Stax says Sri Lanka slow to accept remote-working, advocates wider adoption

Stax Inc., a leading global management consulting firm, observes that delaying digitization during this pandemic era would present substantial drawbacks for Sri Lankan companies as they would lack the capacity to compete globally. By adopting digitization, Stax Inc. articulates that businesses would soon learn that customers are no longer confined to the geography of Sri Lanka and could thus improve their scope of clientele and operations.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, many prominent Sri Lankan companies are yet to enable systems and processes to empower digitalization in their operations. In order to do so, this paradigm shift would have to encompass internal and customer-facing processes, while instigating paperless concepts as a part of Sri Lanka’s operating culture. This way, businesses will be able to increase efficiency while boosting their performance, productivity and profits.

Observations by Stax Inc. also found that some organizations are wary to mandate remote working and digital processes due to the generation mix and bias at management level. To overcome this, education and effective training must become a key element with demonstratable results, as change also requires time. Digital signatures and documentation are still seldom used in Sri Lanka, whereas they are commonplace in developed markets such as the UK, by contributing to substantial savings in time, energy, emissions and efficiency.

Elaborating Stax’s learnings, Dr. Rasitha Wickramasinghe commented, “Many companies have inculcated a ‘we have to get into the office’ mindset. Stax has gone the other way and we are saying ‘we can work from home’. Our default mode is to work from home, and whenever we need, we will come into office. Even according to pre-covid studies in developed markets, it is proven that people express satisfaction when remote working. Performance and productivity have been higher than when physically commuting daily to work. We should see this as an opportunity to enable remote working as our default mode.”

He further stated, “Globally, 80% of the work force are working remotely. It’s ironic for Sri Lanka, where people spend anywhere between two to four hours commuting; that a huge loss of productivity along with the harm done to the environment.”

The management consulting firm has initiated an effective remote working system for its Sri Lankan operation delivering tangible savings and efficiencies across all aspects of the business. The Company has consulted, developed and delivered a number of remote working solutions to its clientele and is encouraging Sri Lankan businesses and offering advice to adopt remote working as part of an empowering work culture. However, it is noted that this would not be a valid concept for every industry and some models would entail only a percentage of its staff to work remotely. Only few solutions can be made to work 100% remote and organisations would need to look at hybrid models.

Remote working entails the creation of high-trust networks within organizations, and it will enable corporate Sri Lanka to ramp up efficiency and take on new global and local markets with motivated employees.