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"Work-From-Home" searches across the US in the past 7 days. 19 Oct 2020

Work From Home searches are surging, a clear indicator that the workforce of the future is changing dramatically. All FAANG companies already announced that their employees will not be required to return to the office, till at least June 2021 – while their employees sound a voice that the situation may become the norm (to an extent). So, should we start asking ourselves: “what is the future or remote working – and how may it affect our business practices?”

Best Performance at Best Location​

This may sound incredibly biased, but I believe that people are most productive surrounded by the things they love, enjoy and provide them comfort. In the past, companies had gone to great lengths to turn the office to a second home. Ranging from providing in-office catering services, through gyms and other well-being services – they are all designed to ensure the employee doesn’t need to leave the office (or worse, never leave the office).

With Covid-19 hitting the world, companies rapidly learned that their employees can be as productive at home, as they are in the office. In fact, something that Automaticc already knew, the world is now learning rapidly as well. Employees, specifically at desk-oriented positions, can be as productive at home (or anywhere else for that matter) – simply because they don’t waste time on ‘the environment’.

One of closest friends works for Google. Since March last year, he’s been working from home. Admittedly, he says that working from home can sometimes be challenging, specifically during the last lock-down, where we were all at home for a full month – but at the same time, he also commented that it has been one of his most productive periods. 

The Multi-Homed Employee​

Are there businesses where employees can be multi-homed? or to be more exact, what is a multi-homed employee? we can define a multi-homed employee as one that carries multiple locations and multiple positions – all at the same time. I believe that the multi-homed employee will become a norm for Business Process Outsourcing companies (BPO’s).

Much like hi-tech companies, BPO’s have an endless battle for talent. Acquiring a high level SDR/BPO agent is hard – and the various BPO’s will do anything to preserve that talent. However, like many talents working from home – they would like to work for multiple BPO’s at the same time – simply because they can. Very much like freelancers, employees working from home will always have the perceived benefit of holding two positions at the same time (if they are able to do so).

So, will the urge of employees to potentially work more, maybe providing services to more than a single BPO will out-weight the benefits of working for a single BPO? will the BPOs be required to change how they work?

The Multi-Homed Employee​

I believe that the days of the traditional BPO are gone – and should be replaced by a BPO market place. If you do a small search on Fiverr for BPO services, there are only a hand full. However, if you look for cold-calling, you will find dozens of offerings. This indicates that BPO and Contact Center talents are actively seeking work with multiple contracts.

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The BPO marketplace will be a central location, where talents will offer their unique expertise to their customers. The marketplace will serve not only as a hiring platform, but also as the “front-end communications” platform for the talents.

The marketplace will connect the remote agents to a single communications platform. The customers will then be able to “route” calls directly to the agents, using direct VoIP interconnects between their on-premise/cloud contact center platform and the marketplace platform. Agents will be able to receive calls from multiple employers, An employer will not need to interconnect with a “mobile number” or provide a “VoIP Capable CRM” – the marketplace will provide them with a full suite of APIs and connectivity to provide the marketplace customers the reports and real-time view of the agents’ performance and productivity.

Can we build the marketplace using tools as Twilio-Flex or Dialpad – potentially, the answer would be yes. However, as both products provide a “closed experience” to the most of it, developing a full blown marketplace is a unique challenge. Very much like Shopify or Amazon, marketplaces do not require a marketplace engine – they require a data engine. The same here, a BPO marketplace does not require a telephony platform – it requires a communications infrastructure. One that enables its customers to connect at a well-known flat rated fee, while the agents can connect completely for free. In other words, it is a communications eco-system that challenges and disrupts the traditional business models of telephony. Welcome to the world of Cloudonix – the Communications Infrastructure as a Service cloud.

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