One of the greatest issues facing leaders today is workforce uncertainty. Like everything else, the pandemic has fast-tracked the future of work – and it’s more flexible than we could have imagined. Post-pandemic, a new type of worker has emerged.

Employees have recalibrated their values and priorities. They’ve adjusted to new schedules, figured out how to get more out of every day – at work and in home life. For many companies, productivity and engagement has soared as a result.

IDC analysts predict that by next year, digital transformation and business volatility will drive 70% of organisations to move to fully remote or hybrid-first work models, redefining work processes and engaging diverse talent pools. And latest findings from Microsoft show that flexibility is now more important than pay for many workers – particularly for the 41% of the global workforce who say they’re likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next twelve months.

The research found that the structure of the working week has altered, with workers starting meetings later on Mondays and wrapping up earlier on Fridays compared to 12 months ago. After-hours and weekend work has also grown quickly, at 28% and 14% respectively.

This fundamental workplace shift has coincided with a supply chain crisis, an acceleration in the uptake of digital services and a global skills shortage that is now permeating nearly every industry.

It’s a perfect storm of circumstances that’s not only fuelling incredible growth in industries like healthcare, manufacturing and technology, but forcing employers to rethink how they attract and retain the necessary talent in order to capitalise on emerging opportunities.

The challenge ahead is to meet employees’ great new expectations head-on while delivering business outcomes in an unpredictable economy. Being able to balance resourcing demands will prove the key ingredient for leaders in managing growth over the next year.

Getting the foundations right

During this time of rapid change and market uncertainty, many companies are looking further afield for the right talent and building flexible offshoring models into their growth plans.

However, tapping into critical skills at speed is only one part of the equation. Truly adaptable companies also have a relentless focus on embedding the necessary processes and systems to set their people up for success – wherever they’re working.

“When we work with companies who are new to offshoring, they’re often surprised at the level of day-to-day support we provide to help deliver a great employee experience,” says Steve Evans, CEO of ConnectOS.

“There’s still a perception that offshore resources should be managed separately from onshore teams when the opposite is true. We find that leaders who take time to truly integrate their teams realise much more value, more quickly than those who don’t – and we work hard to help them achieve this.

“Our approach is extremely hands-on, particularly in those first few weeks of onboarding to ensure new offshore hires can hit the ground running.”

Flexibility extends beyond workplace culture

At the same time, companies that invest effort in developing a sustainable offshoring strategy are better placed to reskill, upskill or diversify the capability across their teams to cope with business demand.

With the cost of hiring skilled software developers, security specialists and data experts rising by around 30% over the past year, flexible offshoring solutions offer businesses a sustainable and efficient pathway to managing growth.

“Our goal is to help managers identify the correct skillset for today, with flexibility to scale up or down when things change tomorrow,” continues Steve.

“That might mean hiring someone junior with leadership potential and developing them over time – as you would with great onshore talent.  Or it may mean bringing in niche skills for a specific period, without the added overhead costs.”

However you look at it, ensuring flexibility – not only in workplace culture but in workforce planning – is non-negotiable for companies to succeed in these challenging times.

ConnectOS is a leading offshore provider for small businesses and large enterprises. Reach out to find out more about our flexible approach to workforce planning.