The workplace landscape has been transformed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the emergence of work models such as work from home (WFH) and hybrid work, in addition to prevalent flexi-timings. The hybrid work model has gained significant traction, allowing employees to split their time between the office and remote work. These models have altered the dynamics of the modern workplace, providing employees with increased flexibility and autonomy.
Organizations are now faced with the challenges of adapting systems and processes to manage a workforce that is not always present in the office between predetermined hours. The ones prepared for these new work complexities stand to gain in terms of cost savings, employee retention and increased productivity. According to a study by McKinsey, 58% of employees reported an increase in productivity with hybrid work.
These new work models and virtual operations are here to stay, necessitating organizations—especially BPMs—to strike the perfect balance between employee satisfaction, optimized productivity and cost management. Workforce management (WFM) systems are increasingly becoming instrumental in achieving this balance for ensuring customer satisfaction. These systems help organizations translate and automate traditional processes like scheduling, time tracking, payroll and real-time updates on outliers for the hybrid workspace. The right WFM systems enable managers to make informed decisions, streamline operations and identify team challenges in real time when not every headcount is present on the floor.
Real-Time Data – The Key to Managing a Hybrid Workforce: The success of a hybrid workforce hinges on the balance between planning and real-time management. An effective WFM system should not only function as an offline planner but also provide real-time data on employee performance and other critical attributes. This real-time data empowers managers to identify bottlenecks, improve productivity and adapt to changing circumstances.
WFM systems can help organizations monitor and track remote and on-floor performances and critical KPIS more effectively, ensuring that employees remain productive and engaged while working from home. With the right technology in place, hybrid workplaces can maintain their productivity levels, streamline operations and continue to deliver exceptional customer satisfaction.
WFM systems eliminate the need for manual data extraction, identifying gaps and reactively reducing errors, leading to cost savings and increased efficiency. For instance, WFM solutions can help managers track granular details like whether team members have logged in on time, adhere to break patterns and monitor overall performance. By automating these processes and tracking critical KPIs in real-time regardless of employee location, they give BPO managers a complete view of their team, track outliers, track performances against historical data and enable proactive corrective measures.
Enhancing Collaboration, Coordination and Communication in a Hybrid Environment: In a hybrid work model, employees must seamlessly transition between collaborating with colleagues in person and remotely. They must adapt to new ways of working as they collaborate from different locations. In addition, customers choose multiple channels to stay in touch with modern businesses, which remains a fundamental even for new work models.
A modern WFM solution requires the agility to handle these complexities. The right solution brings the technology focus that can facilitate this process by improving communication and coordination among team members and with customers. By providing real-time data and visibility into team performance, managers can easily identify gaps, take corrective action and streamline overall performance management.
Boosting Employee Satisfaction: A significant number of employees around the globe in numerous surveys have expressed their inclination towards working remotely for a substantial portion of their workweek. The implementation of WFM solutions in managing versatile work arrangements, such as hybrid models, has been closely associated with heightened employee satisfaction. A 2023 report by Accenture puts the number of workers preferring a hybrid workplace for its flexibility at 83%.
WFM solutions play a vital role as they facilitate flexibility and autonomy for choosing work arrangements that suit individual employee needs and preferences. They do this while maintaining the optimal balance for maximum productivity by providing WFM managers with better visibility into employee attendance, productivity and performance.
In conclusion, the new normal ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the adoption of multiple work models to maintain business continuity and ensure employee well-being. Workforce Management is bound to play a crucial role in enabling organizations to navigate these models effectively. By harnessing the power of these systems, businesses can efficiently allocate resources, streamline processes and enhance communication between employees, regardless of their location. Ultimately, the adoption of WFM solutions in this new era of work will lead to improved productivity, cost savings and a more agile, competitive workforce, enabling organizations to thrive in the ever-evolving global market.
Contributed by Mr Vikas Wahee, Head of Solutions, BPM & ITES, Intellicus Technologies