Work Anywhere, Anytime, and in Any Language
The global pandemic has accelerated the shift in how we work, where we work and with whom we work. With the US and countries all over the globe shutting down, we are scrambling to find ways to still get the job done, we have all pivoted in order to address the immediate needs of our clients, employees and communities. Given the circumstances, organizational leaders are realizing the benefits of an unconventional work setting, where work can be performed at home, with flexible schedules and distributed and diverse talent. The other big discovery is now we can hire staff to work anytime, anywhere as long as they are qualified to get the job done.
However, before you venture into restructuring your talent pool, consider these three (3) factors:
While there is an ongoing debate regarding whether the temporary remote-working situation will become permanent, the verdict is still TBD. Bottom line is that there is no one-size-fit-all approach that satisfies every organization’s needs. Therefore, an organizational assessment of the skills, competencies, roles, and responsibilities needed to not only sustain the current situation, but also to prepare for future growth, is recommended. Start by evaluating:
1. the total acquisition cost of on-site vs. remote work
2. the communication and collaboration opportunities, as well as challenges, within your current organizational structure
3. the feasibility of making the shift without jeopardizing productivity, and in effect enhancing it
For many of the hardest hit sectors during this pandemic (i.e. small businesses, travel, hospitality, retail, education, restaurants and the list goes on.), the recruitment or retention of talent that is local to serve customers is still critical. However, are there current tasks, expertise and responsibilities that can be accessed and managed remotely?
With increased online accessibility to workers, even those with minimal technical aptitude can navigate mainstream collaborative software platforms. The opportunity to acquire talent that can work anywhere at any time has become a reality. Companies can now consider recruiting for talent outside the constraints of geography and can focus on workers that can support and align with business objectives, while they strategically plan for the post-pandemic workplace environment.
Employees are realizing and valuing the flexibility of working anytime from anywhere. According to the Harvard Business Review, employees that transitioned from working in the office to remote work cited freed-up time “equivalent of 28 to nearly 50 workdays per year per employee” as a result of eliminating their commuting time.
Further, hiring talent across time zones offers organizations a certain level of flexibility and continuity of work that makes for longer workdays, boosting productivity. For example, a marketing firm that is located on the East Coast (i.e. New York) can work on a client’s social media campaign for a full eight (8) hours on Monday. Then, they transition the project to their team members on the West Coast (i.e. California) that will submit deliverables to the client by 11:00pm EST that night, making the deadline to the client in Spain by 8:00am Tuesday morning. So, the flexibility of having team members working remotely, and in different time zones, creates opportunities to expand your bandwidth, cover loftier scopes of work and comfortably meet deadlines.
Work Across Multiple Languages
Organizations that are venturing out into the global marketplace in search for new clients and talent must be prepared to engage in multiple languages. While there are thousands of languages spoken worldwide, the most widely spoken languages include Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi, Arabic, and French. With this multiplicity of languages, how does an organization assess for language proficiency?
One major miscommunication with a customer or an employee can represent a loss in revenue, or worse yet, a costly lawsuit. So testing and certifying the level of language proficiency of bilingual team members or new talent that you hire is a best practice, and a sound investment, to ensure the highest quality experience for your clients and to safeguard the credibility for your company.
Language Testing International (LTI) offers remotely monitored testing solutions in over 120 languages that can be conveniently done from anywhere, at any time in the day (or night) and from any device, allowing your organization to create a business model and workplace environment where employees can work from anywhere, anytime, and using any languages they truly command. LTI’s accredited ACTFL language assessments are widely recognized and accepted by major corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies, each test is designed to properly determine the specific proficiency level of an individual and ultimately to provide a valid and reliable language credential.
Contact LTI today to learn more about language certification.
Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.