When Outsourcing Leads to Agility and Innovation, You’re Doing It Right
COVID-19 resulted in over 20.5 million jobs lost in the U.S. alone. As the economy recovers, workforce participation is at an all-time low, falling to 61.2% in March 2021, the lowest it's been since 1976. Unemployed, laid off and furloughed workers that do return to the workforce do so with a fundamental shift in the mindset, impacting how and where work gets done.
For starters, the pandemic taught us that being physically co-located is not always required for success. Hybrid working models that focus more on how work gets done than where and when are the way of the future from Microsoft, IBM and many other companies across the U.S. In addition, average workday hours may also be a thing of the past.
The pandemic had working parents juggling remote learning, making flexible work hours a necessity. Productivity looks different for every worker, which may not be during a typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. window. These fundamental shifts are showing that flexibility is the name of the game, from geography to talent.
The shifts in the mindset of the worker and the workplace are enabling innovation and agility within outsourcing. Companies once destined to hire in one office within one specific city now have the opportunity for the best talent, which may be outside traditional geographic boundaries.
Additionally, businesses can fluctuate all too quickly and needs can change overnight. A larger, more diverse pool of resources can help companies navigate these shifts seamlessly. The companies that are able to navigate the future of work with cost-effective strategies for managing staff, output and culture will be the cream that rises to the top.
To dive into more detail, I’ve laid out five areas where outsourcing will enable a new level of innovation and agility for enterprise companies at any stage in their digital transformation journey.
The power of scalability in outsourced resources is practical for the typical seasonal or quarterly fluctuations of any business. In 2020, scaling up and down to meet demand was crucial for many businesses. An outsourcing solution that provides virtual or broad geographic reach helps maintain business continuity for unexpected events -- whether it be a global pandemic or an extreme weather event.
Scaling up processes and resources on demand will ultimately lower costs across all functions, including finance, marketing, sales, operations, and more. In a contact center, outsourced agents often minimize or eliminate the idle time often seen in a brick-and-mortar center.
2. Better Talent Drives Better Outcomes
Better talent cannot be understated when needs aren’t necessarily connected to a singular geography. Outsourcing means you can access educated, experienced staff with the right personality and skills. Rather than recruiting within their geographic boundaries, businesses can tap into diverse pools of talent with varied personal and professional experience. Virtual outsourcers attract people who desire more flexible options and tend to be more entrepreneurial by nature. In this model, workers tend to be uniquely invested in your brand’s success, which leads to innovation with phenomenal outcomes.
3. Experts on Experts
Innovation requires cutting-edge expertise, sometimes in a unique competency. Need an expert in creating a community? In distance learning? In implementing the right level of security? Outsourcing provides access to subject matter experts who are experienced in areas where you don’t need a large team for an extended period of time, but have a definitive need for a short or sporadic time. From project management to quality assurance, you can lean on your outsourcing partner.
4. Enhanced Reporting and Analytics
Outsourcing creates a metric-driven culture of output and delivery. Leaders can track key performance and deliverables more closely when support is focused and goal oriented. This will lead projects to get done faster, on budget and with greater output.
5. Culture and Diversity
Outsourcing, especially across geographies, brings together people with different backgrounds, philosophies and approaches to achieve one common goal. That richness in culture cannot be understated for keeping employees fulfilled while also delivering the best possible product.
While organizations are navigating a “new normal,” it’s more competitive and advantageous to instead focus on the future of work via innovations, efficiencies and output for your business. Outsourcing can solve many of those problems, realizing the average workplace and average workday may be outdated concepts in the future of work.