What is agile working?

Agile working is a way of working using a range of work protocols that allow commercial cleaning services teams and organisations to make broader choices about when, where and how they work. It leverages mobile connectivity and can be harnessed by people working both on site and away from the traditional office locations, such as people’s homes, on the road or remotely in other sites.

What are the benefits?

Improved cleaning team productivity

Cleaning services teams have been properly trained, are provided with the right equipment and commercial cleaning supplies and the appropriate work program for the task in hand.

Better team working and collaboration

Teams working in an agile way across multiple sites rather than a specific work area, means there is more dialogue and integration. This enables teams to build up mutually supportive collaborative relationships vertically within organisations, which increases information sharing, trust, better planning, feedback loops and innovation.

Improved business continuity

Often productive working time is lost because of logistical challenges, and infrastructure delays. Commercial cleaning services teams can be equipped to work anywhere allowing a more flexible way of working which is less dependent on location. This increases productive work time when challenges occur.

Staff benefits leading to higher staff retention and well being

When commercial cleaning services teams work in an agile way, staff are often happier as they work life balance can be improved and everyday stresses and strains such as commuting can be reduced. It is important that teams do not have total disconnection with their colleagues and so remote working is often complimented by regular meet ups.

Agile resource relocation

An agile mobile connected workforce can deliver their resource in a new location with far less cost when change is required as only people are moving rather than physical resources connected to a location such as desks and fixed technology.

Rapid cost management

As people costs are the largest component of cleaning services budgets, agile working regimes allow scaling of staff numbers to be more flexible, leading increased labour cost efficiency.

More efficient management of space

Buildings see better space utilisation, empowering staff to work away from the office. This reduces the need for building space. This ultimately leads to more people needing less space which can deliver opportunities of consolidation, asset realisation and cost saving.

The drivers of mobile connectivity, facilities management software, and a scare and changing labour market are prompting commercial cleaning services leaders to re-consider how they organise their cleaning operations. Agile working maybe something to consider however it requires a significant working practice and cultural change for most organisations.

For more guidance, the BIFM has published a new guide – Agile Working Change Management Guidance Note

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