Offering employees the choice to work remotely has become the new normal for many businesses. Why do you think this new way of working is beneficial for both global companies and employees?
For companies like AP Companies, remote working enables access to a diverse pool of talent worldwide without the need to establish physical offices. Our international team, spanning over 30 businesses, brings valuable language skills, local knowledge, and expertise to our organisation. This global presence optimises our corporate expenses, eliminating the need for extensive office space.
Employees appreciate the flexibility of remote work, eliminating time-consuming commutes and allowing for a better work-life balance. At AP Companies, we've observed that our remote-work model attracts highly qualified candidates who seek the convenience and autonomy of working from anywhere. We value being a global company that offers fully remote job opportunities, aligning with the modern workforce's preferences.
This new trend in working offers great flexibility to the employee, but are there any downsides? How do you make sure they still feel part of a team and are invested in the company?
While remote work offers flexibility, challenges include maintaining company culture and fostering a sense of belonging. At AP Companies we address this through regular conference calls, group chats, and regional in-person events. These gatherings allow our global team to connect, build relationships, and lay the groundwork for effective remote collaboration. We prioritise these meetings, organising them at least twice a year, as we've observed how much our team values them.
We did have to make some changes to our rerouting and employee management programmes. During recruitment we pay special attention to candidates being self-organised, determined, able to achieve results etc. We have altered our recruitment process to incorporate some commonly recognised psychological and personality tests to make sure the potential candidate is suited to the role we are looking to fulfil. That initial comprehensive selection process helps us to have a better retention rate with remote employees, as well as seeing better results and dedication in their day-to-day work.
In addition to that, we were able to set up remote employee working models. We have also spent a lot of time, effort and resources on re-adjusting our case management system, information security, and accessibility, plus we incorporated a very comprehensive management platform which allowed us to monitor the quality of work of every employee in real time at all levels of management (from phone operators to case managers, billing specialists and supervisors etc).
Another challenge is encouraging employees to seek help when needed. We emphasise a results-driven culture that empowers staff to ask questions, collaborate across teams, and find solutions collectively. Our learning and development team actively works to change the mindset that asking for help is inefficient – ensuring everyone is invested in our company's success.
Why does remote working particularly suit the assistance and insurance industry?
Remote working is exceptionally well-suited to the assistance and insurance industry due to our extensive global client base. Our patients and members are scattered across the globe, necessitating a deep understanding of international markets while maintaining localised expertise. AP Companies takes pride in seamlessly integrating local knowledge with global expertise. This blend is crucial for navigating the intricate healthcare systems, medical best practices, and diverse cultural nuances in different countries.
Native language support plays an important role in both – supporting the patient as well as negotiating the best relationships with medical providers. AP Companies is a big believer in having native language speakers rather than having a service centre in a specific location speaking 30 different languages (apart from English) – and this makes a huge difference, especially when managing delicate cases of healthcare needs.
Our commitment to client satisfaction involves communicating with empathy and adapting to their unique needs. Building trust and rapport is essential, and our international team plays a pivotal role in achieving this. Their familiarity with the healthcare landscape in each region ensures that we provide personalised and effective assistance.
Furthermore, local knowledge is indispensable for efficient cost containment. We tailor our strategies to align with each country's market practices, ensuring cost-effective solutions and exceptional service delivery for our clients. Remote work enables us to maintain this global reach while delivering a high standard of care tailored to individual regions.
Managing a team of people who are based across more than 30 countries is not an easy task and involves a lot of training, day-to-day work, aligning values and priorities of different nationalities, and introducing AP corporate culture. It all takes time and effort, but the results of that hard work – our happy patients, clients, and medical providers – mean it is definitely worth it!