Digital ecosystem in Chile grows despite the crisis

Chile has the most developed telecommunications infrastructure in Latin America and promotes the home office.

The political crisis in Chile has not prevented the South American country from appearing as the regional leader in the digital economy. This nation has boosted the telecommunications sector, which has allowed it to be at the forefront of the digital revolution in Latin America.

Progress tastes bitter when considering that these investments have done little to reverse inequality in the country, which within the OECD, is the highest. Chileans have reported on the streets that 1% of the richest in the country account for about 30% of income. 

What began as protests against the increase in public transport, ended up as a massive claim against social injustices. This situation has caused the legislature to take measures to improve the working conditions of Chileans, while companies begin to consider a new work culture more seriously.

Chile: A country with developed infrastructure in Telecomm

In recent years, investments in telecommunications have made Chile the most developed country in infrastructure and digital industries in Latin America, according to the study “The value of digital transformation through mobile expansion in Latin America” by the consultant American Telecom Advisory Services, conducted by Sebastián Cabello and Raúl Katz. 

In the digital revolution, Chile has sharp points. The South American nation has advanced in the development of 5G technology, which would allow even more significant expansion of the digital industries in the country.

The Telecom Advisory Services report also warns of the points that Chile should pay attention to so that this advantageous situation for the country translates into more significant opportunities for social and economic development. Chile also requires increasing the quality of mobile connectivity. The nation needs a massive deployment of wireless network infrastructure to achieve this, particularly 5G technologies.

For the consultant, these measures will have a positive impact on areas such as:

  • Digital transformation: Benefits in connectivity, digitization of homes, and the productive system, as well as the growth of digital industries.
  • GDP growth: Through investment in the deployment of networks and spillover effects in the economy as a whole.
  • Industrial sectors: Increase in operational efficiency, as well as productivity improvement.

Boosting digitalization in Chile can have an impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between $ 12,300 to $ 14,450 million over the next eight years. These figures can be only achieved if the Chilean government promotes a policy of technological massification in urban environments that is later succeeded by the deployment of entire infrastructure nationwide.

In this regard, the Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Pamela Gidi, said that “although the indicators must show a positive assessment of our sector and indicate that we lead in the region in terms of development of our digital ecosystem, we are still far from the indicators of the OECD, so we have enough to improve.” 

Reduce the digital divide is also a task for the Chilean government. Gidi said ”In this line, among other things, we are working every day to reduce the digital divide that exists in Chile, in addition to developing the 5G network early, goals that I am sure will be achieved with the joint work of all the actors that make up our sector , whether they are companies, academia and entrepreneurs, thus improving the quality of life of the inhabitants of our country.”

One in three Chilean companies already have Home Office policies.

The emergence of protests in the streets of Santiago that has caused an intermittent operation of public transport also helped boost work from home in Chilean companies.

Carlos Espinoza, Branch Manager of the Randstad consultancy, said that “in order to protect the safety of workers against the intense mobilizations that have occurred in the country and the difficulties to move, especially from the areas of greatest conflict, great part of the companies gave the possibility for their employees to carry out their work at home, at least during this week. And it is that today technology allows us to connect from any place and at any time, therefore, it is not strictly necessary to be in the office to be productive”.

The home office is a trend that this year was already rising. Now, 48% of companies have adopted it for Chilean workers. Among the advantages observed by human capital leaders, there is more excellent work-family life balance, with 23%, more ability to attract and retain talent and increase productivity rates, both options with 17%, and cost reduction, both for the company and for the worker, with 16%.

This type of work has been increasingly possible thanks to the adoption of the cloud by companies. Cloud computing services give the possibility to access company information regularly and immediately, according to Espinoza.

Mobile messaging services have also allowed real-time contact with colleagues at work. In Chile, WhatsApp has taken most of the market, and nine out of ten Chileans say that this application has become another platform for managing labor issues.

We must not forget the great insight and prominence that WhatsApp has achieved in Chile, not only as a means of communication-related to leisure and recreation but also as a working instrument.

Carlos Espinoza, Randstad Branch Manager

The multinational HR consultant Randstad surveyed more than 440 companies of different sizes and industries, to assess how many organizations in Chile have implemented this work modality and know what the benefits perceived by employers are. The investigation showed that 31% of firms had incorporated this practice permanently in their human resources policies, which not only govern emergencies.

The home office is also a competitive advantage for companies looking to attract younger talent. According to Espinoza, “the workforce is changing, and promoting ways of working as the home office is essential for companies to remain competitive in the eyes of candidates, especially the youngest. On the other hand, all the measures that go in the direction of increasing flexibility, whether in the working hours, in the type of contract (temporary employment) or in the mode of performing the functions, are not only positive in this aspect, but which also influence employee satisfaction and their level of motivation and commitment to the company, which eventually has an impact on production indicators, provided they are practices that are accompanied by a strategy in terms of monitoring performance by of organizations,” he says.