Is work-from-anywhere a trend that’s here to stay?

Work-from-anywhere became a huge topic in 2020 and 2021. COVID is not over by any stretch, and variants are raging still, but there’s some belief that work-from-anywhere might start to recede and conventional management (on-site) will take over again. Is that true? What’s happening in different markets and what factors are impacting the future of work-from-anywhere?

Management used to be about the hand on the shoulder, especially in BPO and with agents. They had a boss, and that boss had a hand on the shoulder, course-correcting. Now that isn’t happening. The hand on the shoulder is likely digital, which can carry less weight. It’s changed the entire approach to management and what you need to be evaluating and protecting against, in all honesty.

For years before COVID, the on-site model in BPO was that a client would hire a manager and a team co-located in the same physical space. It varied a little bit by industry, but not much. At Conectys, we have 10 global delivery locations — soon moving to 12 — and sometimes we’d deliver for a client from three locations based on languages and time zones, but at each of the three, there’d be a manager and agents on-site together. Clients generally liked this model. When COVID began raging, they had to accept two locations, three locations, four locations, and ultimately a huge mix of locations based on where employees were working. Now the model had to become more directly about productivity and agents following processes from their WFA locale, as opposed to seat time or control.

There were definitely a lot of trends triggered around WFA. There was kind of a demise of the one-size-fits-all model and everyone had to adjust.

This paper is about those adjustments and what they mean for your business.