Hybrid Workforce Likely to be the Model of Choice for Most Companies
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the world in some fundamental ways. One of them is regarding the place of work.
For long, a clear separation between work and non-work places has been understood to be the optimum strategy for a productive workforce. In fact, many companies in the Business Process Outsourcing industry have explored the possibility of introducing a work-from-home (WFH) option many times in the past. However, for one reason or another, usually related to possible data security and privacy issues and the clients’ reluctance in being served by a widely dispersed organization, such moves have amounted to nothing. What did happen, though, is that hub-and-spoke models got established as a method of expansion into geographies that could not support large centers. That being said, the spoke was still another office location, not an ‘anywhere’ site.
oWorkers has traditionally operated out of its centers in three of the most sought-after locations for BPOs in the world. With the onset of the pandemic, it has created capabilities to enable its employees to work from home.
BPOs rise to the challenge
With the pandemic resulting in non-negotiable lockdowns and restrictions, work related activities came to a grinding halt as it meant a bar on traveling to a place of work, except for exempt emergency services. In such a situation, it became necessary to explore other options for work, if the company did not want to see its revenues dwindle down to nothing. Many industries, such as airlines and hotels, have been severely impacted, dependent as they are on people traveling, moving around and socializing.
The BPO industry rose to the challenge when it mattered most and ensured that the business of their clients that they were responsible for, could continue.
oWorkers has been amongst the leaders in equipping its staff to be able to work from home, ensuring that the business of their clients stays unaffected. Not for nothing is the company feted as one of the top three BPO providers in its category, in the world.
Technology is the enabler
Of course, nothing stays the same forever. Earlier hesitation in permitting working from home might have been a wise decision for the times and tools available at the time. The acquiescence of business leaders today is perhaps based on the capabilities of today’s technology.
With the proliferation of the internet to the darkest corners of the world and ballooning bandwidth available to users, virtual meeting technologies have become commonplace. These collaboration tools are unifying remote workers under the umbrella of their employer, that might have been difficult just five years back. With cameras turned on, even keeping a virtual eye on their teams is now possible for supervisors.
Thanks to the partnerships with leading technology companies that oWorkers has nurtured, it is now in a position to access the latest technologies from these companies, and use them for client projects. It also helps that a number of its clients are technology companies.
Secure exchange protocols are making it possible for customer data to be shared as well as transactional information to be worked upon without fear of theft or misuse. Even financial information sharing is par for the course today.
Operating out of secure facilities, the security of data has been a top concern of oWorkers. Clients have trusted its super secure facilities & protocols designed to keep data secure, further augmented by its ISO certifications (27001:2013 & 9001:2015). oWorkers is also GDPR compliant.
With the cloud becoming an increasingly visible presence, employees are no longer tethered to a server accessible in a particular physical location. Cloud servers and cloud computing solutions can be accessed from anywhere, any time, and are seamlessly connecting teams spread throughout the world. Network utilization is being constantly monitored by network optimization tools, silently, unobtrusively, in real time.
Thanks to its investments in technology infrastructure, oWorkers is in a position to offer a 24×7 operating environment to its clients.
With some sort of normalcy returning to the world, and pre-pandemic like interactions becoming possible, companies are unsure in terms of the appropriate staffing model to adopt. And understandably so, since none of us have been here before. Like all of us discovered coping and handling mechanisms for the pandemic together, companies are destined to experiment, make some mistakes, and figure out their own right model along with others.
The Great Attrition has already impacted many companies during this phase of experimentation. Clearly, the pandemic has given cause to employees to evaluate their life and situation and it appears that they are likely to make their employment choices with greater care and caution than might have been the case earlier. This will make it necessary for employers to take their preferences into account while charting out their strategy for work, whether from the workplace or from home.
As a preferred employer, oWorkers draws the best talent in the catchment area, in each of its centers. This has enabled it to offset the impact of the Great Attrition, without any impact on its clients. Working with employed staff, and not freelancers and contractors that are preferred by some of its competitors, is an advantage for oWorkers as it is able to take them into confidence and discuss the development of a suitable strategy with them.
At this point in time, even as companies experiment with models, it does not take a genius to figure out that WFH is here to stay. The question that each company may need to answer for itself is: what role does WFH play in their ongoing staffing and manpower planning strategy?
A digital-first strategy, where possible, is likely to be the strategy of choice.
We are also likely to see the emergence of an ecosystem for supporting the new work environment, with new centers designed to support the hybrid model. Hiring, Training, Onboarding functions will probably need newer versions of themselves. HR and IT support systems will also need to evolve to keep pace. Terms of employment could be another area that could be impacted, with greater choice given by employers to their employees to choose the model they are most comfortable with.
oWorkers closely monitors developments both in the BPO industry as well as the industries of its clients, with the help of a management team that has significant hands-on experience themselves. Its operational efficiencies are well known, as it is able to offer some of the sharpest pricing in the industry, including the provision of choice to clients between output and input-based pricing. Clients can continue to expect huge savings when they sign up with oWorkers for outsourcing, in any of the 22 languages they support.