Agile work as a business priority

Alison Maitland's picture

HOW can we get future work higher up the business agenda? That was the question I addressed in a blog for the UK's Family and Childcare Trust to mark Family Friendly Week. The answer lies in linking arguments for new ways of working directly to business priorities and the bottom line. How many businesses need to cut costs, or increase productivity, or attract and retain scarce skills? They could do all of these by adopting agile future work. But often the business case is poorly understood, or diehard management attitudes stand in the way.

When they get it right, employees benefit, and so does the business. Among the parents I've spoken to who are benefiting from agile working is Jamie Barnard, General Counsel for Global Marketing, Media and eCommerce at Unilever. He works from home one day a week to have precious time with his twins. On these days he avoids his usual long commute to London and does the school runs so that his wife, who also works full time, gets a bit of time to herself. “Despite having twins, we’ve never had a nanny or a childminder,” he told me. “There is nothing routine about my life. The flexibility that agile working brings allows me to go with the flow. Whether it’s working in the evening or watching the kids’ nativity play during the working day, agile working makes modern life possible.”

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