By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
SpaceIQ

Technology has made the world a smaller place, while also speeding it up. Today, businesses need to work smarter and faster to accomplish more in less time. As a result, companies are only as successful as they are agile. Corporate agility is the trait for businesses striving to set standards for efficiency and productivity.

What is agility in the workplace?

There’s a lot that goes into being an agile business. Business agility is includes leveraging modern technologies, responsible oversight, culture, creative solutions, and problem-solving.

  1. Technology: Modern technology enables agility through automation and access to information. The sensors, beacons, and mobile technologies of an agile office provide instant insights for quick decision-making.
  2. Oversight: Coordination is key in the agile workplace. Someone—namely a facility manager—needs to coordinate movements, delegate tasks, and simplify organization.
  3. Culture: Employees need to have an agile mindset and be amenable to rapid change. This means developing a culture of support and inclusion—one that builds camaraderie and enables productivity.
  4. Problem-solving: Agility in the workplace demands identifying problems and quickly solving them. Problem-solving also extends to real-time obstacles, such as double-booked meeting rooms or hot desk availability. True agility means overcoming issues with as little strife as possible.

These four corporate agility pillars come together to enable success. In the face of ever-growing business demands, reliance on technology, oversight, culture, and problem-solving prevail. An agile business is an adaptable one.

Adaptation is the key to survival

Organizational agility is more than a great business trait. It’s a competitive advantage. Companies that adapt to changing business demands position themselves in front of the competition in a variety of ways.

Ever have a customer drop in unannounced for an impromptu meeting on an important project? If all meeting rooms are occupied, the fire drill will take place in the break room or less-convenient location. Real-time tracking can show what rooms were actually reserved or if someone’s parked in one without a reservation—client needs trump employee wants.

Companies that are able to do business—in all its forms—better, faster, and smarter means avoiding obstacles that sidetrack, slow down, and stonewall the competition.

Traits of an agile company

A company built on agility pillars is ready to improve current and future business potential. Let’s take a look at these traits of an agile company and why they’re important:

  • Quickness: When you can do something in a fraction of the time it traditionally takes, you’re better-positioned for progress. Ex: Booking a conference room through a Slack channel and having an automated wayfinding system that registers the booking (read more on what is wayfinding).
  • Accuracy: Agile companies tend to be accurate ones. There’s little room for error when the timeline is shorter and the demands are higher. Ex: Knowing exactly how many hot desks are open and accommodating workers without overlap.
  • Decisiveness: Decision-making is easier and becomes second nature in agile workplaces—largely because data is readily available. Ex: Forecasting when to scale up to larger facilities based on existing space utilization.
  • Frugality: Agile companies save money by making smarter, timelier decisions and avoiding costly mistakes. Ex: Using facilities data to create a new floor plan that eliminates the need for more square footage.
  • Organization: Organization is everything for an agile company. Having data, systems of record, and integrated technologies enable agility and encourages organization. Ex: Having individual Slack channels for different teams for collaborative communication.

With agility comes the need for management

An agile company requires proactive, decisive leadership. Without a strong leader at the facilities management helm, agility can quickly turn into chaos. A hands-on facilities manager is an absolute must for corporate agility.

Facilities managers are the fuel that makes an agile company run efficiently and powerfully. They’re the integrators of workplace technology, overseers of space utilization, promoters of the agile mindset, and the final word on facilities problem-solving.

These are just a few of the tasks facing today’s facilities managers. Managing for agility, like most processes, requires supporting technology. An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) makes quick work of space allocation, resource tracking, and facility optimization. An IWMS promotes agility in addressing budgetary and workplace concerns without significant time investment.

In the end, it’s a company’s ability to move forward confidently is what makes a workplace agile and adaptable.

Keep reading: modern workplace trends