Working Remote vs. On-Site: What the Pandemic Taught Us
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all learned a lot about the realities of remote work vs. on-site work. An unexpected outcome of a remote-first world has been that we’ve all experienced firsthand some of the benefits of remote work, 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 are working from the office.
I would like to share some of the positive remote work trends we’ve seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Top 10 Remote Work Trends
Flexibility to expand to other locations and regions. Remote work has given us the ability to eliminate geographic boundaries. It’s now easier than ever to hire skilled workers and more talent using a modified recruiting strategy.
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. This instantly lowers 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 clearer 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. To ensure adherence to cybersecurity best practices, we implemented enhanced safety measures for remote employees. This includes cybersecurity awareness campaigns, multifactor authentications, do’s and don’ts when working from home and office, and identity theft risks.
In the event a breach affects our customers’ business, we’ve put proactive security measures into place. 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, publications.
Remote work branding standards. With the transition to a combination of remote work, hybrid and an in-office workforce, this raised the awareness around the need for standardized policies around branding. This came into play with our many healthcare customers, who use our remote interpretation services and digital meetings. We equipped our remote teams with standardized marketing assets, the use of 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 a fluid place and change is compulsory. We’ve learned to constantly assess the impact of changes and how to better align 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 on-going basis. This included the ability to share 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 had discussions about funny topics such as toilet paper and how to properly wear masks.
Is Remote Work Our New Normal?
Remote work and hybrid work are here to stay. But we at DATAMARK know that and there is no singular solution that works well for every organization. At DATAMARK, we perform a comprehensive business analysis of your business goals before presenting an ideal solution that is 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 what could be possible.
If anyone has had other experiences than those cited here, please comment so that we can all benefit from our collective experiences.