Our series on millennials in the workplace has shown that their loyalty is not only based on shared values, but hugely on a company’s ability to adapt to workplace culture and flexibility.

A study conducted by Targus dubbed the #NoExcusesSurvey, found over 60% of South African workplaces do not offer flexibility and discourage remote working. For the remaining organisations that do encourage flexibility; only 19% of them provided devices to work remotely such as laptops, tablets, routers, smartphones, etc.

Although South African employers are struggling to adapt to the changing work environment outside of the 9-5 model, a new trend is fast emerging in the workplace: agile working. Isla Galloway-Gaul, of Inspiration Office, an office space and furniture consultancy, explains:

“Agile working is a natural consequence of the growing acceptance that work is something we do, not somewhere we go. We are increasingly being asked to consult on how the workspace should adapt to this trend of working in the office and away from it.”

Flexible working is often perceived as favouring the employee; but with agile working, the organisation seeks long-term best results from its employees, Galloway-Gaul says. The immediate benefits of agile working for employees is an improved work-life balance, fewer commutes, and therefore better general wellbeing. Employers not only save money on overhead costs in office space but less commuting for workers, integration of hot-desking and technology.

Agile leadership is required to make this purpose meaningful within the workplace environment for millennials, Jack Launder of Mindcor Executive Search and Consulting notes.

“Millennials are not disputing basic requirements (structure, measurement and purpose), but are calling for a shift in how workplace deliverables are set within the workplace. Millennials are calling for more flexibility in how deliverables presented to reflect these changes,” Launder says.

Formative to workplace culture, flexible work schedules and the introduction of remote workstations have become the leading key drivers to loyalty to an organization for millennials. Over half of millennials link key drivers for loyalty as the flexibility of hours and location.

As digital natives, millennials use technology to work from any location through cloud services, mobile devices, laptops, applications such as Slack and access to the internet (Wifi).

Does your organisation favour agile working? Let us know what your triumphs and challenges have been with this new workplace trend.