Employee well-being and holistic health is a foundation for a strong business
On the one hand, the work-from-home culture that has been introduced around the world on account of Covid-19 related restrictions, has had a salutary impact on many aspects of the lives of employees. It has enabled them to save on commute time, it has enabled them to balance life and work in a more meaningful way, it has enabled them to stay closer to their loved ones, it has allowed them the luxury of home food, and many others. Of course, not everyone benefits from everything. These are some of the aspects many people seem to have found beneficial.
There is also another side to this picture. The prolonged work-from-home and Covid-19 environment, as it started getting extended into a second year, has also resulted in a number of health issues that did not seem to exist earlier. The lack of physical activity; even the commute to work and back is a physical activity that serves as an exercise, appears to have taken a toll on some. For many others, the impact is more psychological, with the specter of the pandemic always hanging over their heads, and leading a life very different from the one they had been used to, earlier, apart from the economic uncertainty and loss of business and jobs for many.
As an employer of scale, oWorkers has watched closely the unfolding of the situation after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the impact it had on many of their clients. This enabled them to be one of the first BPOs to get off the block and equip their employees with technology to work from home during times of lockdown that were enforced. This, in turn, enabled many of their clients to continue to be accessible to their respective customers during times when they were, indeed, most needed. oWorkers is now widely recognized as one of the top three providers of data based BPOs services in the world.
What have companies done?
Enterprises that have survived the trauma and continue to operate at scale, have been quick to recognize the impact on employee well-being, and many have mounted efforts at ensuring the well-being of employees during these stressful times.
There are a number of steps taken by corporations that start with ensuring that they are able to create a workplace that is safe to operate from, in case employees need to be present at the workplace. This could include workstation sanitization, creating distance between workstations and closing down common areas such as cafeterias and coffee machines. Coupled with that is the generous dispensation to advice for the same, of keeping themselves safe, in all other activities they are engaged in, not necessarily limited to work, even extending to other near and dear ones of the employee. Of course, creating opportunities for virtual work could also be considered as a proactive measure taken by companies in the interest of employee health and well-being.
oWorkers has been at the forefront of efforts in the industry to continue providing services while taking care of safety and security concerns. It is no surprise that oWorkers is able to continue offering services on a 24×7 schedule in each of its delivery centers around the world. Its wide cross-section of employees also allows it to offer support to clients in over 20 languages.
Focus on holistic health
Physical health is, perhaps, transparent and visible, as is its treatment. And much has been done in that space ever since the pandemic started. However, efforts are under way to enable employees to attain a more holistic version of health, including mental and psychological.
Increasingly, the aspect of health that is gradually taking center stage is that of mental health. It is not obvious or visible. It could be difficult to identify and diagnose. Even more importantly, it is perhaps even more difficult to accept for the person who may be impacted by it, thwarting efforts at diagnosing and treating. After all, a condition can only be addressed once it has been identified and accepted.
oWorkers, being a preferred employer, has always attracted walk-in talent in each of its delivery locations. This can be a short-lived advantage if not followed through with fair and transparent employment practices. The continued success of walk-in hiring should be adequate proof of oWorkers being considered to be a good employer. In addition, if more proof is needed, oWorkers received ratings in excess of 4.6, on a scale of 5, on external platforms like Glassdoor, from both existing and past employees. The health of employees is a concern for oWorkers, as compared to some of their competitors who prefer to rely on freelancers and contractors for their staffing needs, that allows them to avoid the responsibility of employee well-being since they do not have employees. The early introduction of work-from-home options was in response to a perceived need to provide safer working options to employees.
Leaders need to show the way
Leaders have a role to play. Not only in the performance of their area of business responsibility, but all the variables that impact on the performance of their business. And that should come as no surprise. Leaders should be able to identify the key variables that have a bearing on their business outcomes, which is what the external world sees, and what they are usually goaled on. Human resources, or employees, are always one of the key variables that require attention and focus and management effort.
