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How To Successfully Transition To The Hybrid Work Model


As more countries ease or lift COVID restrictions, a hybrid work model is becoming common. Many firms want to return to their physical offices, but they also realize the benefits of remote working. As a result, more companies combine remote working and onsite work.

Generally, the hybrid work model isn’t only about choosing whether to work from offices or homes. It’s also about achieving the best possible work-life balance for employees. In addition, it’s a productive approach to keep every stakeholder satisfied.

Transitioning to a hybrid work model isn’t easy and requires proper planning. However, once you plan it right, you’ll enjoy all the perks of a hybrid work model, such as increased productivity, better collaboration, and high employee satisfaction.

If you’re thinking about implementing a hybrid work model in your company, here are the ways for a successful transition:

1. Have a Plan

Before you decide to move to a hybrid work model and rent the best office space in SydneyOpens in a new tab., it’s crucial to have a clear transition plan. When everything is ready, share it with everyone in your company.

No matter how your firm operates and the direction you want to take, your plan must determine which employees will work in the office or from home. Typically, this decision may vary depending on your team’s preferences or needs.  

For security purposes, it’s essential to monitor who will work in your office to:

  • Welcome them in the best possible way;
  • Dedicate certain areas to every team;
  • Avoid overcrowding; and
  • Establish some health protocols to keep your office space clean and safe.

2. Focus On Creating A Clear Communication Structure

When it comes to hybrid workingOpens in a new tab., communication is the key to success. The teams’ efficiency, fast delivery of projects, the company’s productivity, and performance quality depend on the communication level implied between employees. Without proactive and efficient communication, your company may break apart.

Even in physical working environments where everybody meets each other regularly, no company will survive without effective communication. Let alone a hybrid working environment where employees interact with one another remotely.

As a company owner, it’s your primary duty to ensure that everyone is involved in conversations and the entire team is in touch with the key people within the organization. This way, you can ensure that all your employees will be on the same page.

Having a clear communication structure might be a daunting task, but it’s worth it. To achieve this, work on a few configurations to ensure that the team is supervised, supported, and facilitated at all times. 

For instance, if you make a template workspace for your clients, teams, and projects, you may set up a membership policy at the template level. With this, you can quickly include the right employees in the teams created from that template.

3. Keep Your Employees’ Preferences And Needs In Mind

To alleviate the not-so-good sides of remote work, you should understand its impact on your employees’ productivity and engagement. Since employee collaboration is a common downside of remote work, it’s wise to understand the disadvantages of physically separated employees. Therefore, understanding the nature of work and the preferences of every employee can make a difference to the success of transitioning to a hybrid work model.

4. Ensure A Healthy Setup At The Office And At Home

A hybrid work model is only effective when your employees adapt to it positively and healthily. Once you find that they can’t get the job done in a certain amount of time, whether at the office or home, their workspace might be the problem. 

While setting up a workspace at home may seem expensive and daunting, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Before investing in various tools or company services, focus on what matters first. Some of the necessary items to consider are:

  • Ergonomic chair
  • Desk
  • Mouse and keyboard
  • Monitor

When your employees have those essentials, you can be assured that they’ll do a great job daily. To level up their desk experience, it’s also an excellent idea to suggest the best seat cushions and other decors increase their productivity.

5. Ask For Feedback Frequently

A hybrid work model requires effective employee listening efforts. Besides, their feedback is crucial to understanding the impact of this type of working environment on your employees’ engagement, productivity, collaboration, motivation, and well-being.

That’s why companies across the globe are doing employee surveys regularly. While they used to do yearly employee engagement surveys, others collected daily feedback. 

However, most employers struggle to get feedback from their employees, particularly frontline and field workers. Luckily, by using the best and right technology available in the market, you can quickly reach your employees at the right time with the right content to get valuable feedback.

6. Consider Introducing New Benefits

Due to the emergence of a hybrid work model, employers have to rethink their company’s benefits to the employees. While travel expenses and car allowance used to be excellent perks, they don’t apply to most employees. Therefore, consider looking for other relevant perks for your employees.

For example, you can offer compensation for the electricity and internet expenses. Your company may even provide office supplies and provide mental health services. 

