Author: Fudia Smartt
The terms “agile working” and “flexible working” are often used interchangeably. However, according to the Financial Times, they do in fact have different meanings. Flexible working usually refers to working arrangements individuals have negotiated with their employers. For many, flexible working is viewed as being of more benefit to the employee than the employer and a situation which is outside of the norm of an employer’s usual working patterns.
On the other hand, agile working is about harnessing technology to create new working methods so that work can be carried out anywhere and anytime, provided that an employer’s business needs are being met. Unlike flexible working, agile working is viewed much more as being of benefit to both employers and employees. Perhaps this is because the term “flexible working” has been around for much longer and is often viewed as being only requested by women who wish to work part-time due to childcare commitments.
In January of this year, the Women and Work All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG) published a report in which they recommended that the term “flexible working” be replaced with “agile working” because of their belief that the latter term was a much more positive and gender neutral concept.