Flexible working models in IT outsourcing: Advantages over more traditional forms of employment

08 04

Flexible working models in IT outsourcing: Advantages over more traditional forms of employment

logo-kwadrat-3 Author: Natalia Szwedo

Natalia Szwedo – IT Recruiter with 4 years of experience in the outsourcing industry, having transitioned from financial recruitment to IT recruitment for investment banking and FinTech clients. Her key responsibilities include proactively sourcing talent and executing a comprehensive recruitment process. She is best at recruiting at the intersection of business and IT and cyber security. In her day-to-day work, she focuses on building long-term relationships and guiding candidates through the recruitment process in a friendly manner.

Flexible working arrangements in the IT sector, such as remote and hybrid working, provide employees with greater autonomy and a better work-life balance. By demonstrating that many IT tasks can be effectively carried out remotely, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this transformation. Technology has enabled IT organisations to stay productive and continue working on projects without major disruptions. This trend towards greater flexibility will likely continue as both employees and employers keep experiencing the benefits of this approach.

Diversity of working models in IT outsourcing

Trends in remote and hybrid working in the IT sector show that these models are preferred by the majority of IT professionals. According to the ‘Remote and Hybrid Working in IT’ report, 61% of IT professionals work entirely remotely and rate this model at 4.5 on a five-point scale. What is more, 62% of employees surveyed said that remote and hybrid working had a positive impact on their wellbeing and productivity. Lower levels of burnout and stress were considered the biggest advantages of flexible working arrangements. 

Flexible working models that have proven effective in remote and hybrid working environments can also be used in outsourcing projects. They help both clients and project teams meet new challenges and expectations. Outsourcing of IT engineers is growing in popularity for a number of reasons, not only among large companies. According to analysts at Gartner, global spending on IT services will reach USD 1.5 trillion in 2024, an increase of 8.7% from 2023

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Flexible working models vs. traditional forms of employment in IT

As the IT sector is evolving rapidly, so are employees’ expectations and the way work is organised. Flexible working arrangements are becoming increasingly popular, offering greater variety and adaptability to individual employee and project needs. This is in contrast to traditional forms of employment, which require fixed working hours and a set location. This affects many aspects of IT organisations including team management, efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which remote working has changed the job market:

Flexi-time and remote work

Flexible working models frequently offer the opportunity to adapt working hours to individual employee preferences and to perform tasks from anywhere, which is virtually impossible in traditional models. This is very important as the working environment has a direct impact on the mental and emotional health of employees.

Impact on productivity

Flexibility can significantly increase employees’ productivity by allowing them to work the hours they feel most effective. There is a major shift towards the belief that employees need a better work-life balance. As a result, we will see more emphasis on flexibility in the workplace in the coming years. A Global Workplace Analytics report clearly shows that companies are losing USD 600 billion a year due to workplace distractions.

Recruiting and retaining talent

Companies that offer flexible working models are often perceived as more attractive by IT professionals, which makes recruitment easier and increases employee loyalty. According to the Polish IT Community Report 2023, up to 77% of employees surveyed are motivated to stay in their current job by flexible working arrangements (e.g. remote working or flexible hours). 

Why is flexibility key in IT?

Outsourcing companies that offer their employees the ability to manage their working hours are able to not only boost employee satisfaction and loyalty, but also become more competitive in the labour market. Flexibility also enables better management of distributed teams, which is invaluable in international projects.

In the context of global competition and the constant need to innovate, IT outsourcing with flexible working models offers companies a significant advantage. It enables faster team scaling, better adaptation to changing project requirements and more efficient cost management. It also makes an organisation more attractive to professionals from around the world who are looking both for exciting projects and working conditions that support their work-life balance.

Remote work – what are the benefits for the IT sector?

Due to the nature of IT work, which can frequently be performed using only a reliable internet connection, the IT sector is currently the most likely to adopt remote working models. According to the data, 45% of IT staff work remotely on a full-time basis, with a further 30% using a hybrid model. This means that remote work has already become a mainstream working model in the IT sector.

Remote work has a number of benefits for the IT industry. Most importantly: 

  • Makes it possible to recruit and hire talent from anywhere in the world;
  • Increases access to the global talent market;
  • Allows greater flexibility and autonomy in managing working time; 
  • Contributes to increased employee productivity;
  • Reduces the cost of renting and maintaining office space.

There are challenges associated with remote work in the IT sector, though. One of these is the need to provide the right tools and technical infrastructure to enable employees to do their jobs effectively. Communication and collaboration between teams can also be hampered by the lack of face-to-face contact. However, technological developments and the availability of modern online communication tools can help alleviate these challenges.

Key success factors for implementing flexible working models in IT

Implementing flexible working models in IT requires a carefully considered strategy that takes into account both the needs of the business and the expectations of employees. Effective project management and communication are key to success. It is important to understand that flexibility does not mean the absence of structure or rules. On the contrary, it requires the development of clear guidelines on how tasks are to be carried out, how work performance is to be evaluated and how communication is to take place. Here are the key factors to consider:

Setting clear objectives

At both team and individual level. This allows for effective assessment of progress and adjustment of strategies if necessary.

Building a culture of trust

Trust is key in working models where it is not always possible to directly supervise people’s activities. This requires leaders to be able to delegate tasks and have confidence in the team’s competence.

Continuing education and skills development

Continuing professional development is essential to remain competitive and innovative in a rapidly changing technological world. Employers should facilitate access to training, workshops and industry conferences. In addition to technical skills, flexible working models require the ability to self-organise, manage time and communicate effectively. Encouraging the development of these skills helps build strong, autonomous teams capable of delivering projects effectively in changing environments.

Flexible working models in IT outsourcing enable companies to tap into the global talent market and find professionals with the right skills and experience in a shorter timeframe. This enables organisations to deliver projects more efficiently and provide higher quality services to their clients. At the same time, they achieve greater scalability and operational efficiency, which translates into improved business outcomes and helps them maintain a competitive market position in the era of digital transformation.