Top Benefits Of Transitioning To A Hybrid Work Model

Flexibility for both employers and employees is one of the primary benefits of transitioning to a hybrid work model. If you’re still undecided on whether or not to consider a hybrid work model, here are some of the advantages of doing so:

• Increased Productivity

A hybrid work model doesn’t only offer flexibility but also empowers employees to work to their strengths, which may lead to increased productivity. By promoting remote work as an excellent alternative to completing tasks in the office, teams may find an outstanding balance of collaboration and creativity. Employees who need silence and peace to focus or those who thrive in an office can have the chance to choose when and where to work to ensure productivity.

• Boost Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is an essential aspect of a healthy working environment. It minimizes stress and helps prevent burnout, negatively affecting employees’ well-beingOpens in a new tab. and resulting in physical ailments such as heart problems, chronic aches, and hypertension. When this happens, it may increase your company’s expenses on healthcare, lower productivity, increase turnover rate, and lose incredible talents.

A company that focuses on work-life balance doesn’t only lessen its overhead costs but also helps maintain a more productive and much healthier workforce. By transitioning to a hybrid work model, it allows employees to enjoy their life and work better by having an option to work in the office or remotely.

For instance, when employees prefer to work from home, they can structure their day to use their break time for various things such as going to a doctor’s appointment and dropping off children at school. It enables them to stay on top of their daily life, resulting in improved focus when working.

• Improved Relationships And Collaboration

Unlike remote work, a hybrid work model enables physical collaboration and communication, which is beneficial for building an effective team. As a result, it improves work relationships and collaboration between employees. Moreover, every in-person conversation during meetings can provide opportunities for knowledge sharing, mentorship, and other essential professional relationships.

• More Continuous Learning Opportunities

Another overlooked and crucial aspect of a hybrid work model is that it provides employees more opportunities for continuous learning outside their typical work environment. Keep in mind that some employees want to achieve things other than their work.

It means that they’re working a part of their work schedule from their office, and they may use their remaining time to achieve their personal development goals while working from home. When done effectively and regularly, it can result in better growth and job performance.

• Improved Employee-Employer Trust

One of the most challenging to foster yet critical aspects of an efficient work environment is trust between employees and employers. A hybrid work model can help employers gain their employees’ trust by showing that they’re just as productive when working in the office or remotely. 

The flexibility that comes with a hybrid work model may also boost staff loyalty by making employees feel empowered by management to complete their responsibilities on their terms. Suppose employers allow employees the freedom to balance work with personal errands and the task they need to do during work hours. In that case, employees will feel more comfortable working with the company. 

Most employees more likely respect such organizations because they don’t feel like they’re being watched. The management may also benefit from this because they don’t need to spend time checking in on their employees or micromanaging them. 

Furthermore, employees who feel respected and trusted often stay engaged with the company for many years and stay engaged at work. A low turnover rate has significant benefits, such as hiring, recruiting, lower sourcing and training costs, better employee skill sets and knowledge, etc. All of these contribute to your company’s success.

Final Thoughts

Companies have to carefully plan and time the transition to a hybrid work model and provide support to all employees throughout the process. If possible, get your employees’ feedback and address their concerns to show that you care for them. This won’t only increase their motivation, but it may also give them more reasons to stay with your company.

The 7 Best Cybersecurity Tips For Employees Working Remotely


There has been a shift in the global workforce mindset and more and more employees prefer working from home or remotely even if they are under contract with an organization. 

While working remotely or from home has a plethora of benefits from greater focus, flexibility with work hours, improved health, and convenience, it is essential to address the considerable cyber security risk that exists. 

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more employees have shifted to full-time from-home work hours so cyber security measures have become more prudent than ever. 

1. Home Routers & Physical Security 

When working from home or remotely, the security of your home router or the internet connection you are using is of paramount importance. Avoid using public Wi-Fi whenever you can because that is one of the easiest ways a hacker can gain access to your personal information or sensitive information you may be sharing through the connection. Use a portable Wi-Fi device or opt for a home router that you have fitted with a tough password.  

Default passwords or easy, short passwords are a cyber-criminal’s dreamOpens in a new tab. when it comes to a private internet connection. Depending on your connection you may want to look into any firmware or device updates that are pending so that you can ensure maximum protection from hacking attempts. Physical security is a highly underrated part of cyber security and remote workers need to ensure their phones, tablets, laptops, hard drives, and other physical devices are protected from thieves who can gain access to their property. Extracting passwords, financial information, and accessing cloud data is notoriously easy if you have access to the device itself. 

