A Stanford study revealed, “employees who work from home are 13% more productive than employees who work from office”. Top companies like Amazon, Concentrix, Dell, and Hilton allow a segment of their employees to work from home. The benefits of working from home include increased productivity, minimized expenses and also saves the employees from commuting to and fro.
In the wake of COVID-19, numerous organizations were coaxed into facilitating work from home for their employees. With the UK, India, France, and Italy under complete lockdown, organizations resorted to working from home to keep their processes running.
Some enterprises work from home turned out to be productive and cost-effective while some witnessed decrease in the production level of teams. Even the companies that registered a negative trend have realized “when implemented correctly, work from home can be a great way of minimizing stress and increasing efficiency”.
Going forward, work from home will become mainstream and it will take away immense pressure off city infrastructure and workspaces. With more and more people working from remote locations and the overall employee satisfaction will also increase
An illustrative guide to deploying a remote workforce for Contact Centers
Managing a virtual contact center will require enterprises to invest in IT infrastructure that will arm them with tools to engage, monitor and measure agent and their productivity. Letting employees work from home is a two-way street, it adds to IT infrastructure cost but helps organizations save impressively on office supplies and snacks.
Step 1: Setting a Workforce Management Software
Trust me, no organization can manage a remote team efficiently by letting the admin team work out a plan on paper. Enterprises must get themselves equipped with workforce management software, which will assist with the following:
- It allows supervisors to allocate work to agents
- Supervisors can monitor production level in real-time
- Allows supervisors to keep a tab on time spent by agents on break and on-call
- Generate reports with accurate data related to production and performance
Step 2: Ensuring Compliance at all levels
Contact centers often deal with sensitive data, which includes name, address, credit card, and social security number. To ensure that agents are not stealing these data for personal benefit, enterprises will have to take considerable steps. Varied compliance requirements also want companies to furnish a set of tasks when running a contact center, which includes:
- Restricting the use of thumb drives on the office system
- Limiting access to data transfer from and into computer
- Ensuring that agents are working from a disturbance-free space
- Stopping any kind of hindrances during calls
Step 3: Facilitating Tools and Equipment to Ensure Smoother Functioning
While organizations will save cost on per seat basis and also on office supplies but on the contrary they will have to roll out allowances for high-speed internet and power backup. Any organization that wants to succeed with a remote workforce must help agents’ set-up a hindrance free customer support.
Computers with optimum RAM, memory, and headset are among some of the necessities that all organizations must provide their agents with. Providing agents with high-speed Internet access is important to facilitate VOIP calls, which is now the standard protocol for customer support. For some enterprises agents will require access to phone lines too. Companies must understand the varied requirements and compensate their agents accordingly.
Step 4: Quality Management Software with Screen Recording Facility
Agent interaction, average hold time and dead air space are some of the metrics that need to be monitored in real-time. With quality management software, supervisors will be able to ensure that agents are performing at the best of their capabilities. Such software packages are used to improve reporting capabilities. Relying on these tools, agent supervisors can easily monitor, report and then work on shortcomings.
The additional option of screen recording can help organizations set accountability and restrict all kinds of unauthorized access and data stealing. Supervisors can watch these videos after are the shift timing of agents and share feedback with executives responsible for quality management.
Screen recording is necessary because organizations need to ensure that they are under-functioning under compliance at all times. PCI DSS and ISO are some of the compliances that work to safeguard customers’ data. With screen recording, enterprises can protect cardholders’ data from unauthorized access.
Step 5: Open and Reliable Communication Channel
The only disadvantage of work from home organizations identify is the lack of open channels for communication. In 2020, we have enough communication-based applications that facilitate real-time and group communication that can be leveraged by organizations.
Skype, Zoom and Go to Meeting are some of the most popular video conferencing apps that are elevating the remote collaboration experience. These channels are quite open allowing multiple people to share their feedback in real-time and are quite reliable too.
Step 6: Keeping the Agents Engaged and Entertained
Lack of motivation often seeps in when working from home. Office spaces promote competition, which is a trait of a successful organization. When handling remote locations, supervisors need to keep their agents engaged and entertained to bring their best performance out.
Conducting time to time competition and rewarding the best performers can prove to be good. By highlighting the efforts of the best performer, team leaders can promote a sense of competition among agents and improve the overall performance of the team.
Since most of the agents are hired on a salary basis, the motivation to give their best on every call often goes away. By attaching incentives and rewarding the best performers, organizations can keep all these agents motivated at all times.
COVID-19 has engulfed the entire world, with over 70,000+ people dead, organizations are contemplating the possibility of continuing with work from home post corona pandemic. Top organizations are collaborating through video conferencing applications, conducting online quizzes to keep their employees working from remote locations entertained.
The pandemic has surely introduced the corporate world to a new chapter—work from home—that will take away strain from the hurting planet too. With fewer people traveling to work, less car and lesser requirement of paper-cups, and office supplies, the planet will heal faster than we can imagine.
Now that studies have proved that working from home increases productivity and control stress, companies must see it as a viable option. The governments should take measures and ask organizations to make at least 25% of the employee base to function from home for a better tomorrow.