Smart Working: The Agility and Flexibility Enterprises Need

Employees want a say in when and how they do their work. It’s so important to them that according to a FlexJobs survey, 27% of workers stated they would forgo up to one-fifth of their paycheck to work remotely. Eighty-one percent of respondents also stated they would be more loyal to their company in return for flexible work arrangements.

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Smart Worker in a Coffee Shop

What Is Smart Working?

Many are familiar with the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” It sounds like a wonderful idea, but modern applications are giving the common phrase new meaning.

Smart working is defined as a “model of work that uses new technologies and the development of existing technologies to improve both the performance and the satisfaction that is obtained from the job.” It is different from co-working, which is when self-employed professionals share a workspace. Rather, it’s about giving employees the tools and leeway to determine how, when and where to perform effectively — all with an eye toward productivity.

Smart working can include working from home. However, it is more than that. Since it incorporates new and sophisticated technology and a degree of trust, this type of agile working can also include effective people who work from anywhere.


Who Are Smart Workers?

Smart workers are people who want to achieve better results and a better work-life balance at any age. They want to avoid unnecessary travel by using technology to attend meetings virtually where it makes more sense, for instance. These employees see the value in collaboration and flexibility and are often less wedded to traditional approaches.

Read More: What is a Digital Workplace? Definition and Examples


Difference Between Smart Work and Other Work

Smart working is different from other work structures in several ways. Consider the following:

  • Smart work does not rely on a particular physical workspace or time. It focuses on the task or goal to be completed instead..
  • Smart work techniques rely on automated work processes and tools. As a result, a team can focus its attention on working together creatively, helping customers, developing new lines of business or other productive tasks.
  • Team members are trusted to be responsible for hitting measurable goals. This freedom demands the savvy maturity to set priorities and be self-motivated.
  • Smart working also assumes that workers will likely be using flexible spaces in their work. There may be times when they are collaborating with colleagues in an office environment. At other times, smart workers will find their own workspaces for independent research, coding, thinking, or writing.



How Smart Work Benefits Employers?

There are several advantages of smart work for modern enterprises. Some examples:


1. Productivity Levels Increase

Smart working from home means employees face fewer interruptions to their work than when they are at the office.

Regardless of location, smart work means better work as technology and automation enable people to focus on growing the company’s bottom line and KPIs. As a result, productivity and profitability often increase — while digital transformation initiatives accelerate.

Read More: 10 Essential Tools to Support Your Digital Transformation


2. Larger Candidate Pool When Hiring

When distance, time of day and preferred methodologies are not a barrier to choosing the best candidate for available positions within the company, a business has the luxury of choosing from a much larger pool of candidates.


3. Increased Employee Loyalty

Employees who can work flexible hours and feel trusted in their work will naturally be more satisfied at work. The staff will appreciate the smart working environment offered and is more likely to become a group of long-term, knowledgeable employees who refer friends and former colleagues.


4. Turnover Rates Drop

Workers value flexibility and are much more likely to stay with an employer offering a smart working strategy. Employees appreciate it when they have a shorter commute, a more flexible work schedule, greater freedom to hit goals in new ways and ultimately the opportunity to have a better work-life balance.


5. Number of Sick Days Decreases

It’s not uncommon for employees who have mild illnesses to feel that they still have to come into work. Unfortunately, this is the period when they are still likely to spread their cold or flu germs to others through coughing, sneezing, or touching everyday items. In a worst-case scenario, several employees will become exposed to the illness. They end up becoming ill and need to take time off from work.

When employees have a flexible schedule, they often don’t face the same pressures to be in a physical workspace at a certain time but still accomplish the same goals. Either way, they stay at home and the illness does not spread to other employees.



How to Implement Smart Working?

Interested in introducing agile working to your company but not clear on how to get started? The following list of ideas might help.


1. Get Smart Working Tools

Give employees the right cloud-based tools they need to be successful when working from home. These include tools used for easy collaboration with team members, ones to help them stay engaged at work, and to help them communicate effectively. A modern intranet ticks off these boxes and can provide a platform to organize all other authentication, collaboration, engagement and productivity apps.


2. Encourage Remote Workers To Have a Dedicated Workspace

Their workspace does not have to be a home office. It can be a corner of a room with a table or a desk. Regardless, it should be somewhere relatively free of distractions where a worker can focus.


3. Suggest Agile Working Solutions To Your Workforce

Let everyone know that employees who hit measurable KPIs have the flexibility to work when, where and how they want.


4. Support Employees In Becoming Knowledge Workers

Smart workers have to know how to find information independently, to think on their feet, and use their acquired knowledge and technology to solve problems.

Giving employees working from home, for instance, the independence to make some decisions on their own helps.


5. Make Activity-Based Working a Viable Alternative

Allow your employees to choose the form of work that suits their style best. Open-concept offices became popular among tech companies because they made collaboration easy and convenient. The downside was that all that collaboration and sharing made for more noise and distractions than some people could comfortably stand. There are still employees who need quiet spaces when focusing.

Embracing modern office designs that offer workers enough room to work in the way that works best for them, even if it means having to “go quiet” for a time when working on an important project, can help.


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6. Decrease AnyImplicit Bias Toward Measuring Employee Dedication by Physical Presence; Embrace Unexpected Wins

The idea that a manager can determine how loyal and dedicated an employee is to their job by whether they “put in the hours” dates back to a time when employees traded their time for an employer’s money. Today, success is measured by whether the employee is achieving expected outcomes. If the employee is meeting goals, it should matter less where or when the work is performed.


7. Check In With Remote Employees Regularly

Part of a manager’s job should be to have regular conversations — to read the room. The goal of these virtual meetings should be to find out whether the employee has everything they need to be successful. The manager should also ask about work-life balance, since it can be challenging for certain workers facing unique challenges.


8. Don’t Ignore Faster Mediums

When the goal is to work smarter, sometimes it pays to be direct. If an employee has a simple request that can be dealt with quickly, suggesting that they not default to slower mediums like email can go a long way in reducing noise. The matter may be able to be resolved quickly via a phone call or intranet-based messaging.


Slack Integration with LumApps Intranet

Slack Integration with LumApps Intranet


9. Encourage Employees and Managers To Be Concise

In emails and meetings, getting to the point quickly is paramount. Most people receive an avalanche of work-related emails every day. The majority of these are not urgent; however, they need to be read and processed just the same.

When scheduling a virtual meeting, having a set agenda set in advance with goals can help. This will help to keep the discussion on track and lower the likelihood of useless or overly time-consuming chatter.


10. Expect Some Growing Pains

When adopting a new way of working, there are going to be some bumps along the way. Some projects are going to go off the rails and there will be some failures. These situations can be opportunities to grow and learn. Smart working has many advantages for businesses, and many top enterprises are embracing it — especially post Covid-19. Experimenting with the approach can prove its utility.

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Asya Stamenova
Brand Content Writer


Change Management Collaboration Digital Workplace Remote Working

Published on

February 9, 2021