office lounge with vertical gardenWhen people discuss agile and flexible working instinctively the focus is on flexible hours, hot desking or home working. This leads me to ask do we have a real understanding of the terminology. So what is ”agile working”. How does it differ from “flexible working” and other terms often encompassed by the phrase “new ways of working”.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published an interesting paper on Agile Working which certainly gives plenty of thought to what agile working isn’t and what agility is, with some great examples, but it is difficult to extract a succinct definition of agile working. It does make clear that “work is an activity, not a place”, which has led some to the term “location independent working”. However, while “remote working” away from the main workplace is increasing not all work is independent of location, and agile working practices can equally be applied to fixed roles within the workplace.

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