Out of Office Phase 1 (Agile/Flexible Teams)-The Survey

Executive Summary / Introduction

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Opportunity Now surveyed over 1500 managers and team members to understand their attitudes towards agile/ flexible working. This report seeks to identify levels of trust in workplace relationships and in leaders and to assess how this is affecting the performance of agile/ flexible teams.



Trust is the life blood of organisations. It underpins employees’ commitment, engagement and performance. Trust creates an organisational culture where the status quo can be challenged and as a result, creativity and innovation can flourish. Workplace trust in leaders is critical to engaging employees. Research by Gallup has found that trust is one of the most significant attributes for leadership and, when employees trust leaders, there is a greater than 50% likelihood they will be engaged as opposed to an 8% likelihood when they don’t.
Unfortunately trust appears to be seeping away in many areas of life. This long term trend has been exacerbated by recent economic turmoil. Trust in business leaders is at an all time low. Just 25% of the population would trust business leaders to tell the truth, compared with 44% who would trust civil servants and 88% who would trust teachers. ( IPSOS Mori Veracity Index 2008).
This research investigates the status of trust in the workplaces of Opportunity Now employers and in particular the relationship between levels of trust and agile working. Agility, the ability of organisations and individuals to be flexible in terms of time, location and tasks to meet the demands of employees, customers and clients is underpinned by trust. Virtual and mobile teams, which have embraced agility as a new way of working, are becoming more common as technology allows team members to work together across different geographical locations and different working hours to respond to a globally interconnected world. For many, the view of work as an activity rather than a physical place is now a reality. But to fully embrace the possibilities presented by this new way of working employers will need high levels of trust in workplace relationships and
new management skills, so that teams, although not always physically together can work effectively, communicate well and maintain high levels of engagement and performance. There are indications that this period of economic turmoil may prove a watershed in terms of both trust and agility. There are reports of shaken trust as organisations go through periods of painful downsizing and of a reversion to traditional models of “command and control” management and presenteeism. There are also contrary indications that some organisations are turning to agility as a route to a more flexible and cost effective use of human resources and real estate and as a way of maintaining employee engagement through a difficult period.

Thank you to the sponsoring organisations for their encouragement and financial contribution. 
Sponsors logos, Credit Suisse, Defra, Vodafone
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The Full Story

Building Teams for an Agile Future: Results from the Opportunity Now Trust and Agility Survey. This document gives summarises, team member views on trust, respect and management,leadership styles and attitudes towards agility, work life balance and performance management. As well as taking a look at Managers attitudes towards agile workers and the technological support needed for agile working.

The Research - Step by Step

Take forward your organisations aspirations for a truly agile/ flexible workplace. Learn how to build a trusting relationships with co- workers that are of great benefit to your organisation. Use this presentation as a starting block for internal messaging or developing a strategy for moving the agile agenda forward.