A work-at-home strategy is a popular topic right now. It’s only natural that many of my colleagues are highlighting the work-at-home-agent solutions (WAHA) offered by Teleperformance. The entire world is facing a sudden crisis because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensuring that at least some of your team are working from home creates business resilience, but I think there are a few other important points about a work-at-home strategy that is often missed in the conversation. It allows you to hire the very best people, improved employee satisfaction and geographic diversity.
Think about this for a moment. Many executives designing a customer service strategy need to plan their contact center location carefully. Parking and public transport have to be taken into account, in addition to the local population size and demographics. However, the bottom line is always going to be that you can only hire from the people who live close enough to the contact center to commute to work in a reasonable amount of time.
You might think a one-hour journey to work is normal, or you might think that it’s far too long, but this is a recruitment problem at any contact center. People need to get there and get home. If you are hiring for skills and don’t care where your agents are located then you can raise the bar and only hire those who perform best during your recruitment process — that’s what is possible with a work-at-home strategy.
This can be even more important when hiring for niche skills. Imagine you want to support gamers. It may be critical to the gaming company that the customer service team loves the game they are supporting, so that means you need to find gamers who can then be trained to work in customer service. Your normal recruitment procedure is not going to work, but if you cast the net widely and focus on finding relevant gamers first and then checking their aptitude for a customer service role second then you can manage the requirement.
Working from home can also benefit both employer and employee. Many people find that their productivity is increased because of the reduced stress (no more commuting to the office) and office politics. People are interrupted less often when working from home. Gallup research suggests that employees who spend 60-80% of the time at home are actually much more engaged with their employer than those who work from a fixed office location.
All the evidence points to home working as a great way to plan a customer service strategy, but I believe the ability to recruit the best people has to be the kicker. Who wouldn’t want to explore an idea like this when planning for the best possible customer experience?
For more information on the Teleperformance Work-at-home-agent solutions please click here. If you have any comments on working from home or the topics raised in this article, then please leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.