions to boost focus and productivity.
Sustainability reduces costs
One of the biggest benefits of focusing on sustainability is the reduced cost on wasted materials. Businesses in the UK that follow green practices can reduce their Climate Change Levy by up to 90%. This can be done in multiple ways, including creating a more agile workforce that doesn’t always work in the office, therefore saving on electricity. Even installing energy saving lights could make a big difference to a company’s profit margins. This backs up a study that found that 75% of UK businesses enjoyed economic benefits due to going green.
Many companies now have an agile workforce that includes workers in the field, leading them to find innovative ways to reduce costs through sustainability. ‘3 Fuel Saving Tips for Your Business’ by Verizon Connect explains how British fleet companies are able to optimize delivery trips in order to reduce the number of journeys their drivers make. They do so by combining delivery routes, which allows for more deliveries in one day without necessarily going overtime or expending more fuel. This not only reduces the amount of fossil fuel used, but also ensures that companies are able to deliver a more flexible and time saving service.
The three benefits above highlight why sustainability is a vital part of an agile workplace culture. It enhances everyone’s morale, increases productivity, and helps reduce costs. When it comes to Hiring and Managing Talent in an Agile Culture, it is all about “attitude, skills, values and behaviors”. A business that focuses on sustainability will be able to attract the right type of workers. This allows a company to adopt a much more agile workplace culture that is both beneficial to their employees and the planet.
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