What is the Agile Future Forum
The Agile Future Forum (AFF) is a business-to-business initiative consisting of 22 founder members. They reflect a broad range of sectors, sizes and geographical spread and all have a track record of managing workforce agility in the their organisation. Between them, they employ over half a million people across the UK and, as such, are a microcosm of UK plc.
The group has developed a new approach that enables organisations across sectors and whatever their size to consider workforce agility differently – providing tangible benefits to businesses, as well as their employees.
What we’re here to do
To define the business value of workforce agility in supporting the competitiveness of UK plc and provide the leadership and practical support required to increase agile working practices across UK plc.
AFF Founding Members
At B&Q we do more than sell products. We help people to improve their homes, which in turn, improves their lives. That’s why our core purpose now is Better Homes, Better Lives. Our long and well known legacy of removing our retirement age over 20 years ago, along with our inclusive approach to agile working, helps us achieve this.
Agile working practices enable Citi to better serve clients with innovation and execution whilst creating a better work environment for our employees.
Agile working has become increasingly important in attracting top talent. We believe it leads to increased employee satisfaction, engagement and retention and that it contributes to higher levels of performance and productivity.
The world of work is changing dramatically. Businesses need to be agile and responsive to new demands from consumers and that requires flexibility within the workforce. We need Partners to contribute their discretionary effort through roles that are meaningful and rewarding for them, and productive and innovative for the Partnership
I strongly believe more agile working practice will help us to move from being a successful organisation to one that delivers extraordinary business performance. We have already seen that we can better meet customer demand and improve service and satisfaction levels while reducing costs and giving employees more flexibility. The pace of change in society today means all businesses need to swiftly innovative, adapt and respond to meet shifting customer needs. I believe agile working will be a part of the solution in meeting this challenge.
Agile working can help lead Britain back to growth. It’s good for individuals, and it’s also good for business. We have firsthand experience of this in times of growth and in more difficult times, and we’re looking continuously for ways of becoming more agile and more flexible to provide better client service, and better careers. I hope this initiative will help create new moulds for modern working
Our new flexible working initiative ‘Take Time’ is an excellent way to allow colleagues to spend more time on external passions and interests, whilst still ensuring we can meet the needs of our clients. It has already proved very helpful in recruitment and retention and by better matching capacity with client demand, there is also an operational benefit.
The retail landscape has transformed over the last few years, with more people shopping online, on their mobiles and at different times of day. As a business, we’ve evolved to respond to these changes. Making sure we have the right
people working in the right roles at the right times is a fundamental part of that. Our experience has shown that if
you engage with colleagues and explain to them why changes are being made, and ask them to suggest changes that would
work best for them, it IS possible to reach a solution that works for customers, for colleagues and for the business as a whole.
Agile working is central to BT’s philosophy of being a responsible and sustainable business leader. We believe that the power of communication can drive a better connected society to the benefit of businesses, our customers and the lives of all our people. Technology is a key enabler but delivering a material change in the way we work requires a shift in mindsets. We therefore welcome the approach developed by the Agile Future Forum which addresses all aspects of workforce agility and which helps to frame flexible working in a much broader context than has been considered previously.
The Treasury has been innovative in its approach to agile working over the past few years, both in response to the financial crisis and more recently in embedding new practices in business and contingency planning. Our ability to respond quickly to the events in Cyprus was a good example of the new techniques in action.