Remote Working – The New Normal for IT Outsourcing

  • Around 23% of the employees said that they are willing to work for longer hours to get their work completed.
  • 52% of employees said that they are less likely to take off.
  • 30% of employees said they were able to accomplish more in less time.

Remote working is now widely adopted in most companies due to the pandemic of Covid-19 and the IT outsourcing industry is no exception. Even the IT outsourcing company who weren’t in support of remote working is now forced to hire remote developers or allow their in-house developers to work remotely to sustain their business in such a time of crisis. 

The concept of remote working came long before the pandemic but it wasn’t popularly accepted by IT companies.  There were even people who were skeptical of the practicality of this practice. But as now the covid pandemic has forced all to adopt this practice, experts are predicting that even if the pandemic is curbed then also remote working will be going nowhere, as any crisis is responsible for the advent of new technologies and methodologies. Similarly, remote working might become a new normal in the field of IT outsourcing and consultancy.

IT industry giants that have already adopted the culture of remote working 

As the culture of remote working is rising in every industry, the tech giants have become early birds at leveraging the advantages of hiring remote workers. Let us have a look at how they are using remote working to their organization’s benefits.

Twitter

Washingtonpost.com noted the announcement made by Twitter that the majority of their employees will be working remotely forever.

Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg has also committed to moving half of the operations of Facebook to remote areas in a short span of 5-10 years. NBC News also reported that Facebook has also aggressively started to hire remote employees.

HubSpot

Matthew Howells-Barby, Acquisition Director of HubSpot also revealed in an interview that his team is already working in a remote environment and that too is going very well for all of them.

Shopify

Most of the employees of the popular eCommerce provider company Shopify have started working from home this year.

Advantages of remote working 

The benefits of remote working are not just any figments of imagination. The following are observed at the companies that have adopted work from home practice.

Remote working increases productivity

Many people are assuming that due to numerous interruptions and distractions, the practice of work from home can not be productive. Also, there is not any kind of direct supervision over the work. Hence, the skepticism increases. These arguments can be validated but before that, we need to look at a complete picture.

If you look closely, You will realize that there is much more to remote working than meets the eye. It is not only convenient but also flexible. These benefits inspire the employees to work extra hours including working at nights and even on the holidays. This is to compensate for the time wasted in the working hours.

Read the following stats provided through the survey conducted by CoSo Cloud that back up the above claims regarding the remote resources.

  • Around 23% of the employees said that they are willing to work for longer hours to get their work completed.
  • 52% of employees said that they are less likely to take off.
  • 30% of employees said they were able to accomplish more in less time.
  • 77% of the employees confirmed increased productivity while working remotely.

Hence, it is proved that IT outsourcing has adapted a successful working model of work from home for their teams.

Offshore developers are cost-efficient

When it comes to hiring new developers, remote working from off-shore locations can be considered as a boon for businesses with a tight budget.  Because remote working can save a lump of money for your organization. Let us consider a scenario for how it is possible for work from home to be cost-efficient for your business.

If you are considering renting an office then it might cost you up to an average of $100 per square feet but if you are choosing any prime location then the price will nearly be doubled. Let us assume that you have got a business with 50 professionals working in different teams. Then you will need at least 6000 square feet of space to ensure that each employee of the company gets a 100 square feet area and other areas including places like reception, conference room, cafeteria or lunchroom, storage, and more.

Now, if we take the average rent of the place to be approximately $75 per square feet then the total annual cost would reach the gigantic figure of  $450000. However, there will be additional and miscellaneous costs consisting of office supplies, computer systems, utility bills, maintenance, furniture, and more. In the end, the overall cost would reach somewhere near $60000 per year.

Now, just imagine the same amount of money is saved through remote working and invested in your business to accelerate its growth instead of spending it after mundane needs. Global Workplace Analytics suggests in their report that a start-up or any other business can save up to $11000 per person in a year if they opt for remote working.

If you own a large company or an enterprise (with a minimum of a thousand employees) then your savings would be figured in millions. For example, AT&T has saved nearly $30 million last year in real estate by offering telework programs. Now, let us consider another aspect of it.

Now, if you hire a skilled offshore developer then that remote developer can prove to be cost-efficient in comparison to the costs of hiring developers from the US and European countries. Many IT outsourcing companies are known to leverage this benefit and hire offshore remote developers from Asia and South America to cut down the costs of their business.

Have a look at the graph below. It compares the hourly rates of developers from various continents of the world.

This type of cost-efficiency allows the software development company to select the people with the right set of talent for the team and arm them with suitable structure and technology for the development project.

Remote resources are healthier

Even though the practice of remote working was pushed forward just because of the safety of people amidst the crisis of the Covid pandemic, health has always remained a major concern for all the resources that are working in the IT industry. The stationary nature of the work in the IT industry forces the developers to sit at a single place for long hours and that can cause serious health complications.

Serious health issues like cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and many more are continuously rising among the developers. And if that’s not enough, a study suggests that such physical inactivity makes office workers more vulnerable to major concerns like alcohol abuse and more.

