The prolonged lockdowns caused due to COVID-19 have meant that corporations have had to quickly move to a ‘work from home’ model for nearly all their staff. With nearly half the world in mandatory lockdown as I write this article, companies around the globe are going through the biggest experiment with remote teams working from their homes and trying to achieve the same amount of output.
While a few companies saw this coming and had contingency plans in place, many have been caught unprepared and have failed to transition to effectively enabling WFH for their workforce. Those companies which experience success with WFH teams would have learnt that it isn’t essential to have a majority of staff positions work from an office. This realization would have many repercussions. Not only can the companies have teams work from home and save on expensive office rentals, they can also negotiate lower salaries since employees won’t need to spend on transportation, meals at work etc. It would also be a win for the employees as they would save on the time it takes to commute to an office each day.
Once companies have become accustomed with a larger proportion of their teams working from home, they would begin to experiment with deploying offshore teams in lower cost countries like India which have a large pool of talented English speaking manpower and established BPO/KPO firms with decades of experience. In the post COVID-19 world companies would be looking to streamline operational costs to become leaner and profitable and thus outsourcing to countries like India would be an attractive proposition. With hourly outsourcing costs as low as $5, companies would save immensely by outsourcing non-core tasks which can be carried out remotely while maintaining a smaller core team at their base of operations.
Outsourcing would not only allow companies considerable cost savings, it would also reduce management costs as most BPOs cover management of the remote teams and quality control. Companies would also reduce their liability which comes with hiring full time or contractual staff locally. Other overheads such as IT costs, staff welfare, insurance etc. would also be saved. While this would put downward pressure on the local job markets in high wage/developed countries, unless Governments there agree to reduce the minimum wage rates, it is unlikely that this outsourcing trend would not materialize.