- News Publisher and Quire Sri Lanka, Business models geared towards managing agile working staff better equipped to manage COVID-19 lockdown
For most Sri Lankans, since March 2020 the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a large-scale effort to promote “work-from-home” (WFH) along with the categorization of “essential workers”. Leaving several industries, including recruitment, retail, travel & tourism, automotive, and real estate & construction drastically affected. However, for many forward-thinking Communication Practitioners who already follow modern agency business models have been able to translate the positives of “WFH” to their clients financially as well as through brand equity.
With the increased use of agile workforces and modern business models seen in the last decade, globally, working under current WFH due to COVID-19 regulations has proven effective for several industries in Sri Lanka.
Speaking with Founder, News Publisher – Fiona Nanayakkara, noted “Adopting a modern business model [even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic] has allowed many customers to reap the benefits of lower agency rates [associated with lower overheads], access to global consultants and industry experts as well as a move away from the typical ‘9-5’ mentality and shortcomings. We hear the term gig economy a lot in the past few months, but this is nothing new to us. In a bid to provide our clients with quality services – our model is very much enmeshed in utilizing what we consider the gig economy on a more corporate scale”
Both News Publisher and Quire believe that by striking the right balance between maintaining physical office spaces and being equipped to manage agile working they have thus far continued to be successful in service and staff management.
Speaking with Director – Strategic Marketing, Ianthe Yatawatte Raj, noted “Part-Agile-Working allows for a win-win-win for staff, company and client. The absolute traditional business model that requires ‘staff in seats’ from ‘9-5’, is soon becoming obsolete. The modern model allows clients access to a revolving door of industry experts [both local and globally-based] and insight whilst not having to load agency rates with recurring overheads and outgoing costs. With processes already in place to measure productivity and quality for agile working, we are able to request the majority of our staff and consultants to WFH, due to the prevailing conditions, resulting in zero lapses, complete connectivity, productivity, rate reductions to assist SMEs during financially trying times, all whilst guaranteeing job security and personal safety for staff. It is absolutely necessary that Sri Lankan businesses shift from micro-managing and policing staff to empowering them and being held accountable to implement and monitor productivity. This is exactly where agile working, even in part, tests many businesses.”
According to the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (UK) – 63% of managers linked growth in revenue directly to flexible working. According to The Agile Future Forum and McKinsey & Company research stated the financial benefits of adopting agile working and their studies demonstrated benefits equivalent to 3-13% of workforce costs. Furthermore, they believe that more extensive or innovative agile working practices could generate a further value of 3-7% of workforce cost and sales uplift of up to 11%.