Tag: Work from home

Deconstructing the Future of Work Trends

Four-day weeks, on-demand pay, “rural” talent, and digital workers in recent times, we’ve heard these ideas accompanied by seemingly teleological questions about work as a construct. With the work landscape rapidly evolving, questions arise about what the future of work will look like. Read on to learn more about how technology, location, and talent can be utilized to reconstruct our understanding of work, as well as gain positive lasting effects for companies.

With the rise of digital labor pyramid issues, the after-effects of a global pandemic, and the desire for more meaning in work and convenience through remote work, the work landscape is being met with a promising possibility of re-examining and perhaps reconstructing work for the new era. But, beyond the clarion call, what exactly does it entail? How do we understand the future of work trends and how do we design for them? Fundamentally, we can break it down into three distinct components: the how, the where, and the who. Let’s take a look at the trends shaping the future of work.

Nature of work – how will work be done?

As we look at the adoption of cloud and AI technologies in the workplace, it becomes clear that the nature of work will change considerably. Robotic process automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based automation can significantly reduce the number of transactional tasks delivered manually, in addition to a few judgement-oriented tasks. The universe of tasks that can be automated or simplified will expand as these technologies mature and systems of record become more scalable, data pipelines are streamlined, and meaningful data itself becomes more accessible. This further enhances our ability to use data to derive insights and make informed decisions.

Everest Group’s future of work research shows adoption of these technologies has accelerated during the pandemic. More than 70% of organizations have invested in digital in the past 12 months, and about 50% expect to invest more in the next six to 12 months. Naturally, all of this has implications for the kind of work that then falls to the human workforce. With transactional tasks largely automated, judgement-, expertise-, and empathy-oriented tasks and related skill sets (including “soft skills”) become more important. But this is not a doom and gloom job-loss scenario; digital hardly ever is. Digital will also create jobs for talent who can acquire skills related to automation, AI, analytics, and the cloud.

In essence, the nature of work is changing. Enterprises will need to prepare for these eventualities by ensuring they have adequate skilling programs in place, starting by building skill taxonomies for the future, assessing current skill sets, and building out continuous learning, upskilling, and reskilling programs to enable a future-ready workforce.

Work location – where will work be done?

Our research indicates that over half of today’s enterprises expect more than 40% of their employees to continue to work from home over the next two years or so. The pandemic has dispelled certain notions about remote work while highlighting its challenges. No longer do we question if remote work is efficient or even a possibility; video calling and conferencing tools, collaboration technologies, and the potential of the metaverse have meaningfully reduced the friction that deterred work from home. Employees have benefitted from shorter commute times, greater flexibility, and proximity to family.

On the other hand, 55% of enterprises see employee engagement as a key challenge in a remote-only environment, and 50% see organizational culture as difficult to maintain with full-time work from home. The middle ground (hybrid work) seems destined to be lasting among the future of work trends. Enterprises need to redesign physical and virtual workspaces, embedding information security as needed and changing management styles to accommodate the hybrid working model.

As remote working has gained more acceptance and mature economies have aged, the time has also come to de-link talent from geographic locations. Beyond the US and India, emerging technologies such as AI and automation have sizeable talent pools in multiple countries across the world. The enterprise of the future should seek to leverage this talent, applying similar guiding principles as those for hybrid work with an additional focus on local compliance, managing cross-cultural teams, and customizing policies.

Talent model – who will do the work?

As work and workplaces evolve, so will the talent we need. We already spoke to the need for a geographically distributed and suitably skilled talent. The future workforce will also be diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Diversity will, in some ways, be necessitated by the need for a variety of in-demand skills sets and changing labor pyramids, but beyond that, it is a fairly well-established fact that diverse workforces simply do better and bring a variety of perspectives to the table, enabling enterprises to serve their clients better too. From this perspective, in the digital age, organizations will need to bolster their diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, define concrete goals and metrics, and mobilize internal and external resources to help meet these goals. DE&I will be among the trends shaping the future of work to watch for.

As we look to fulfill specific skillsets for future work, organizations will also do well to consider contingent or temporary workers in addition to traditional permanent ones. Contingent workers are in greater supply now and will offer a good pool of talent to tap into, particularly for in-demand and next-generation skills. This will require careful consideration on the part of enterprises, as not all roles will be suitable for fulfillment. Even among the contingent workers, some skillsets will be in higher demand.

Attracting talent also will pose a challenge for enterprises. Today, a large portion of contingent programs are run through procurement. A holistic program run by HR (including contingent and permanent workers) that can communicate the employer value proposition well, help with engagement, and leverage data to improve program management might just be needed as we transition to this new construct.

The future of work is neither esoteric nor mundane – it is somewhere in between, and it is here already. It will require us to question well-established paradigms, rethink the framing of work in our lives, and push us to redesign and reconstruct. Enterprises that move the needle now stand to gain a lasting competitive advantage.

To learn more about the future of work trends, contact us or reach out to Everest Group Partner, [email protected].

At Everest Group, we help clients navigate their digital transformation journeys and provide assistance in implementing digital technologies. Currently, we are offering assistance to companies that are launching Web 3.0 and Metaverse initiatives with a complimentary outline of definitions and use cases. Request a summary.

Implications of Bringing Employees Back to the Office | Blog

In my recent conversations with Fortune 500 CEOs and other senior leaders of large enterprises, some report their workforce is already starting to shift back to the office from the prior work-from-home model in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most state they want their workforce fully back in the office instead of working from home by September. As your company determines its upcoming model for where employees work, you need to keep in mind there are significant implications to the decision.

