The Rise of Remote Contact Center Agents
By Mayur Anadkat
More companies are beginning to adopt remote work programs and offering their employees the option to work from home on a part-time or full-time basis. According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 50% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework. Not many people would argue against the logistical benefits of working from home - for example, cutting out commute time and costs.
Although remote work is a growing trend across many industries, contact centers have lead the charge for a while. I've worked in the contact center industry for more than 15 years but the last five have seen more rapid progression toward remote working than ever before. In fact, more than 80% of our customer base has some type of program that allows a portion of agents to work from home.
Remote work has certainly become popular, and there are three primary benefits specific to contact centers and their agents: cost, scale and talent. Allowing agents to work remotely helps contact centers save on real estate costs, and less seats and office amenities mean less overhead costs. Along those same lines, when a contact center must scale bigger for peak holiday or travel seasons, businesses can hire the number of agents because they do not need to be concerned with restrictions on office space. With the ability to hire remote agents, contact centers open the talent pool to all geographic regions.
While eliminating physical barriers opens up opportunities for managers and agents alike, the technology behind each agent is equally important. For example, whether managers provide agents with company equipment or enforce a "bring your own device" (BYOD) policy, the Five9 software keeps agents connected at all times, and provides notifications and real-time updates through the agent dashboard. With just a headset and a reliable internet connection, agents are empowered to maintain a better work-life balance with the ability to stay connected and get the job done.
I recently sat down with the UC Buyer to discuss this very topic. If you'd like to give it a listen, please visit: The UC Buyer Podcast.