When COVID-19 struck in early 2020, the immediate priority for every CEO was to avoid a disruption of services for their customers. To ensure business continuity and employee safety, companies moved to a remote working environment in quick time.
With several countries going into lockdown, remote working was planned for the short term, with employees expecting to return to their workspaces once things went normal. However, as it turned out, work from anywhere (WFX) became the new normal as offices could no longer accommodate the entire workforce while maintaining social distancing norms.
How the pandemic changed business requirements
Disruption to businesses arising from cities/countries going into lockdown needed to be mitigated. As businesses settled into the current new normal, they sought flexible delivery models that allowed employees in critical processes to operate out of offices, while the others worked from remote environments.
This called for a hybrid workforce where employees operated out of a mix of existing offices, co-working spaces, and WFX. It gave companies an option to book office space on demand, allowing them to scale up quickly when a new deal was won and scale down if they lost business.
In the meantime, employees who moved to Tier 1 cities in search of work returned to their Tier 2/3 locations. This reverse migration revealed that a significant employee base that moved to Tier 1 cities would prefer to work from Tier 2/3 cities, if given an opportunity.
Remote working also allows companies to tap into a larger talent pool. It provides access to a diverse workforce, including women who take post maternity breaks, and people with disabilities who have better support at home.
Finally, employees working closer to their home location experience an increase in job satisfaction that eventually leads to lower attrition rates and higher productivity.
Future operating model
The above business and employee priorities can be addressed through a Distributed Delivery model. This is a hub and spoke model, where employees supporting the same client process work out of different locations. Since all employees work on the same or similar processes, in case a hub or spoke location shuts down, other locations can pick up the load and ensure business continuity.