2. Device Protection & A Strong Antivirus 

Do not underestimate setting a password on your phone, laptop, and tablet. As with your account passwords, make it as complicated as possible. Investing in a subscription to a powerful and quality antivirus software can pay immense dividends every day you are using your computer. Antivirus software protects not just from webpage or browser related threats but also those from pop up advertisements and emails. 

Premium subscriptions do more than just monitoring and elimination of malware attacks, but they also hide your location and IP address making it all the harder to track your computer system and infiltrate it from outside. The most common viruses and hacking attempts to watch out for are spyware, Trojan horses, rootkits, malicious browser installations, and malware. Bear in mind that viruses are continuously evolving as hackers are becoming more sophisticated and working out new channels of gaining access and intercepting information. For that reason, antivirus software updates should be carried out periodically. 

3. Find My Device Mechanisms

For employees that work from home or remotely from different locations, device theft, damage or misplacement is always a possibility. For obvious reasons losing one’s work laptop can be catastrophic not just for personal data but also for company data and in some cases financial information. Look into installing ‘find my device’ software or apps (they work for phones, laptops, and tablets including Linux, Android, and iOS.  

This can help mitigate some of your loss and help you find your device should an unfortunate event occur. Remote wiping of data is also a good safety net to consider because it allows you to delete all your data and saved passwords etc should your device get stolen or irretrievably lost. 

4. Password Managers

Many companies give their employees access to a password manager that can help keep sensitive data safe and will also help you come up with better passwords. As a remote employee, you can also purchase one if your employer has not provided you with one in the interests of cyber security. Password managers are particularly useful in the case of data breaches because they keep saved passwords and information safe. 

Password managers also protect data you may be unknowingly sharing on websites as well as credit card transactions you are carrying out online. Certain password managers are also a backup step for multi factor authentication which is a major protective tool for any remote worker. 

5. Awareness And Auditing 

Cyber security awareness can often make the difference between a data breach and preventing financial loss. As a remote worker, educate yourself on the new versions of phishing attacks being utilized by hackers along with being more careful regarding emails, calls, and shared links. Identity theft is also a hacker’s favorite as they can pretend to be the bank or a financial institution in order to get sensitive data out of you. Avoid downloading the software you have not safely purchased and never download suspicious browser add-ons or software from emails. Learn more about domain hijacking especially if you work via your company’s website and discuss webpage security with your employer. 

Timely audits can also help identify cracks in your cyber security measures as well as gaps that could be manipulated by a hacker for their benefit. SOC 2 is a framework of rules and best practices that outlines how personal and customer data is to be used and shared by businesses. There is a trust services criteria with five broad areas and SOC 2 has become more important as social media platforms are routinely accused of orchestrating customer data leaks for the benefit of advertisers among other parties. SOC 2 audit firmsOpens in a new tab. determine how well your employer’s business is following the SOC 2 protocol and suggest changes if needed. 

6. Make Use of Security Ratings 

For project heads and managers working remotely or specialists that outsource a part of their work to remote workers in other areas, cyber security can be a real concern. Make use of security ratings before hiring or partnering with someone online or someone who has never before been used by the company. Wherever possible keep outsourcing to independent contractors that have been recommended by someone in the industry. While the online world is incredibly lucrative, it is also where spam, malware, and identity fraud or theft are rampant and such instances can damage a business’s credibility as well as cause serious data and financial loss. 

Navigating vendor risk is also part of the remote worker’s portfolio of required skills since whenever external parties and other businesses are used in the supply chain, their cyber security practices or lack thereof begin to affect your company too. Ask your employer to share their cyber security policy with vendors that are used frequently so that your data and credit card information is not leaked or breached. 

7. Cyber Hygiene Is Preventative

Remote workersOpens in a new tab. should implement cyber hygiene as part of their daily work schedule. Running virus scans, securely saving and backing up important data, reviewing unapproved log-in attempts, and isolating infected files along with monitoring email correspondence and new cyber threats that have emerged are all best practices to prevent a hacking attempt and mitigate the effects of malware. Always contact your employer or manager immediately if you feel any company data is at risk or if there is any attempt at hacking as the IT team can benefit from anticipating an attack rather than dealing with one that has already been active for some time. 

The Future of Work: Things to Take into
Consideration


the-future-of-work

Introduction

The future of work is a forecast of how work, people, and workplaces will change in the following years. It’s an issue that keeps many CEOs awake at night as they make decisions that will allow their companies to prosper in the now while planning for the future.

While technology gets a lot of attention in conversations about the future of work, other issues like remote jobs and the gig economy have a significant impact on how work will be done, who will do it, and where they will do it.