Working in an office where all types of people come from all kinds of places to work together are also prone to contagious diseases and can be responsible for the spread of germs and viruses. This scenario can be termed as nothing less than a grave danger while the world is suffering through the age of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In terms of sick leaves, Studies show that the people working at an office are prone to take more sick leaves than the ones working remotely. To resolve such issues, an IT outsourcing company needs to adopt a remote working culture. Remote working will free the resources from sitting in a chair for long hours and it will also discard the fear of transmitting contagious diseases and viruses. An unspoken benefit of remote working is that it saves resources from long hours of continuous working which can be quite exhausting and unproductive as well.

Better project collaboration through remote working 

One of the main reasons why business owners are avoiding to imply remote working culture in their companies is that they fear there won’t be any seamless collaboration between their team on any project in development. However, the reality is very different. As per the study, approximately 81% of the resources have stated that their communication with their colleagues has been excellent in remote working culture. The companies with poor work collaboration don’t exceed the rate of mere 3%.

One of the major disadvantages of office work is that people are tempted to indulge in random and unproductive conversations with their co-workers whereas, in remote working, this possibility is completely discarded.

Loyalty is reflected more in remote working culture

Remote working culture tends to increase the employee satisfaction and retention rate for the company. In comparison to the on-site resources, offshore employees are 13% more likely to stay at their job. This is one of the main reasons why companies that offer remote work have a 25% lower employee turnover rate than the ones that don’t.

Additionally, 76% of the resources are said to be more loyal to their company if remote work is offered whereas 74% of the people are tempted to quit their job from a firm that doesn’t offer remote working over the one that does. The companies can simply reduce this significant rate of employee turnover in half by offering an option of work from home to their resources, says the study.

It is also noted that approximately 33% of the employees are even ready to take a pay cut of around 20% to get a chance to work remotely. Lack of flexibility has been proven to be costly for the employees as approximately 62% of the employees leave their jobs just because of this single reason. Similarly, the single most reason behind the loyalty of employees is also the availability of flexibility in their working culture, and around 79% of the resources back this up.

Best practices for work from home for IT companies

It doesn’t matter if the business owners like it or not, due to the covid pandemic, the practice of remote working is going nowhere shortly. The companies should accept it and make efforts to make it more effective with time. With that aim in mind, I have provided a few best practices that IT outsourcing consultancy companies can instill in their work culture to get maximum desired results.

Progression monitoring

Though we have just discussed the benefits of remote working, it comes with its own set of challenges too. For example, you can’t expect a remote working employee to continuously stay online. Instead, you can offer them an option of informing or reporting to you every time they start or leave their work.

One should restrict themselves from micromanaging the team in work from home culture. Every move of the employee is not even to be supervised in the office culture then why do that in remote work culture? Instead, you can plan and structure the work for the entire week in advance. You can also take the help of some task-tracking system that can easily be accessed by everyone through their PCs or laptops.

The timings of each progress meeting need to be scheduled in advance. In such meetings, the supervisor or a team leader can review the work and progress of all their team members. It is also your responsibility to help your employees with organizing their work in remote work culture rather than taking all their decisions for them.

Give home office budget to your developers

One of the important aspects that you should give your attention to is the set of tools and other technical resources used by your employees in remote working culture. The company must arm its team members with a suitable set of tools. They may have their PCs or laptop but they don’t meet the quality and security standards of an IT outsourcing company.

The best option for you is to provide your developers with laptops that they can easily carry with them to their workstations, home, and even on business trips. Buying laptops for the team will cut your budget but it will be a worthy payout in the future. Apart from that, companies can also offer their resources with a fixed budget for their home office equipment. Utilizing it, the employees can buy quality equipment for the work that will eventually increase the work productivity.

Documentation and socialization is necessary for effective communication

Your team can’t depend only on the emails for effective communication and project collaboration. For seamless remote communication, the IT company must set up a platform where the team members can not only share the files and reports related to the task but can also chat in real-time. This is the easy way, your team members can reach out to each other for project collaboration.

Your communication tool should also support the video conferencing feature where the employees can see each other. This will give them a sense of community and will reject the feelings of aloofness. This feature of video conferencing is also used by software development companies for a casual approach to building and further socializing with the team.

Leverage remote working to expand your talent pool 

For many years, software development companies have been leveraging the practice of remote working to get access to talented professionals including designers, engineers, programmers, and developers at the global level. As we have already discussed above, remote work always attracts more job applicants in one way or another. And in most cases, they come from everywhere in the world.

These candidates doest need any office to work, they can accomplish any task remotely. Hence, remote working enables the companies to hire resources that live off-shore. Hence, they can easily expand their talent pool by hiring the best-skilled professionals from every place in the world. However, the companies should also consider the difference in the time zone across the globe.

Conclusion

The practice of remote working was indeed used marginally and only the pandemic of covid-19 was responsible for its accelerated growth in recent years. There is no doubt that it is a cost-efficient and modern working culture now accepted globally.

This alternative approach has already been adopted by IT companies and is actively looking to outsource the software and mobile app d development projects. We shouldn’t be surprised to see a large rate of IT companies continuing the remote working practice even after the crisis ends. Only time will tell what will happen. Until then keep reaping the benefits of remote working culture.

Aria Beucher

Aria Beucher, Technical Consultant having 5+ years experience in software development and analysis with excellent problem solving skills. Seasoned technical consultant with deep knowledge of producing results in minimum time. When not working you will find her traveling, eating and listening to music.

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