And it starts with the leader himself or herself. A leader needs to be able to show the way to others; in terms of knowledge, commitment, behavior, and also in terms of acknowledging and identifying health related concerns that could impact their performance.
C-suiters are rising to the challenge. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, they are standing up and acknowledging the personal challenges and issues they have encountered as a result of the pandemic, and even otherwise, including the oft-dreaded mental and psychological issues. And not merely as an aside, to no one in particular, but in public events such as earnings calls with analysts.
Employees are responding. They now have a great example to follow. And the stock of the C-suiters doing so, showing themselves up to be human and prone to the same issues as everyone else, and not being inhabitants of a stratosphere, immune to human frailties, is sending their (personal) stock soaring. In fact, it is a surprise that this development surprises us. It should have been the most obvious of developments. But then, the pandemic has shown us the reality behind many a façade.
With several decades of hands-on experience in the industry under their belt, the leadership team of oWorkers understand the importance of leading from the front. The team of quality analysts employed by the company, act as the eyes and ears of the management and enable them to jump into a situation when intervention is needed and required.
Consistency in goals, vision and behavior
While leaders lead by example, the effort has to be organizational, in terms of determining and consistently promoting a set of values and behaviors that will take the organization towards its goals and have the power to bind the people together in their common pursuit. In pursuit of economic gains, companies have been known to posit standing for one set of values, but displaying entirely different ones when pushed to the wall, typically to a point where a decision to make or lose money in the short term had to be taken.
The benefit of such behavior turns out to be just that, short term, losing out to the longer term drag of conflict and confusion in decision-making.
Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures, some say.
Not necessarily, say others. Especially in the world of business. Ensuring that the foundation is solid and reinforcing the fundamentals of the organization from time to time is a good place to start. Situations like the one faced by the world owing to Covid-19 only serve to reinforce the fundamentals, one of them being to ensure that the care and attention given to employees is genuine with the intent of solving problems and moving ahead.
oWorkers track record of consistent behavior and expectations enable it to go one step beyond hiring; hiring for short-term peaks. People are willing to be hired for short-term assignments as well, knowing that a good performance is likely to lead to permanence. oWorkers is registered as a local company in each of its delivery locations, paying social and other taxes for their employees and engaging with the community as an equal.
Technology plays enabler, once again
Man has been innovating and inventing since prehistoric times, with the objective of making life better, happier, more comfortable for the race. There has perhaps never been a time when man slowed his quest for innovation. If anything, innovation and change is coming in faster and faster with every passing generation and year.
Today digital technology is seeing rapid advancements and has altered our workplaces and methods of working quite fundamentally. It also provides us support and options during the periods when normal life is thrown out of gear.
While employees are alive to the threats to their way of life and livelihood from the pandemic, they need to be supported by their employers in different ways. One of the ways many companies have found that is able to provide support is continuous learning. By developing their skills and knowledge, employees feel they are empowering themselves and positioning themselves to handle the extenuating circumstances better. And that can be a huge mental relief for many.
Once again, technology has made it possible for learning initiatives to continue unimpeded, from anywhere in the world, thanks to the e-learning options that are now available, either individually or with the help of other people.
With Super secure facilities & protocols for the security of client data and with ISO certifications (27001:2013 & 9001:2015), oWorkers stands for good technology. It is also GDPR compliant. What makes them a reliable technology partner is their deep relationships with major technology companies of the world, that allows them to deploy the latest technologies for client projects.
As the size and influence of the largest corporations in the world has increased, so has their responsibility. One of the key responsibilities that all companies, big and small, have been forced to recognize is the well-being of their employees and of their dependents. In addition, the pandemic has also moved us back to the basics; focusing our attention once again on the fundamentals. And one of the fundamentals of being human is being human to other humans, in this case, our employees.
In a business engagement, commercials do matter. With oWorkers, clients have come to expect savings of almost 80%, especially for clients from Western Europe and the US. oWorkers delivers.