In addition, employers will want to consider the nature of the work, as a 2020 research report from the Society for Human Resource Management and Willis Towers Watson noted that “85 percent of jobs that will exist in 2030 have not been invented yet.”

What is the Future of Work

The world of work — all interactions between workers and employers, organizations, and the work environment — is marked by the constant adaptation to technological, cultural, political, and economic changes.

Studying historical changes in the organization of work can perhaps lead to a better understanding of the present problems. Hence, this article employs historical and current perspectives to provide a basis for understanding work in today’s world and considering possible future changes.

Workforce: Rethinking Talent Models

  • Regional demographics of the working-age population are deepening: by 2050, the number of people 20-64 years old will decreaseOpens in a new tab. by 49 million in Europe, 22 million in Russia, 20 million in Japan, and 195 million in China.
  • Over the same period, the number of potentially active workers in the United States is forecast to rise by 20 million, while the working-age population in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to triple, to 1.3 billion, roughly double that of all high-income countries combined.
  • In all European countries, the proportion of persons aged 65 and up will rise dramatically. The economic old-age dependency ratio (the ratio between the inactive elderly and the number of employed) in the EU is anticipated to climb from 43.1 percent in 2016 to 68.5 percent in 2070 if current economic activity patterns continue.
  • The labor force participation rates among adults have been declining for the past 25 years, and ILO expectsOpens in a new tab. this trend to continue, as shown by 2023 forecasts.
  • By 2030, hyper-connected, tech-savvy millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.

Workplace: Rethinking Where You Work

The business sector has been through a digital workplace revolution for the past few years. Business leaders are reinventing team collaboration and communication, as well as building settings that support agility and creativity in response to the rise of global and mobile technologies. Increased remote working opportunities result from this shift toward a more computerized workplace.

According to a Gallup poll, 43 percent of Americans completed part or all of their work from home in 2016, up from 39% in 2012. And the number of people who have fully taken the title of remote worker (meaning they do all of their work from home) has risen from 15% in 2012 to 20% in 2016.

Big-name companies like Amazon, Salesforce, and American Express all have remote work policies that allow employees to spend at least a portion of their workweek at home. And many companies (including Formstack) have embraced a remote-first strategyOpens in a new tab., where working from home is the default.

AI Working With Humans

Artificial intelligence is rapidly enhancing many “human” jobs, such as disease diagnosis, language translation, and customer service. As a result, there are legitimate concerns that AI will one day completely replace human jobs. That isn’t the only or even most likely scenario, though.

Never before have we, or our digital tools, been so attentive to them. While AI will alter how work is done and who performs it, it will primarily serve to complement and augment human capabilities rather than to replace them.

Many firms have embraced AI to automate operations, but those who use it primarily to replace employees will only enjoy short-term benefits in productivity.

When humans and machines work together, businesses usually produce the best results. Humans and AI actively increase each other’s complimentary qualities through collaborative intelligence: the former’s leadership, teamwork, creativity, and social skills, and the latter’s speed, scalability, and quantitative capabilities.

What is natural to humans (telling a joke, for example) might be difficult for robots, and what is simple for machines (analyzing gigabytes of data) is nearly impossible for humans. Both types of abilities are required in business.

Machine-learning algorithms must be taught how to do the work for which they were created. Huge training data sets are accumulated in this attempt to educate machine-translation applications how to handle idiomatic language, medical apps how to detect disease, and recommendation engines how to help people make better financial decisions.

Furthermore, AI systems must be taught how to connect with humans in the most effective way possible. While many firms are still in the process of filling trainer positions, major technology corporations and research organizations already have established training teams and expertise.

The Opportunity to Make the Future of Work More Valuable and Meaningful

Several prominent scientists and technologists, including Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, have cautioned that artificial intelligence will catch up to, and even surpass, human intelligence in the not-too-distant future.

They anticipate a moment when computers will outperform humans in all areas where humans previously dominated. Fortunately, for many people, this terrifying scenario will not play out exactly like this. Artificial intelligence and human intellect, no matter how sophisticated, have several distinctions.

People will work alongside technology, no matter how advanced it is, to improve the outcome of that job and make the best decisions possible, based not only on data but also on our experience and the values gained from it, just as they have done since the first tools were made at the dawn of humanity.

Future work will not be entirely reserved for artificial intelligence capable of digesting trillions of pieces of data in a second, but for a team comprised of both “robots” and human people, who will be able to act in the best possible way for the common good by combining the skills of both.

