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Why being agile is powering the growth of British SMEs

Greater flexibility the weapon in the war for talent

Agile working models enables businesses to offer staff greater flexibility in how, where and, sometimes, when they work. Offering flexibility is fast becoming a strategic tool for businesses wanting to attract and retain talent.

It broadens the pool of available talent helping business growth, ultimately improving your reputation and positively impacting upon your profitability. Increased flexibility also aids the retention of employees in line with life changes. It could be the difference between keeping good people or losing them to the competition.

How do you currently support key people to return to work after some time out due to serious illness, bereavement or parental leave How do you want to stand out from the competition

And how do you go about retaining good people who are nearing retirement but want to work on a part-time or consultancy basis

For the naysayers, flexible working is certainly not a soft option or benefit: 80 per cent of mid-sized firms surveyed that made a shift to mobile working reported improved workforce satisfaction and improved productivity levels.

Space management

Agile working also enables businesses to keep an eye on accommodation costs. More often than not, you can scale your IT up as you grow but expanding into new premises can be costly.

But before you start the search for a new office, could you offer hot-desking and provide staff with more opportunities to work from home How many times do you need to meet the team to exchange ideas, obtain information or meet your customers and clients Many businesses remark on the productivity boost and cost savings that hot-desking combined with home-working can bring.

Larger businesses can also introduce hot-desking to free up space used by client facing staff or those who travel as part of their job. Permanent desks can be given to those teams or staff who are generally office-based and require specific technology to do their job.

With a little flexibility, a new mind set and the right technology, everyone can mutually benefit.

Nigel Wright is the managing director of Converge Technology Specialists

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