Happiness Is Hanging Out at Home While Working

Happiness is hanging out at home while working

Anyway, it apparently improves one’s disposition and outlook on life if one happens to be working as a customer service representative (agent) in a contact center. Contact Center Pipeline’s June 2017 edition makes what looks like an ironclad case for sending agent workforce populations home. Paul Stockford of Saddletree Research shares the results of a survey study his organization completed together with the National Association of Call Centers (NACC). Working from home, he writes, “is a strong and growing trend,” and an “at-home strategy seems to be an overwhelming success for 97% of survey respondents.”

At home agent populations are increasing

The “improving agent dispositions” component is a huge part of that success. For his article, Stockford interviewed work-at-home expert Michele Rowan of Customer Contact Strategies. She adduces eye-popping statistics to support her born-of-long-experience contention that working from home is an often better way to operate customer service and support than in the brick-and-mortar contact center. “There’s a proven, well established track record of improvements that are realized with work-at-home programs in contact centers and support functions. It includes increased applicant flow of 200%–400%, turnover reduction of 25%–50%, 10%–15% increased productivity, and 25%–40% reduction in absenteeism. These are usual and customary results [our bolding and italics] that my clients see, and sometimes they’re even better, depending on specific markets and deployment strategies.”

Wow. Just wow. Agents are clearly attracted to at-home work and working at home makes them more productive and less prone to doing the contact-center two-step: step one in the door; step two, out the door. In other words, they’re happier, which improves their disposition! “Happier agents make happier customers” is one of our chief mantras and should be on every company’s mantra list. The benefits are huge. (We’ll talk about them in detail in a future post.)

WorkFlex Helps Make Hanging Out at Home While Working…Workable
One of the things WorkFlex does very well is to help enable work-from home agent employees. We do this by making it possible for them to:

  • select how they want the contact center to get in touch with them (email, voice, text, social media)
  • pre-set which days and times they are willing to be contacted to work extra work hours or take time off
  • see and select pre-approved time intervals in the contact center schedule when they can work extra hours or take time off (confirmation is immediate)
  • swap hours with themselves
  • trade hours with their co-workers
  • manage their work schedule themselves
  • use their smartphone to accomplish these tasks
  • help balance the company’s staffing needs with every adjustment they make

Mobility is key to helping keep work-at-home agents engaged and the company they work for appropriately staffed. If agent Amanda is watching her favorite show on TV at 8:00 p.m. and the center is understaffed, Amanda can easily jump online after receiving a text asking if she’ll work for an hour.

Sutherland Global Services has been using WorkFlex successfully since 2014. WorkFlex has made their work-at-home program run with high efficiency. The company no longer has to initiate schedule changes very often. Agents are doing it themselves 96% of the time!

This case study is from two years ago, but is just as relevant today. Take a look at how Sutherland is managing work-at-home and how WorkFlex is helping them manage it well. Then think about transitioning your own contact center into a work-at-home operation. We’ll be happy to assist in the transformation.

-The WorkFlex Team

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