Henry wants work from home made a permanent fixture in Jamaica | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News

President of the Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ), Gloria Henry, is urging the Government to make work from home a permanent feature of the island’s workforce.

In citing that remote work is becoming the norm globally, especially within the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, Henry argued that Jamaica must follow suit in order to remain competitive.

“Importantly, we (the BPO sector) are positioned for exponential growth, but we cannot afford to be complacent and it (this) is why we are urging the Government to consider our proposal to continue work at (from) home,” she said while speaking at a recent function.

“This sector is very customer-centric, meaning that the needs of the customers are the (main) forces behind decisions.

“Many things have changed since the pandemic that has changed workplaces… and remote work is becoming part of the future. Companies are building it into their long- term strategies,” continued Henry.

“We have put forward a proposal that shows how we can put in quantitative and qualitative measures to protect the revenues in Jamaica, but we cannot afford to be uncompetitive when work at home is being implemented permanently in other jurisdictions in the world,” she argued.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the work from home initiative has been effective, said the GSAJ president in support of her call for remote work to become permanent.

“Outside of the supporting infrastructure, policy and digital transformation that has enabled our success during the pandemic, work at home is at the heart of why we have survived and thrived during the pandemic,” Henry declared.

“It has enabled quick and efficient business continuity, pivoting from a physical business continuity strategy to a distributed workforce… thus helping to maintain stability and keep persons safe,” she added.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Henry pointed out that the BPO sector has recorded improvements in several key areas, including information technology (IT).

“I’m pleased to report that we are making important progress in global business services supporting higher value services in HR (human resources) shared services, finance and accounting, risk management and marketing.

“Our IT outsourcing segment has also been doing well, experiencing buoyancy and important recognition from buyers overseas,” she shared.

Overall, Henry said the BPO sector has performed well throughout the pandemic, with 10 new sites being opened.

“We have handled ourselves well. We have had 10 new sites opened during the pandemic, so Jamaica has come a long way in promoting our value overseas, and we have earned the respect both in the eastern and western hemisphere from our peers,” she indicated.