Here’s how agile working can work for the C-suite

Written by Maddy Leslie

Executives must be seen to be heard. They must watch the fingers typing and hear the rumbles of teamwork. Otherwise, how can work be happening? If a tree falls in the forest and no-one is there to give it a performance review, did it really turn a profit?

Analogies aside, agile working isn’t for everyone. But in a world that is more connected than ever, it's possible to run a business from the Bahamas. There’s just two hurdles: mind-set and technology.

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Are the hurdles worth overcoming?

Let’s look at the stats:

  • 67 percent of employees wish they were offered flexible working.
  • 53 percent of people feel that they would be more productive if they could work outside the office.
  • 56 percent of people believe managers need to adapt their skills to manage a remote workforce.

To create a system that fosters mobile working, you need to build in structures that make it possible to collaborate and measure progress. Basically, if your employees want it (and it seems the majority do), then you need to change the systems of working. What works for the team, then, must work for you, too.

Mindset

A powerful leader is one who trusts.

It's difficult to resist the urge to be part of every project. It's your business, after all. But if you’ve hired well, then going remote means you can expand your comfort zone by giving yourself and your whole team independence. Be prepared for a surprise: remote workers tend to be more productive, and the problem is making sure they don’t work too many hours, instead of too few. That goes for the C-suite, too.

What about authority? Don’t clients want to see we have plush leather chairs and a mahogany-lined boardroom? What about the physical resonance of central London headquarters? We say: off with the head.

There are other ways to impress people. Great work is one of them. Beanbags are not. Use your agile working to reassess your perception of ‘being at work’.

Focus on outcomes.

Technology

There are unique responsibilities facing C-suite leaders. High impact, high risk decision-making, employee management and ensuring business security and compliance are all part of it. That means you need the right tools. They need to allow you to communicate securely, manage effectively and organise your business.

Here are some of our suggestions:

Communication tools

Chat and video conferencing are both effective at bypassing bottlenecks and fostering real-time collaboration.

Project management tools

The work needs to be assigned, discussed, measured and delivered – the good news is there are plenty of resources out there.

HR tools

From expenses to time-off requests to purchase orders, these are integral, repeating and tedious processes for any business. They’re also an opportunity to delve into the world of workplace automation and have a nosey about. And you can save the trees by cutting down on piles of paperwork. If that sounds promising, give Turbine a go.

As it turns out, having a top job and working remotely is possible. ‘More than 75 percent of employees who work from home are earning more than 65,000 U.S. dollars a year, according to Global Workplace Analytics,’ explains a New York Times writer.

You can be an executive from home or even from the beach. Try it. Be your best boss every day, anywhere.

Download our guide to running your business from anywhere

agile , Entrepreneurship , Project Management , Small business , Technology

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