Working Remote vs. On-Site: What the Pandemic Taught Us
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all learned much about the realities of remote work vs. on-site work. At the same time, experiencing some of the benefits of working remotely and its challenges too!
As a leading BPO organization, we work with customers to outsource their omnichannel and multilingual contact centers, finance, accounting, loyalty program management, and document lifecycle management. Currently, 70% of the nearshore and offshore workforce at DATAMARK are remote employees, while 95% of the USA workforce is working from the office.
I want to share some of the positive remote work trends we’ve seen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Top 10 Working Remote Trends
Flexibility to expand to other locations and regions. Remote work has given us the ability to eliminate geographic boundaries. Hiring skilled workers and more talent using a modified recruiting strategy is now easier than ever.
Efficiency gains. Due to increased workday flexibility, we have seen a rise in work product efficiency. A recent Forbes article stated, “Remote workers are generally more productive than employees who work in an office setting. That’s because the ability to set their work schedule allows employees to work during the hours they are more productive.”
Performance accountability. Along with efficiency gains has come a rise in work performance accountability. Work-from-home employees value and strive for performance indicators, even when managers are not physically present.
Decrease in operational expenses. Directly impacting the bottom line, a remote workforce results in a smaller physical office footprint. Instantly lowering some fundamental operational expenses such as real estate and utility costs.
Technology updates. We’ve become nimbler with leading-edge technology. This allows for smoother implementations, quicker risk assessments, more acute information security protocols, and more precise policy evaluations to stay on top of business demands.
Cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is now a top priority because remote work environments don’t usually have the same safeguards as a controlled workspace. We implemented enhanced safety measures for remote employees to ensure adherence to cybersecurity best practices. This includes cybersecurity awareness campaigns, multifactor authentications, do’s and don’ts when working from home and office, and identity theft risks.
If a breach affects our customers’ business, we’ve implemented proactive security measures. This allows us to work with each unique client to return them to service as quickly as possible while safeguarding networks and customer data through thorough remediation and preventive activities.
Increased communication andtransparency. We have finessed our corporate communication strategy for remote employees and office workers. We regularly deliver updated direction and strategy via town halls, emails, and publications.
Remote work branding standards. The transition to a combination of remote work, hybrid, and an in-office workforce raised awareness of the need for standardized policies around branding. This came into play with our many healthcare customers using our remote interpretation services and digital meetings. We equipped our remote teams with standardized marketing assets, standardized electronic signatures, and other company branding materials.
Remote work policies. As we continue educating ourselves on appropriate work-from-home management, we have learned to set employee expectations from the onset. We have regular one-one meetings with employees to provide feedback, get updates, review goals, and, most importantly, ensure all employees embrace company culture and values.
Embracing change. If COVID taught us anything, it is that the world is fluid, and change is compulsory. We’ve learned to constantly assess the impact of changes and how to align better resources, policies, and tools to support this new normal.
Why Employees Like a Future That Includes Remote Work
But, as we well know, remote work doesn’t just benefit the company’s bottom line. Working remotely also brought many advantages of a more personal nature for our employees.
Commute times decreased from about 60 minutes via car or public transit to zero.
Ecological advantages. Reduced commuting lowered gas emissions and reduced air pollution. With employees working from home, paper and plastic consumption is also decreased.
Work/life balance. Balancing schedules and balancing our interactions (and tolerance) of family members on an ongoing basis. This included sharing a workspace with our significant others and children.
Family time increased. Working from home helped us to be involved with our family’s routines, and we learned better ways to align tasks within our families.
We talked. Being closer to family helped us communicate more. From the initial conversations about how to openly discuss the COVID-19 crisis and other uncertainties and doubts. And then we debated funny topics such as toilet paper and the proper way of wearing masks.
Is Remote Work Our New Normal?
Remote work and hybrid work are here to stay. But we at DATAMARK know that only some solutions work well for some organizations. At DATAMARK, we perform a comprehensive business analysis of your business goals before presenting an ideal solution aligned with your particular needs and objectives to improve performance and business profit. For 30 years, DATAMARK has provided cost-effective, results-driven Contact Center and BPO solutions to a wide array of Fortune 500 companies. Whatever your goals, DATAMARK has the capability and infrastructure to offer onshore, nearshore, and offshore solutions, all with remote, hybrid, or brick-and-mortar options. If your organization is considering working with a BPO this year, contact us to discuss possible solutions.
If anyone has had other experiences than those cited here, please comment so that we can all benefit from our collective experiences.
Cesar Lozano – Director of Facilities Planning
Cesar is Six Sigma Black Belt Certified, PMP (Project Management Professional Certified), completed several Top leadership programs, and is based in El Paso, TX, USA.
In his current role, Cesar oversees all aspects of global facilities management, including real estate utilization, optimization, and sites expansion, by researching new markets and opening new operations in locations defined by the organization. Ensures sites are in compliance with any applicable Environment, Health, and Safety measures and governmental requirements and regulations are met.
Cesar also has extensive experience in Transition Management, Operations, and Quality and has served various businesses. He is Six Sigma certified and has also mentored several Six Sigma and Lean projects, which have delivered significant productivity benefits to the customer and addressed controllership issues.
His background in Global Operations (On-shore, Near-Shore, and Far-Shore), BPO, and Business Development, along with his pursuit of continuous education through specialized seminars and leadership programs, have the greatest impact on the organization’s bottom-line results and positively are contributing to the firm’s success.
In his last job assignment as Director of Transition and Project Management, he led a team of PMO professionals in the execution of all assigned Projects according to Project Management methodologies and provided a vision and strategy to the team that supports DATAMARK’s goals