This article was written by Marieke Smidt.
Companies worldwide have reacted almost overnight to the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move forward from the initial crisis, we need to start asking what the “new normal” will look like. Are we going to continue working from home for the foreseeable future?
There are examples out there. Most of the technology industry, including companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, have indicated that they will continue working at home for the rest of the year. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, even told his employees that they can now stay at home permanently if they prefer it.
Some companies may have only recently started a work-at-home experiment because of the pandemic, but Teleperformance had about 11,000 interaction experts working permanently at home when the crisis began. Since we already had work-at-home experience and procedures in place, we were able to move quickly. Now, the number of interaction experts working at home is about 170,000 — about 70% of our team. We have found consistent qualitative and efficiency results, and many employees are happy with the new arrangements.
One thing that has become clear to many companies forced to adopt a work-at-home business model because of the pandemic is that it works very well. There are many advantages to running your business this way. Many leaders are now wondering if they ever need to bring their people back to the office or if working from home should become an integral part of their business model.
A few of the more essential benefits of a work-at-home strategy are:
1. Access to more talent: Hiring from anywhere can raise the bar and give you access to talent pools that you might not have been able to reach before.
2. Flexibility: You can scale up quickly and manage seasonal spikes more effectively. Office space limitations no longer apply.
3. Resilience: You can be permanently ready for viral pandemics like what we are experiencing today, natural disasters, or transportation issues.
4. Productivity: Many studies indicate that work-at-home employees are as productive as their brick-and-mortar colleagues or even more productive.
5. Sustainability: Less commuting means a lower carbon footprint and an opportunity to create jobs in areas with few local employers. Working from home can also make it easier for people to join the workforce.
Recent research by Gallup suggests that 54% of workers would leave their current office-based job if they found an alternative that allows them to work more flexibly from home. Researchers have also found that increased flexibility creates more satisfied and engaged employees, which, in turn, leads to better performance. If you invest in an effective engagement strategy, you can drive even stronger results and improve retention too.
Our work-at-home solution, the Cloud Campus, leverages a high-tech, high-touch approach that enables our interaction experts to be more productive.
In a recent virtual roundtable session, I, together with other panelists, shared insights on vital learnings from decades of delivering work-at-home capabilities globally, as well as new best practices from our COVID-19 response. Click here to watch the on-demand webinar.
To learn more about maintaining business operations in a time of global crisis, download our latest white paper, “More than Business Continuity: True Business Resilience for the Digital Age”
Photo by Tierra Mallorca via Unsplash