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Connecting in a Remote World

For many businesses, remote work has become the new normal. It comes with all kinds of benefits. including increased flexibility and improved work-life balance for staff, and access to a broader talent pool for employers.  

There are challenges, too. Remote employees often struggle to maintain work-life boundaries and they can feel isolated in the absence of face-to-face interactions. How can employers help workers stay connected in a remote world? 

It’s an area in which the DSS crew has plenty of experience. Our business, outsourcing, has always been about applying the skills and experience of remote workers to our customers’ business challenges. Most recently, we’ve embraced what we call hybrid working: Come into the office when you need or want to, and otherwise harness DSS’ suite of productivity tools to work remotely. 

What have we learned along the way? 

The first thing is that the productivity tools I just mentioned are really important. They’re critical to effective communication, the bedrock of a successful remote work environment. Apps like Slack, Teams, and Google Workspace let people connect, exchange ideas and collaborate effortlessly in real time. We opted for Slack, which is packed with features and has become a market leader. 

Project management software is essential to keep teams organised and tasks on track. There is a plethora of options here including Jira, Trello, and Asana, all providing a centralised platform for planning, task allocation, progress tracking and milestone management.  

Then there are time tracking and productivity tools like Jibble, RescueTime and Forest, which can help employees stay focused, track their work hours and analyse productivity patterns. By offering insights into work habits and providing reminders to take breaks, these tools contribute to a healthier work-life balance and heightened productivity. 

Don’t assume you need a specialist app for each and every function. The DSS team has consolidated a lot of tasks into Slack, which we’ve found has a huge range of built-in features and custom integrations and can be used by all our business units. Consolidation is the name of the game, here. Sometimes less really is more. 

I’d describe these tools, and others like them, as essential but not sufficient. There is still nothing that beats good old human-to-human connections when maintaining a hybrid workforce. It’s a challenge for outsourcing companies, some of which have mandated return-to-office policies while others still struggle to find the right balance for their business. 

The hybrid working model I mentioned earlier has been DSS’ response. Staff close enough to our brand new and very cool Clark Freeport Office are encouraged to use it three days a week. For those further out, we provide a fully seamless remote working experience which includes high-speed internet access and the best of those productivity tools we’ve just been discussing. It’s an approach that was quickly supported by staff and which gives our customers access to the best talent the Philippines has to offer. 

What do businesses look for in an outsourcing partner? For us, it’s experience and proactivity in managing resources, raising concerns, and addressing critical situations. At DSS, we’ve got points on the board for doing just that, not least because we’ve invested heavily in helping our customer’s outsourced team stay productive, engaged and thoroughly connected. 

Want to know more about connecting in a remote word? We’re always ready to talk. Get in touch. 

By Kane Landers, Director of Talent. 

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