Conclusion

One thing is certain: change will be swift and uncompromising during the next ten years. Work will become increasingly distributed, technology will have a significant impact on how people work, and globalization will allow organizations to hire people from all over the world without seeing them in person.

While this scenario may appear negative, intelligent firms will embrace it. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last ten years, change can come from the most unexpected places and at the most inconvenient moments. Businesses will be more resistant to significant disruptions wherever they occur if they have a more flexible, distributed workforce. Crypto is bound to be one of the big things in the future, as well as crypto tradingOpens in a new tab. is becoming more and more popular as a job which will benefit crypto exchanges like cexOpens in a new tab..

What Are the Biggest Remote Work Problems?


Save time from the daily grind of commute. Be productive in the comfort of your home. Flexibility in terms of hours. No micro-managers breathing over your shoulder.

These, among others, have been at top of the list of the benefits of working from home which was eventually considered to be the better set up by some companies even afterlife resumed after the pandemic. However, the WFH setup does not come without its hiccups.

1. Getting Work Done

Of the many problems that come with remote work, getting work done seems to be of utmost importance. How can you manage a team that you can’t physically coordinate with? How can you track their work and meet deadlines? This can be a cause for worry especially if you’re a big company dealing with various accounts across the globe.

That being said, there are several ways to work with technology to aid in this possible area of conflict:

  • Invest in powerful project management software that allows you to track the real-time progress of tasks along with features that allow for collaborative oversight.
  • Equip everyone with the right programs and connection at home that is needed for their tasks to be done and delivered on time.
  • Provide training in the usage of any software or platform both for project management and communication channels.
  • Trust in the app’s feature of oversight to create a workplace culture that encourages productivity.

2. Together While Apart

When working remotely, working together might become challenging. This poses a bigger problem if you’re working across different time zones.

To address this, you can choose to do any or all of the following:

  • Set guidelines for submitting tasks to ensure that deadlines are met without any confusion.
  • Use a communication channel that allows each one to view online statuses so they can see who among the team they can talk to and who not to message during specific times.
  • When talking to each other, keep things simple to avoid miscommunication, especially when your company is cross-cultural.
  • Establish a healthy workplace culture that is inclusive or at least tolerant towards gender, race, political stands, religion, and other sensitive matters.
  • Exemplify transparency of work without micromanaging so that people are encouraged to do the same.
  • Set clear shared goals that make everyone in the team feel that they belong and are important.
  • Train employees towards better communication as not all are adept at sending emails or replying through chats concisely and professionally.

3. Lessening Distractions

Distraction doesn’t just refer to your external space but also includes your virtual space. When you have too many tabs going on, you might realize that your space keeps you from being more productive.

Luckily, there are many practical ways you can go about addressing every single form of possible distraction there is:

  • Accomplish one task at a time to lessen the chances of jumping from one task to another without finishing one in a single day.
  • Practice working in short bursts and scheduling breaks only after a task is finished.
  • Install tools that target distractions or limit you from opening them during work.
  • Install an app that allows you to block off notifications while you’re at work.
  • Manage the energy you spend more than the time you consume to finish a task so that you remain productive.
  • If distractions come in the form of interruptions from those you are living with, you can set up a sign at home that lets them know when you are not to be disturbed.
  • If you’re living with kids, you can train them to minimize noise during your work hours.
  • This being said, it is important to still keep to a certain regular work schedule so that those you live with are aware of when you are working.
  • If interruptions at home cannot be avoided, you can also go to your nearby library, café, or co-working space for a quiet, productive time.

4. Tech Fits

One of the biggest things you’ll probably miss when you shift to remote work is the accessibility of your IT staff. This gets removed in a remote working environment. The worst cases have even led to a security breach.

Here are some things you need to consider to avoid any hiccup or unintentional breaches to your network and your company:

  • Ensure that you have a backup connection to the Internet in case of server problems.
  • Invest in a backup device that has the programs you need to get the work done, just in case your primary device encounters a problem.
  • Boost your tech team by either doubling their number or at least ensuring that every employee in the company can reach them 24/7 for assistance.
  • Equip employees with necessary devices for video call troubleshooting with your tech team.
  • Before approving a remote setup, ensure that those who will be working remotely are working on a device that’s been approved by your IT.
  • Create the necessary security protocols that all remote employees should follow to avoid any breach.
  • Finally, train your remote employees to be able to do basic troubleshooting and train your IT to develop excellent communication and support skills.

