At the earlier months of 2020, the world as we know it completely did a 180-degree turnaround and has not been the same since. At the time of writing of this blog post, many countries around the world still experience the dreaded effects of COVID-19. For more than a year, the pandemic forced businesses to two choices — shut down or adapt. As a result, plenty shut down while plenty also adapted.
The business world has never been a stranger to remote working, but it also has never seen this number of firms operating without a physical office. Contact centers, in particular, also went “rolled with the punches” and went along with the changes. The changes were quite drastic, as anyone would expect. Of course, no one would expect contact center agents staying and working at home or in a remote area. A normal person will imagine the following images when thinking of the contact center industry: tall buildings, lined-up computers and side-by-side busy agents with their managers overseeing them calling and answering customer queries.
But due to the circumstances, that is not the case anymore. Physical offices are now being limited and remote working is the “now”. Contact centers have accustomed themselves to the “new normal”. In saying this, what have we and contact centers learned after working remotely? Below, we list them down.
The ‘working remotely’ movement has started — and will stay
One would initially think that remote working for contact centers would be a temporary setup — after the pandemic and everything is safe, contact center agents and managers all return to their offices or buildings and continue operations there. However, that is not the case. Due to the benefits working remotely presents for contact centers, this setup will likely stay. According to a research study, 67 percent of companies expect a longer (or even a permanent) amount of time working from home (WFH) or remotely.
After all, remote working for contact centers is the future. As mentioned above, working remotely has a number of benefits contact centers can enjoy. First, of course, is saving money. With the agents and managers on a work-from-home arrangement, they can cut costs initially meant to go to office space, equipment, supplies and various other utilities like water and food. Additionally, working remote can enable contact centers to hire the best of the best previously out of their grasp due to location. With everyone working from home, contact centers can now hire basically anyone with a stable internet connection and proper devices, regardless of their geographical area.
Not only is this beneficial for the contact center itself, but it also greatly benefits the agents and managers. Plenty of contact center agents may experience a boost in morale and their mental state by gaining an autonomy in regards to their schedules.
The stress associated with going from home to office — especially those farther from work — disappears. Even those agents with their own vehicle save up on gas and avoids stress from traffic.
Of course, all of this will not work without the proper remote work management tools and model. It is already a given that agents will need their Desktop PC, internet connection and phone service. But their needs are not limited to just those. Digital technologies like cloud, messaging and video calling software applications (and more) are especially needed to communicate and manage important files and data.
Working remotely also has its own challenges
What we also learned after working remotely in the contact center industry is that it is not always positive — it has challenges, as well. There is certainly a reason why physical offices still exist today.
First is communication. Without the presence of a physical office, communicating with other agents and managers will prove hard to do. Collaborating with others will also be impacted. No one can expect all processes to go smooth — malfunctioning devices and unstable internet connection are examples. The pressure to always have well-functioning devices and stable internet connections arises when working remotely.
WFH agents will also find it hard to manage their time. Not only that, but it will also mess up an agent’s break due to the lack of structure and drastic difference in working environment. Furthermore, work-life balance can be compromised when working from home.
Note that while these challenges might compromise the contact center’s processes, these can be fixed quite easily with a strong support (i.e., proper tools, technology, software and management).
Tegsoft: Communication Software to Make You Happy
Tegsoft is a well-designed platform capable of helping companies provide the best customer experience. This can truly help in establishing good to great call centers capable of almost everything it intends to do!
Surely, we have the best technologies available for contact centers to use in 2021. Whether you work in a physical office or from home, we can provide you with the latest and best technology. Contact us to learn more.
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