One of the early steps undertaken to implement agile working at Dentons around the world by the winning Big Inclusion Project team: Agilis was to define the key terminology in support of the Dentons Agilis Mission Statement which constitutes the foundation of flexible and agile working policies and practices in all our offices around the globe. Here is an example of how flexible and agile working is defined at Dentons.
"Flexibility" refers to a work structure which deviates from the 'traditional' 8-hour office workday. Flexibility encompasses both flexible working and agile working, as defined below. Flexibility is not just about allowing shorter hours; rather, flexibility encompasses many different working patterns around where, when and how someone works: be it one-off, short-term, ongoing, formal or informal. It is ultimately about integrating effective ways of working which leverage our physiological and psychological energy to deliver sustainable performance and quality work output while also supporting the balance of our individual worlds.
Examples of Flexibility in the Workplace
"Flexible Working" is a more formal, often contractual, way to define how, where, and/or when someone works, in a way in which is most comfortable and practical for them (e.g. part-time work; job-sharing; on/off-ramping after parental leave).
"Agile Working" is a more dynamic way to define how, where, and/or when someone works by reviewing existing work practices, utilising new technologies, and shifting behaviours and mind-sets to create a more responsive, productive and efficient Firm based on more balanced, motivated and engaged individuals. Agile working incorporates dimensions of time and place flexibility, but also involves doing work differently focusing on performance and outcomes (e.g. using Dentons' technology to work remotely or while on-the-go; adjusting your working hours earlier or later; developing a results-oriented work schedule rather than your 'typical 9-5').
Types of Flexible and Agile Working
"Agilis" was conceptualised by the winning team from The Big Inclusion Project, a Firm-wide competition that saw colleagues from across the globe come together and propose ways in which Dentons could be a more inclusive workplace. The winning team envisioned Agilis as a broad strategy to achieve inclusion in the workplace by ensuring that all Dentons employees feel supported to choose flexible and/or agile working arrangements if it suits their needs. As a broad strategy, Agilis provides a set of core standards and principles for implementing agile and flexible working policies in every Dentons office. Agilis has an inherently adaptable design, capable of being implemented with considerable flexibility at either local, regional, and/or country levels based on the necessary circumstances and legislative requirements.