With 90%+ of contact center populations now working from home, the time has arrived to accurately assess what's working, what's not working so well, and where the opportunities sit for upgrades and tweaks to optimize WFH programs for the long haul. Michele Rowan, President of Customer Contact Strategies, conducts benchmarking surveys with Senior Leaders on their work from home programs several times per annum.
Posts about Remote Working:
Here are a number of considerations for protecting employee safety and well being, and business health as restrictions start to lift, and we begin to return to the "new normal":
During this time of supreme health and safety measures for our employees, and rapid transitions for many teams going remote, here are some reminders that are the backbone of high functioning remote programs:
The work at home model is mature in the contact center world, with a solid 10 years of significant utilization under our belts. It is considered low lying fruit for ROI, in that businesses have the same clear visibility of output regardless of where people sit (in house or at home) and it appeals to so many people. This is not the case with many other enterprise roles, but for highly transactional jobs like many contact center experiences, working from home is - for the most part - a big, easy win.
Top Three Pitfalls of Work at Home Programs and How to Avoid Them
Cultural connectivity is one of the top concerns leaders have about deploying an on scale work at home program. The question is, "how will we successfully convey our culture, and inspire people to engage, when they aren't in the building?"
Recently some large companies made announcements about pulling back on their telecommuting programs. In general terms, the notifications advised many professionals who had worked remotely for years - that they needed to come back to the office to work, or lose their jobs.
A 2017 survey of 60 US contact center organizations indicated that 70% are expanding their work at home programs - many moving to new markets. It is a fact that when we effectively market home-based positions, we see an increase in applicant flow of 200-400%. Here's the challenge: with growing work at home programs, smart hiring workflows and process automation become a requirement, versus a passing interest.
We have worked with hundreds of organizations who have become very successful at work at home, but all too often the applicant funnel becomes so large, it's unmanageable. As a result, the wrong reps get hired. Here are two examples of proven workflows and processes that help companies hire the best reps for work at home.
Over the past five years, we've worked with 800+ organizations in design, implementation and continuous improvement of work at home programs for contact centers.
Now that home working for contact centers is moving into the mainstream, there are some patterns emerging in terms of failure points. The top three are folllowing, along with proven methods of turning things around, or better, avoiding the failure points all together:
Survey results from 100+ Fortune 1000 companies with home-based employees are in. Not surprisingly, the top challenge for companies is preparing leaders for effective management of telecommuters. The second largest challenge has been reported in