5. Balancing Instead of Juggling

Remote work’s biggest challenge appears when work and life are being juggled and are no longer balanced. This is a problem that greatly affects an employee’s motivation for work and more so, can do great damage to their mental health.

The work-life balance can be achieved through some practical measures:

  • Have conversations across the team about what can help them stay motivated and consider what employees have to say.
  • Encourage each other more, especially since you barely meet in person and there is a lack of face-to-face human interaction.
  • Work on being healthy. The WFH setup might tempt you into a more sedentary lifestyle so put more effort into keeping a good exercise at home.
  • Set boundaries with your productivity to avoid burnout and overworking. Set a task to finish in a day and keep to it. If you’re done, then avoid taking on more work just because you have the time to. Instead, remember that your energy is what needs to be managed more than your time.
  • Follow a schedule. More than just setting yourself to work during weekdays, still follow a set time to take a short break in the morning, a lunch break, and a short break in the afternoon. This gives you time to temporarily breathe, catch up, eat, and restore energy.
  • Clock out of work. The healthiest boundary you can create to ensure that you have a balance of being at work and still being at home is to strictly ensure that when your work hour ends for the day, you do not go back online to keep checking emails or notifications. The best part is that if you’re having a hard time doing this, there are also apps available for you to download or install that help manages notifications for this.

Sum Up

Working remotely still has more benefits than challenges which is why a lot of companies globally are permanently transitioning into this setup. The only thing you need to do is equip yourself and do the necessary precautionary measures so that you can make remote working work for you.

George Relish is the Editorial Director at QuidableOpens in a new tab.. Before starting his work at Quidable, he was a bank auditor for more than 5 years. He is passionate about reading science fiction, travelling, and football

11 Reasons it Makes Sense to Outsource


There are many reasons businesses choose to outsource, but cost savings is often the primary motivator. When done correctly, outsourcing can lead to significant reductions in operating expenses. But cost savings is just one of the many benefits of outsourcing – it can also lead to improved quality, increased efficiency, and greater flexibility. The following are the top 11 reasons businesses should consider outsourcing.

1. Outsourcing can boost efficiency

Outsourcing can help businesses increase their overall efficiency. This is because businesses can often get the same or better quality services from an outsourcing provider at a lower price. They also benefit from the experience and expertise of third parties, especially when it comes to things like comprehensive IT monitoringOpens in a new tab.

This is because businesses that outsource often have access to the latest tools and technologies. They also have more time to focus on perfecting their services, as they are not bogged down by other non-essential tasks.

2. Better focus on your core competencies

When businesses outsource, they can focus on their core competencies and leave non-essential tasks to the experts. This allows businesses to put all of their energy into what they do best, making them more efficient and more likely to succeed in the long term.

When you don’t focus on what you do best, you are essentially accepting the opportunity costs that come along with that. By outsourcing, businesses can avoid those opportunity costs and focus on what they’re good at.

When businesses outsource, they are also able to free up resources that they can then use to focus on their core competencies. This is beneficial for businesses as it allows them to focus on what they do best and leave non-essential tasks to someone else.

3. Outsourcing saves money

Outsourcing can be a great way to save moneyOpens in a new tab. for businesses. When done correctly, it can help businesses reduce their overall operating costs. This is because businesses can often get the same or better quality services from an outsourcing provider at a lower price. What’s more, when you outsourced a specialized business function (e.g., digital marketing), you are getting access to the various expensive cutting edge tools that these providers use that you would otherwise have to pay for but likely don’t need full-time access to. 

For instance, let’s say that a business spends $1,000 on in-house staff to handle customer service inquiries. If they outsource that same function to a provider that charges $500 per month, they would save $600 per month. This same equation is applicable in a wide range of business functions, from accounting to IT support. 

4. Outsourcing can improve quality

In many cases, businesses can actually improve the quality of their services by outsourcing. This is because outsourcing providers are often experts in their field and can offer a higher level of service than a business could provide on its own.

5. Outsourcing can improve business continuity

Outsourcing is often a good idea when you have major clients in markets that are in very different time zones to you. If you want to be able to serve them well, you will need to offer customer support 24/7. An outsourcing provider can help you do this without having to staff your own offices around the clock and avoid some of the pitfalls of asynchronous communicationOpens in a new tab..