How To Manage Employees In A Work-From-Home Distributed Environment | Blog

The COVID-19 crisis, which sent most white-collar workers to work from home, changed the way people work. Over the past few months, it proved viable and even advantageous in many respects. We now face a permanent shift in how work is performed. It will be in a far more distributed environment than we ever anticipated. Therefore, we now we must deal with management and operational constraints at the company and the personal level so we can ensure the desired organizational performance.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

IAOP GOV20: Rethinking Governance | October 7-9, 2020 | Virtual Event

Everest Group’s Amy Fong and Michel Janssen will be speaking in the session Managing the Transition to a Work from Home Model in Global Services in IAOP’s GOV20 virtual forum.

Leading service providers have announced a significant portion of their roles will shift to a work from home (WFH) model. While many organizations allowed WFH as a temporary solution during the crisis, its likely it will become the norm for many roles. In this session Everest Group will share the latest research on market trends as well as guidance to prepare for the “Next Normal” in service delivery.  We will discuss:

  • How prevalent will WFH become in the post COVID-19 world?
  • Which roles are most appropriate for WFH? Where is the risk too high?
  • What are the greatest concerns with wide scale WFH?
  • Which contract terms should be re-examined when negotiating a long term WFH model?
  • What questions should you ask your service providers to ensure strong governance and risk mitigation?

When

Thursday, October 7-9, 2020; 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM ET

Where

Live, virtual event

Presenters

Michel Janssen
Chief Research Officer

Amy Fong
Vice President

 

Call Centers Show Bright Spot In COVID-19 Crisis | Blog

We just came out of one of the best economies in history, but we now face a recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Even if there were a V-shaped curve to the recovery, it would not change a looming huge factor going forward: cost reduction is more important than ever before. Although lower cost was not the significant driver in creating value in the digital world, COVID-19 adds a new wrinkle to transformation because it exposed the underlying support for business processes. It set the stage for what is now an overwhelming impetus for companies to take on the risks of changing the way they do business.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Service Delivery Location Factors to Consider for WFH Model Adoption | Blog

Before COVID-19, most organizations were reluctant to adopt Work From Home (WFH), viewing it as a hard-to-govern delivery model relevant only for limited functions and employees. However, the pandemic has made WFH a requirement, at least for the short term, for most enterprises. Despite the massive disruption, we believe most organizations will make WFH a business-as-usual component of their “next normal.” But that means they’ll have to take a long, hard strategic look at the locations they use for services delivery, whether they operate in a shared services environment or leverage a third-party provider.

COVID-19 has challenged conventional thinking about location selection parameters

Historically, most location portfolio decisions were based on an evaluation of traditional factors including the talent landscape, market attractiveness and competitiveness, cost of business operations, and the business and operating environment. Now organizations need to factor in and evaluate a location’s business case for WFH adoption, including the interplay of additional drivers like infrastructure, restrictions for remote delivery, presence of strong governance mechanisms, employee security, data protection, intellectual property safety, and determination of additional benefits that can be tapped into.

We’ve developed a framework that assesses 20 additional factors that we have categorized into three buckets: viability, security, and potential benefits.

WFH

Each of these parameters plays a crucial role in an organization’s selection of services delivery locations for a WFH environment.

Understanding a given location’s WFH viability will not only help enterprises carve out their next wave of growth, but also help them tap into the additional benefits offered by the location.

Here’s a look at each of the three overarching buckets.

Understanding overall viability

This category is all about evaluating a location’s business ecosystem through a new WFH lens. It involves:

  • Having a detailed view of the overall WFH infrastructure, like broadband speed and penetration, power/telecom outages, network readiness, and reliability
  • Understanding nuances for local WFH restrictions as imposed by the law, such as regulatory concerns, data privacy issues, SEZ norms, and number of working hours
  • Assessing the overall ecosystem for WFH adoption, e.g., social/cultural acceptance and working from an established location as opposed to a greenfield location.

We believe all organizations should assess each location on these factors as they will play an essential role in WFH success.

Fighting security concerns

Another critical factor enterprises need to evaluate in each location they’re considering is the overall security of their employees and their data. Here, organizations need to look at the robustness and effectiveness of local data protection and cybercrime laws across each location. Understanding local governance mechanisms and laws will help bolster viability for each location and help organizations map suitability for each function. Further, as their employees will be working from home, organizations will also need to understand the nuances around crime rates across employee neighborhoods, civil unrest, and natural hazards, as these can potentially increase the business cost for crime and violence, and also disrupt operations.

Reaping potential benefits

Adopting a WFH model will not only help organizations drive the next wave of cost optimization (significant savings over leasing real estate infrastructure and utility expenses) but also will help them overcome challenges related to availability of real estate across leading talent hubs in tier-1 locations.

WFH adoption will further help organizations establish additional satellite locations, or tertiary sites, in which talent works remotely, either permanently or part-time, with or without a corporate physical presence in the location. This will not only help reduce travel time, but also help improve employee productivity and reduce overall attrition for organizations. Based on a recent survey we conducted with leading enterprises, more than three-quarters of the respondents said their organization’s overall productivity has increased in the current COVID-19 period. The average improvement in productivity was just over 13 percent, as compared to before the pandemic period.

The WFH business case is a win-win proposition for most organizations as they adapt to the “next normal.” While there are multiple factors that potentially sweeten the business case for WFH adoption, taking a detailed view by each location will be an imperative as organizations progress and evolve on this journey. An iterative and continuous thinking approach will further help organizations overcome some key challenges including employee and organization development, legal, and regulatory concerns. Watch this space for more updates.

For additional details on this topic, reach out to us at [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].

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