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Workforce Management

Definition

What is Workforce Management?

Workforce Management (WFM) is a method of strategically maximizing staff efficiency to ensure that all resources are in the proper position at the right time. Workforce management also enhances the quality, performance, and competitiveness of call center employees.

Organizations are now using workforce management systems and tools to improve operational efficiency in a systematic way. It involves human resource management, performance, training management, preparation, data gathering, procurement, budgeting and planning, scheduling, and research.

Besides job morale and preparation, workforce management also emphasizes how businesses can engage with workers. A good workforce management approach includes online preparation and supervisor-based coaching. It ensures that staff is up to speed with the expertise for their jobs.

What is Workforce Management
What is Workforce Management?

Importance of Workforce Management

Workforce management focuses not only on employee performance and scheduling but also on how businesses should invest in their workers. Workforce management is also critical to the company management. It allows a company to guarantee that they have adequate employees available to support their clients and if their employees have the expertise and skills to do so. Workforce management helps monitor the day-to-day success of workers and easily recognizes opportunities for change.

Various BPO firms in the Philippines provide solid WFM strategies that involve online training and expert outsourcing advisory to ensure employees are up to date on the latest skills for their job. With the help of Outsource Accelerator, you can request three free quotes from trusted offshore staffing providers in the country.

Outsourcing FAQ

What is Teammate?

What is a Teammate?

A teammate, or agent, in the call center industry, is a customer service representative who interacts with the customers on behalf of the organization. They answer queries, resolve customer issues, handle complaints, walk customers through basic troubleshooting, and provide information about products and services.

A CSR teammate works under the management and supervision of a team leader, who is in charge of handling their team members, resolving interpersonal conflicts, providing additional necessary training and coachings, and reporting their team’s progress.

Call center teammates

In the Philippines, a call center agent/teammate can earn somewhere between $500 to $600 per month. In a typical call center environment, they are expected to work at least eight hours a day, for five days a week.

Every day, teammates must interact with a huge number of clients – some of whom may be aggressive or confrontational with challenging concerns. 

Being a teammate is a role that needs strong people skills, problem-solving abilities, and attention to detail. It’s a quality that most employers would agree is essential in many corporate environments and job roles. 

Further, how you deal with consumers can show the outcome of your business, and these teammates are on the front lines, providing a crucial component of the overall customer experience.

Team player qualities and characteristics

Individuals with various common soft skills are excellent teammates. Soft skills are more difficult to master than technical abilities, but they may be improved with time and effort.

Here are some characteristics you can work on to improve:

Understand your role in the company

As a teammate, you are aware of your responsibilities and aim to fulfill them to the best of your abilities. Even if you provide assistance or solutions to other team members, you should not the limits of your role and respect others.

Accept group collaboration

Working in a group assumes you'll encounter various viewpoints and ideas. Even if you consider your concept is the greatest, you should listen to all other suggestions before implementing your own.

If your work is rejected, you can seek out alternatives and stay courteous, this makes you an amazing teammate.

Hold yourself responsible for your actions

Take full responsibility for your mistakes as a colleague and seek solutions. As a teammate, you should recognize the influence of your actions that can affect the group.

You shall learn from your mistakes and get greater respect from your team if you’ll be responsible for your actions.

Be flexible and learn more

You should willingly accept any responsibilities that your manager assigns to you. Your role's flexibility gives an opportunity to learn more as an individual and as part of the team.

Have a positive attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude at challenging times allows the rest of your team to work through the situation without becoming discouraged. Your good attitude as a teammate will improve the mood of the group.

Commit to the team

As a teammate, you should be totally committed to the company. If you can demonstrate to others that you believe in the group, the process, and the goals of the company, you will be an exceptional teammate. This kind of optimism may boost morale and productivity dramatically.

What is Distributed Workforce?

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. 

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. 

What is Remote Employee?

What is a remote employee?

A remote employee usually works outside the office or in a remote location. Unlike freelancers, they are employed in a single company, rendering either a fully remote or hybrid work. They usually work outside the locality of their employer, either in another city or a different country.

Some remote employees receive larger salaries and benefits than their in-house counterparts. Depending on the location, their salaries may be cheaper but sufficient for where they are located. Companies with a distributed workforce provide allowances consumable in a coworking space or a home office.

Benefits of being a remote employee

There are unique advantages that come with working from home. The following are the advantages of working from home that may persuade you to reconsider your current position:

Saves money

When you work from home, you can save time and money by not driving or commuting each day. In addition, you'll save money for items like work attire, dry cleaning, and daytime meals by being a remote worker.

Helps you work more efficiently

It is possible to be more productive when working from home than in an office because you don't have to go to daily meetings or engage in personal chats that could distract you from your work. 

Enables you to operate from nearly any location

Working virtually from any place is one of the most significant advantages of working remotely. There are many other areas where you can work, including your own house, your favorite coffee shop, or even a holiday destination.

Reduces stress and tension

In various ways, working from home can help you de-stress. For starters, you won't have to spend hours in traffic or scrambling to get to work in the morning. 

Staff who work remotely can use several stress-relieving options available to them, such as working out, napping, or simply getting some fresh air.

Keeps you away from office politics

On the other hand, remote workers are mostly protected from the whims of their colleagues. Employees who work in traditional offices may find it difficult to concentrate due to office politics and gossip, but those who work remotely don't have that problem.

Lets you personalize your work environment

In an office, you may have a small desk, fluorescent lighting, and a few or no windows in your cubicle or office. 

When you work from home, you have the freedom to design an enticing workstation that motivates you to be productive. Desks in front of windows, comfy chairs, or a stand-up desk can all improve your productivity.

Best practices for remote employees

Remote employees are very in-demand today. To be an excellent employee in a remote world, here are some practices you might want to consider:

Make a priority list but be flexible

Flexibility is essential when working with remote teams because it maintains consistency. A priority outline is necessary, but you should be flexible enough to change if the situation demands it.

Organize or participate in virtual huddles

Working at the office may not be a good fit for remote workers. Make use of virtual huddles instead of long meetings. Think about team sourcing, scheduling, and action planning in this way.

Communicate more often

Managers must interact with their remote employees to keep them updated on deadlines, resources available, work-related issues, and manager expectations, including work schedules. And same as remote employees, they must also communicate regularly with their supervisors.

Remote employee management

Nowadays, businesses can easily hire and manage remote employees with the help of appropriate tools and software. 

Some websites allow businesses to hire remote employees online easily and securely. They can now train and collaborate with their remote employees through tools like Skype, Slack, or Asana, to name a few.

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!

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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.