Additionally, if you have a critical business function that needs to be performed perfectly, it may make sense to outsource it to a provider that specializes in that area. This way, you can be sure that the job will be done right and you won’t have to worry about it.

6. Outsourcing can help you access expert knowledge

When businesses outsource, they gain access to the expert knowledge of the outsourcing provider. This can be extremely beneficial for businesses, as it can help them improve their own services and learn from the best in the business.

This is a particularly valuable benefit for small businesses that don’t have the resources, either financial or knowledge-related, to hire their own experts. It is also a useful option for businesses that may be located in markets where the expertise they want or need is hard to find locally. In this case, outsourcing can help businesses tap into a global pool of talent.

7. Outsourcing frees up time for business owners

One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing is that it can help business owners free up their time. This is because, when businesses outsource, they are essentially delegating tasks to someone else. This frees up the business owner’s time so that they can focus on more important tasks, such as growing the business.

The outsourcing of tedious manual tasks that most business owners have to take on themselves when first starting out is one of the most popular reasons for outsourcing. This includes tasks such as bookkeeping, appointment setting, and customer service.

It is increasingly common for small business owners, and especially those operating online businesses, to outsource some of their day-to-day administrative work to a virtual assistantOpens in a new tab.. These are people who work remotely and can take on a wide range of tasks, from social media management to email marketing.

8. Outsourcing can improve customer service

Outsourcing can also help businesses improve their customer service. This is because businesses that outsource their customer service functions often have access to the latest tools and technologies. They also have more time to focus on perfecting their services, as they are not bogged down by other non-essential tasks.

There is a reason that so much of customer service is now outsourced – it’s because businesses that do so often see a significant improvement in the quality of their customer service.

9. Outsourcing is great for when you need on-demand employees

There will be times when businesses need employees but don’t want to go through the hassle and expense of hiring full-time employees. In these cases, outsourcing can be a great solution. This is because businesses can often find providers that offer on-demand employees. This means that businesses only have to pay for the employee’s time when they actually need them.

10. Outsourcing lets you stay ahead of the competition

Another benefit of outsourcing is that it can help businesses stay ahead of the competition. This is because businesses that outsource often have access to the latest tools and technologies. They also have more time to focus on perfecting their services, as they are not bogged down by other non-essential tasks.

11. Outsourcing can help reduce overhead costs

Outsourcing can also help businesses reduce their overhead costs. This is because businesses that outsource often have access to the latest tools and technologies. They also have more time to focus on perfecting their services, as they are not bogged down by other non-essential tasks.

Conclusion

Overall, there are many reasons why it makes sense for businesses to outsource some of their functions and departments. Outsourcing can help businesses improve the quality of their services, increase their efficiency, and focus on their core competencies.

It can also help businesses stay ahead of the competition and reduce their overhead costs. Outsourcing is something to be done with a lot of preparation and care, but when done correctly, it can be a great way to improve your business.

How to Conduct Pre-Employment Background Checks


Though often overlooked, employees are the lifeblood of a company. Every company needs qualified, reliable, and trustworthy employees to achieve business goals. Unfortunately, building such a team isn’t easy, especially with recent statistics showing that approximately 56% of job candidatesOpens in a new tab. lie in their resumes. Candidates can lie about where they workOpens in a new tab., their education background, previous job duties, skills, and experience.

While this may not be a big deal for some businesses, it is downright dangerous for some companies. As a result, conducting background checks is a crucial component of any hiring process.

What are Pre-Employment Background Checks?

Pre-employment background checks are routine checks conducted during the hiring process. These checks are meant to reveal otherwise private information about potential hires. In most states, background check primarily reveals individuals with convicted felonies, misdemeanors, judgments, and records from Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI, Homeland Security, and National Sex Offender Registry.

Some companies also include education and employment qualifications in their background checks. They ascertain that your potential hire went to schools listed in their resume, worked for companies listed, and more. In specific situations, background checks extend to potential candidates’ credit backgrounds, such as a history of bankruptcy.

How to Conduct a Background Check

Follow the following steps to conduct an accurate background check on candidates and potential hires:

1. Create a Background Check Policy

You should begin by creating a consistent background check policy that outlines the mandatory background checks, how they influence hiring decisions, and when they should be conducted. Doing this assures a just and transparent process. Your background check policy should include the following;

  • It is best to ensure that background checks are done across your organization. However, you should tailor background screening to suit your job position. For instance, you might necessitate credit checks for accountants and finance officersOpens in a new tab. and driving records for company drivers.
  • Your policy should be specific about how information gathered from background checks will influence employment decisions. For this, it is best to consider the nature of the crime, the nature of the vacant position, and the presence of outstanding issues.
  • You should decide the stage in your hiring process when background checks are conducted. Federal laws generally allow employees to conduct background screening at any hiring stage, provided the candidate consents. However, state and local laws may differ.

