We’re all familiar with the new adage “Stay Home, Stay Alive”. With 20% of the world under some sort of lockdown, quarantine, or restricted movements advisory, our daily lives have changed drastically in only a few short weeks. Aside from talking to the walls or pacing the limits of your yard (for those lucky enough to have one), suddenly even the idea of a second daily run is appealing!
#StayHome: Embracing Remote Work From Now On?
Of course, the impact on the global economy is a hot topic of conversation. Many are worried about how the working world will ever recover. Will businesses continue to operate? Are jobs sustainable? Can remote work really “work”? With so many employees currently unable to commute, and many employers forced to close their doors, it leaves many feeling uncertain about the future.
Can we Learn from the Translation Industry Working Model?
With a sudden global shift towards remote work like never before, companies may feel unprepared or ill-equipped to handle this new working model. Trying to promote team collaboration online can seem impossible for those not used to wearing board shorts with a shirt and tie. No matter how hilarious the weekly meeting mishaps populating YouTube right now are, is working from home a viable option for “normal” times? And how can we future-proof a business model against such an unpredictable event as a global pandemic?
The translation industry has been at the vanguard of this change for a long time and could arguably be looked at as a model for others looking to improve both productivity and safeguard their business into the future.
Benefits for Business
Long before COVID-19 joined our daily vocabulary, translators sat at the forefront of the remote work movement. No we’re not “hipsters” or Instagram models, just hard-working linguists from all corners of the globe, coming together to provide the high-quality translation and interpretation services that keep the world communicating.
Language Service Providers (LSPs) have long understood the benefits of this business model. You could have anywhere from 10-200 employees in one location, but no one can deny the advantages of access to huge pools of experienced and even specialized translators and interpreters, actually living within their target language market. In marketing, want to know what’s hot in Europe right now? Having correspondents in London, Barcelona, and Berlin will undoubtedly afford key insights and help you to stay a step ahead.
Of course, having a remote workforce also means lower overhead costs, without rent, utilities, and insurance to worry about. Many remote workers also have access to computing equipment of their own. So there are massive savings to be made there too! Another economic benefit if you’re located in an expensive market like New York or California, is the ability to hire experienced professionals located in other regions where the cost of living and comparative salaries are much lower; Iowa or Nebraska, for example.
Benefits for Employees
The current public health reasons for social distancing are well understood, so there’s no point in going over them again. Seriously, is there anyone not almost compulsively washing their hands at this point?
It’s not just about COVID-19. Working from home offers many perks for employees. Flexible working hours from home can be a real benefit to workers with children, while also promoting less stress for all workers. Remote working also completely cuts the cost and time consumption of commuting. In fact, many studies show that remote workers on average have more balanced lives and can have massive increases in productivity over their office working counterparts. As much as a 13% increase was found by researchers from Stanford Graduate School of Business when measuring the effectiveness of working from home over two years in their study involving workers from one of China’s largest travel agencies.
Remote Working Tools: Bringing Your Team Together
So, the benefits sound great but what about the drawbacks? How do you get your team to work as cohesively apart as they do together? In the language services industry, we’ve been developing Translation Management Software (TMS) and Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools (you may have heard us talking about these; we love them!) for years. These allow us to work efficiently, keeping our workflows moving at a fast pace, even with collaborators located miles apart.
At PGLS, we have some favorite collaboration tools that offer intuitive design and user-friendly interfaces that can encourage your team to interact (Trello anyone?). Organizing projects onto boards, working together while allowing everyone to see where a project is and what needs to be done.
Slack is a team chat software, accommodating many members and chat threads from #team chats to using individual names for private chats. This is great for keeping your team in touch. You can even promote the social aspect of work by including #random or #fridaydrinks threads where your team can share jokes or chat after working hours etc. The possibilities are endless!
Whatever your go-to solutions are, from project management apps to team chat software, there are lots of ways to seriously boost morale and productivity. Working from home has never been a more accessible and healthy option for the health of your team and your business. Perhaps even more than a traditional working model.
Get in touch today and see how we harness the benefits of working from home to provide you the highest quality translation services, both now and in the future!