/BPM firms plan to bring 70% staff back to offices soon

BPM firms plan to bring 70% staff back to offices soon

Bengaluru: Business process management (BPM) firms plan to bring more than two-thirds of their employees back to offices soon, as they explore a hybrid work model to effectively deal with critical client data and essential services.

BPM companies such as WNS, Startek and others have begun the process of revamping offices and internal processes to ensure 70% of their staff can work from offices in the near future.

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The plan is to have a 70:30 model of office and remote work once the Covid-19 vaccinations gather pace and the pandemic stabilises, Keshav Murugesh, chief executive officer of WNS, told ET in a recent interview.

“As we have very critical processes and crucial data… we would want the bulk of our employees to come back to work. About 25-30% would work from home while the rest will actually be back once things change,” Murugesh said.

WNS said it was looking at “consolidation of space to bring more modern infrastructure” across India and the world.

Genpact, EXL Service, HGS did not respond to ET’s detailed queries before the press time.

As strict rules forced people to stay at home, BPM companies moved most of their workforce to a work-from-home model. Although many clients in the UK and other markets were initially reluctant to approve of such a model due to cyber security issues, they eventually agreed.

Startek said it would adopt a model wherein 30% employees would work remotely. Currently, 55% of its staff operate from home.

“We have over 55% of our global workforce now working from home with maximum data security protocols and artificial intelligence-based applications in place for real-time tracking of performance,” said Rajiv Ahuja, president of Startek.

The company would “continue to have around 30% of our global workforce in a remote set-up and this would help it remain well-prepared for a resurgence in Covid-19 cases,” he added.

IT-BPM industry body Nasscom said it expects BPM employees to start working from offices quickly. “BPM companies have much more client confidentiality and work on real-time access to crucial user data unlike their IT services counterparts,” said Sangeeta Gupta, chief strategy officer of Nasscom.

BPM companies have already begun discussions with clients on the changes and key requirements for 2021.

Ahuja of Startek said the company had been working with clients on their requirements, including needs such as identifying core customer channels and services, volumes, staffing requirements and data security measures.

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