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Strategic Supplier Insights into Working from Home

A recent survey finds all suppliers are highly motivated to keep workers engaged, and many are willing to provide them with laptops as a part of that effort.

With so much uncertainty surrounding the containment measures to address COVID-19, we know our customers and the contingent workers they engage are facing unprecedented challenges. This means we’ll need to maintain not only a high degree of flexibility through these stressful times but be creative about how we navigate new conditions together.

Toward that end, we recently brought some of our strategic suppliers together across several virtual forums to talk about their most pressing needs and challenges. Among their top concerns were issues such as how to clear hurdles of contracts prohibiting remote work, address work from home (WFH) requests with do’s and don’ts, ensure WFH safeguards around onboarding requirements and device management are documented through letters of understanding and temporary waivers, as well as discuss worker payments as companies face sick workers and possible layoffs.

We also used these past few weeks to share feedback with suppliers gathered from several client forums, as well as lessons we’re learning along the way so we can best advise our customer base. We’re addressing several business continuity topics as it relates to recruitment, supply chain insights, technology solutions, mobility planning, talent market trends and opportunities, and more.

Perhaps quite interesting, of late, are survey results from 80 of our largest suppliers in North America and EMEA, representing an estimated 80% of spend running through our enterprise MSP programs at any given time. We asked questions ranging from their general stance on contractors working from home, along with logistics and financial considerations related to this shift.

Suppliers are Overwhelmingly Open to Remote Work

First, among surveyed suppliers, 100% are supportive of their contingent workers working remotely and/or from home if the client allows it.

And They’re Willing to Get Creative

Many suppliers are willing to partner with customers to provide laptops for their remote workers if the client is unable to do so. Some even have the ability to provision assets without passing on the cost to the client if it helps smooth the transition to working from home and keeps workers engaged. If the client or supplier is unable to procure an asset, the overwhelming majority (91%) of suppliers are willing to support workers using their own devices (BYOD) provided that the client has taken necessary steps to secure company data and content.

Strategic suppliers graphic

Paying Workers for Non-Billable Time Still Being Determined

The last topic addressed in the survey was related to paying workers for non-billable time. Of the suppliers we’ve talked with, most are still evaluating how long they can sustain paying workers for a full 40 hours in scenarios when their hours have been fully or partially reduced due to client closures or inability to work remotely for one reason or another. Survey findings also show that suppliers intend to examine each situation on a client-by-client basis.

We’re Here for You

As always, you should count on AGS as a partner to collaborate and support the actions needed today, and as we learn more over the coming weeks. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or to partner on our approach. 

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