A detailed background check policy enables companies to eliminate potential bias, discrimination, and possible litigation.

2. Ensuring legal compliance with your background check policy

Federal, state, and local laws govern all background checks, and employers are held accountable for compliance. Failing to ensure that your background check policy complies with these legal provisions can lead to lawsuits and costly fines. That said, you should be wary of the following possible violations;

  • Background checks should only be done after the candidate consents to the process. According to the FCRAOpens in a new tab., employers should inform job applicants in writing that background checks are part of the hiring process.
  • Similarly, the FCRA requires employers or hiring agents to follow the laid out adverse action steps if they intend to take unfavorable actions against job applicants based on background check results. Employers should send a notice detailing the pre-adverse action, copies of the background report, and a summary of candidates’ rights. Candidates should be given sufficient time (ideally five days) to respond before the adverse action is taken.
  • These laws are enforced by the EEOCOpens in a new tab. and prohibit employers from discriminating against job candidates based on color, religion, race, national origin, and sex. This promotes diversity in the workplace.
  • According to these regulations, employers should conduct background checks at least after the first round of interviews or after issuing a conditional offer. However, these regulations vary among states and local authorities.

3. Identify the different types of background checks to conduct

With a well-laid down policy, you should identify the mandatory background checks required for various job positions. Common background checks that apply across all businesses include:

  • Criminal background checks are crucial as they reveal the candidates’ previous crimes. From this check, you can gather information on committed felonies, misdemeanors, vandalism, disorderly conduct, sex crimes, fraud, and even pending cases. Employee criminal record helps employees evaluate if the candidate can be a threat to company customers or a cause of an unsafe workplaceOpens in a new tab..
  • Employee credit checks reveal the candidate’s credit history, such as payment history, tax liens, unpaid bills, and civil judgments. However, it doesn’t include the applicant’s credit score.
  • : Some positions cannot be occupied by employees who use prescription drugs. Routine screening also helps businesses maintain a safe and productive workplace.
  • These checks provide information about the candidate’s non-criminal cases and judgments where they were listed as respondents. This includes small claims, such as civil rights violations, restraining orders, and bankruptcy.
  • These checks are important for employees who will operate motor vehicles and other similar positions. They confirm the applicant’s license validity and general driving history.
  • Most employers overlook the importance of education checks. However, you should verify and ensure the applicant’s school attendance, diplomas, degrees, and certificates are valid.
  • Verifying your candidate’s job experience and previous employment history is also crucial. Employment history confirms that the work experience included in the candidate’s resume is true, and they meet the vacant positions’ requirements.

Some employers may also need to check the applicant’s property ownership, legal working status, military records, healthcare sanctions, and international background checks, depending on the nature of the vacant position.

4. Hiring a background check company

Since the hiring needs of every company vary, you should outsource background checks to a company that understands your specific hiring needs. The best company depends on your business size, hiring volume, size of the HR team, number of locations, presence of in-house legal help, and background screening policy. Nonetheless, you should consider the following when choosing a background check company;

  • Ensure that the company can achieve FCRA compliance and understands EEOC regulations, ban-the-box guides, and state-specific regulations to avoid lawsuits.
  • The company should reduce manual workflows by adopting seamless integration to your applicant tracking systemOpens in a new tab..
  • The company should reduce EEOC scrutiny while being able to advise when individualized candidate assessment is required.

5. Communicating to the candidates

You should inform your candidates about the relevant background checks to be conducted. Explain to them why you are conducting these checks and encourage them to be open. Inform them of their rights to see the results of various background checks, dispute inaccurate information, and add comments that justify any arising alerts.

The EEOC recommends that employers should consider individual circumstances when evaluating candidates’ criminal records. They should consider the nature and gravity of the offense committed, when the offense was committed, and the relevance of the offense to the position being sought.

Endnote

Unlike before, background checks are increasingly becoming an important part of hiring. These checks enable employees to understand potential candidates beyond the resume and what candidates say during the interview. Ideally, background checks take between three days and one week. However, the process can take longer depending on the information being requested.