As we already know, remote working scenarios cut out a lot of the common challenges that employees face, such loss of productive working hours, especially in the mornings, in long commuting time. From an employer’s perspective, working remotely significantly reduces the spend on real estate, transportation and other associated costs. With the increase in productivity, there is an overall decrease in manpower requirements, ultimately reducing costs which generally constitute 70% of the total operating costs of any GCC. As per EY Cost Benchmarking Study, a virtual GCC has the potential to reduce operating cost by 25% and increase agility within the organization.
There are other implications of a remote working model that go beyond the cost discussion. For example; recruitment of new talent can now be truly borderless within a country. No longer is it required for a resource to be physically attached to the same location as the GCC. They can be anywhere in the country if they have reliable connectivity and a home office.
However, any new operating model also comes with its own set of challenges. How to keep the workforce motivated, engaged and productive in a permanent remote working scenario, is a question that many leaders are asking. Further, how do you incorporate the DNA of an organization into new employees remotely is a bigger challenge. A lot has also been recently written about the mental and emotional impact of working isolated with minimal interaction. Almost 80% of GCCs have re-allocated spends to Employee Wellbeing to support their workforce.
When thinking about a virtual GCC setup attention must be paid to the following core areas 1) regulatory and policy 2) performance measurement 3) technology 4) people and 5) culture.
While the ‘Now’ has been characterised by a large telecommuting workforce with little preparation for sustained work from home, the challenges identified need to be addressed systematically over the course of ‘Next’ and ‘Beyond’ to thrive in a virtual environment. The actions in the ‘Now’ were ad-hoc, to get the business up & running in a virtual model at short notice, considering spot-fixes to get by.
The approach for the ‘Next’, in the Transition to the virtual model. Here, the GCCs focus only on the aspects to move from a physical model to the virtual model. How would performance be measured for the same metrics as right now, in the virtual environment? Do my policies support a virtual working model? How do I re-look at my data, network and IT security in the virtual model? Etc.
During this phase, ongoing transformation initiatives continue in the background, but GCCs are considering new initiatives across the five pillars, in incremental steps, to manage change for the people and organization.