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Distributed Workforce

Definition

What is a distributed workforce

A distributed workforce refers to a company’s framework where employees have different options and means of working. A company might have a small in-house core team, several remote teams, and some that can render in-house and remote work. Some companies also have mobile employees that go to different locations for their tasks.

Communication is an important aspect of a distributed workforce. They should be able to communicate with each other and collaborate with the use of different tools and software for file sharing, work chat, and screen monitoring.  

Collaboration tools help distributed workforce closer together digitally. By using collaborative tools like Slack, ClickUp, or Trello distributed teams are able to work together real-time. 

Distributed workforce vs remote workforce 

Distributed workforce and remote workforce are two terms that are commonly used interchangeably. 

With a distributed workforce, an organization’s in-house staff is dispersed in different locations, usually away from cities, where there is a limited talent pool. This way they are able to hire skilled workers at a low price.

 A distributed workforce often work on remote offices, on the field, or headquarter offices. In most cases, this kind of work model is used by companies to achieve specific goals. 

Whereas remote work refers to how individuals work. Remote workers do not have to be in one specific location for them to be able to complete their tasks effectively. 

Generally, distributed workforce involves discipline on how the entire organization could get things done through collaborative work. Remote work on the other hand involves discipline that is solely focused on individual work. 

What is a distributed workforce

Distributed workforce companies

Some companies operate in a distributed workforce. Most of them are Software as a Service (SaaS) companies such as Automattic, which operates 100% remotely.

Whereas, some companies have specific remote positions offered, mostly in engineering and software development.

Here we have three examples of distributed workforce companies: 

Buffer

Buffer is a fully distributed workforce, with over 85 employees spread across 15 countries around the globe. The company offers social media tools that allows brands to manage their social media channels effectively. 

Time Doctor

Time Doctor is one example of a SaaS company with a distributed workforce. The company currently has 100 staff working in 31 countries. Its co-founders Rob Rawson and Liam Martin believe in the concept that employees should be empowered to work productively no matter where their locations are. 

GitLab

GitLab is a Development Operations (DevOps) platform with over 2,500 contributors spread all over 65 countries. It is known as an open core company that believes in transparency and that everyone’s contribution is important to the success of the company. 

A lot of businesses have executed a distributed workforce even before it became popular. This type of work model has been proven to be more cost-effective, and it speeds up the productivity, growth, and development of a company. 

Outsourcing FAQ

What is What is business process outsourcing?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.

Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following.

Payroll Accounting Human resources Customer service Sales Marketing

In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.

With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.

Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.

It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India.

Global market

Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries.

Global presence

At the same time, business process outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area.

Flexible workforce

BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm.

Leverage skill

Companies cannot always do everything on their own. BPO enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT.

Focus

Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider.

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.

BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team. Some examples of BPO include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.

Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following.

Legal process outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.

Knowledge process outsourcing

Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives.

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting

Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss.

Healthcare

Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries.

Creative and content

Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content.

Tech, IT and development

IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries.

Sales & customer support

Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase.

Marketing

BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way.

Talent and HR

Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management.

Administration

Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions.

Supply chain management

Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes.

Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below.

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.

Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ BPOs from different locations.

Outsource Accelerator's offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

What is Employee Satisfaction (ESAT)?

What is employee satisfaction (ESAT)?

Employee satisfaction (ESAT) measures how content and happy employees are with their current positions. The computation is quite simple. Companies use ESAT surveys to compute this metric. 

Although this metric is not an ultimate tool to determine employee satisfaction at the deeper level, it is enough as a start, especially if your business is experiencing fast turnover. 

Many factors affect employee satisfaction. These factors may include compensation, team environment, workload, management perception, and among other things. 

You can add all of these elements to the survey to determine your ESAT score. Alternatively, you can use an individual survey for each factor.

Aside from quantitative aspects, qualitative evaluation of the survey is also crucial in determining whether your employees are satisfied or not. For example, one employee scores a good to a perfect rating for all other factors except for management perception.

This exception should be a good indicator that something’s not good at the management level or maybe conflict is rising that you might want to investigate.

 

 

ESAT score 

Every team requires engaged members for the business’ high performance and stability. ESAT score is a great way to tell if your employees genuinely like the team that they are working with. 

When employees do not feel involved with their jobs or their colleagues, happiness levels tend to decline. Often, it negatively affects the productivity of the whole company.

A 2020 Gallup poll found out that when workers felt actively engaged, productivity and profitability increased by 18% and 23% respectively.

Due to these, you and your team should always discuss the overall ESAT score regardless of the outcome. This can be treated as an opportunity for everyone to give their feedback, share their sentiments, and learn collectively from the insights of everyone.

Your team could also get to the root cause of the low ESAT ratings and share ideas on how to improve things in your team. This move could enhance employee relationships and improve everyone’s engagement within the team.

Employee satisfaction and outsourcing

Outsource Accelerator has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn more about managing an outsourcing team and ensuring that ESAT is consistently high.

Full-time employee definition

Full-time employee definition

A full-time employee (FTE) is used to describe someone who is exclusively employed by a company. This employee may work for forty hours a week or more, which could be equivalent to day-time business hours. 

A full-time employee (FTE) is also privileged with statutory benefits that are provided by the employer.

The Philippines is one of the countries where the BPO industry flourished greatly. It has since opened many job opportunities for the people, employing about 1 million alone within the outsourcing industry. 

In the outsourcing industry, a full-time employee can have varying working shifts to accommodate the clients’ timezone.

Importance of designating FTE status

Distinguishing employees between “full-time” and “part-time” is important because part-time staffers typically do not receive the following:

Paid time off for holidays or vacations Employee benefits  Employer retirement plans.

Designating full-time and part-time status to your staff can also affect whether your workers are considered as salaried or hourly, and exempt from taxes or not. This can also determine how you pay your workers for their overtime shifts. 

This is why it’s crucial to understand the difference——and how many hours part-time and full-time employees typically work—before hiring employees at your small business. 

However, as a business owner, you have to be careful not to discriminate by making some workers in similar jobs part-time while others in the same job are full-time. 

Denying benefits to part-time employees who work in the same range and hours as your full-time staff can have consequences depending on your local laws.

 

 

Outsourcing full-time

Outsource Accelerator provides you access to great full-time dedicated remote staff that you can outsource from the Philippines starting from $6 per hour, where you can save up to 70% on staffing costs. 

We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with outsourcing.

What is an Operations Manager?

What is an operations manager?

An operations manager (OM) is responsible for the production floor of a company and oversee the production of goods and services. In the BPO industry, most operations manager would have started out as an agent and have worked their way up to being a team leader and then eventually becoming an operations manager.

As part of their oversight over operations, operations managers are expected to stay abreast on developments on local rules and regulations regarding safety, environmental compliance, and labor issues. More fundamentally, however, operations managers are expeted to have great people skills. Not only do they have to maintain awareness over the company's staffing needs, they may also be called to help out with human resources, from hiring, training, to performance appraisals.

Operations manager offshore

A typical operations manager in a BPO company handles team leaders (who in turn handles about 10-15 agents) and would earn around $1,200 per month.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 3,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with outsourcing.

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.