Employees need an agile "playing field"
Our remit involves discovering work cultures, supporting processes and designing style collections, so why are we talking about football here? It's quite simple: "Agility" is not only an important aspect of work culture – it's also a key feature on the football pitch. Read on to find out which strategies are used by modern football – and what companies aspiring to practise an agile work culture can learn from this.
4-3-3, 3-4-3 or 4-4-2? In football today there are barely any teams left that stick rigidly to a prescribed formation. It's varied as the match progresses and adapted to the game depending on what's needed in the circumstances. Even at amateur level these days, teams learn different formations and systems of play, and alternate strategies during the game – even regardless of what the opposing team does. The thing is, quite aside of the surprise element for the opponent, switching tactics has a psychological effect on your own team too: they maintain the initiative, feel empowered and – ideally – in control of the situation.
You start a game with a particular tactic and prepare to counter the opponent. The more flexible you are, the more effectively you can switch strategies again during the game, making little tweaks that can then lead to a positive result.
Agile alternation between play tactics has a positive effect in the long term as well: the players become more aware of different team positions and game situations, which makes them better at anticipating game developments and opponent strategies.
These are the very same benefits seen by companies with agile work cultures: employees bring the right mindset with them. They can react faster to changing environmental factors, learn to assume different positions, and behave more empathically. Their sense of initiative is reinforced because they are able to influence how, where and in what team combination they cooperate. In the ideal case scenario it makes employees identify more with their work – and not least with their employer. "Employees in agile work cultures are more involved and more committed. It's important that employees have better awareness of what their colleagues are doing, and the effects of their own actions on the process as a whole. That makes their work more efficient," says Andreas Kupka, HR Director at König + Neurath.
But: even agile work cultures need rules within which to function – and a "playing field" on which agile working (and cooperation) can take place. That is to say the working environment should be versatile and allow a variety of scenarios: individual or teamwork, quiet space and dynamic working, spontaneous encounters or scheduled meetings. Then the team can exercise strategic positioning in their working environment – dynamically, as individuals and based on the situation – which ideally will make companies more effective and creative, giving them a competitive edge.
We support our customers and partners throughout the office outfitting process – from analysis, planning and production of office furniture and room systems to long-term service. What might this look like? At the moment we're helping Eintracht Frankfurt to discover their work culture and create their new ProfiCamp that accommodates around 250 employees. Watch the video to find out how an inspiring working environment will be completed on this site by the end of 2020, translating the team's agility into a spatial context.