Should you let contact center employees work from home?

    In the modern workplace, the trend toward working from home has become more than just a one-afternoon-per-week perk. And though it may seem counterintuitive, the call center environment can actually be a good fit for home-based agents. If you’re considering allowing your contact center employees to work remotely, here are a few advantages to keep in mind.

    Extend your talent pool. With remote employees you can reach beyond your geographic boundaries to find the higher skilled staff you need. “That’s the beauty of a work-at-home agent. Put a teleworker phone on their desk and an application on their PC and they can be located anywhere,” says Glenn Ala, Mitel contact center solutions manager.

    Decrease attrition rates. Agents often deal with difficult customers, and as a result stress levels and, consequently, turnover rates tend to be high. “Seventy percent of the cost of a call center is labor. So every time you have to bring a new agent in and train them, it’s costing even more,” Ala says. Since the average cost to recruit and train an agent can fall between $8,000 and $12,000 depending on the industry, it pays to keep your agents happy. “Remote agents tend to have high job satisfaction, which correlates to high customer satisfaction,” Ala says.

    Save money. If the peak call times for your call center are, say, 10 a.m. to noon and then again from 3 to 6 p.m., it’s more cost-effective to have agents work split shifts. And while agents commuting to an office don’t want to work split shifts, they may actually be more attractive to remote agents who have family and other responsibilities. You’ll also be saving on office space, Ala says. “You don’t need the bricks and mortar if your employees work remotely.”

    Monitor productivity remotely. Maintaining productivity is likely a big concern in deciding to allow agents to work remotely. “But with the contact center tools available these days, your agents don’t have to be in the office for you to be able to determine whether they’re productive,” Ala says. In fact, with the real-time monitoring and reporting capabilities of Mitel’s contact center solutions, you can track the number of calls taken per agent, average talk time, how many breaks they’re taking and more to ensure they’re meeting your productivity expectations.

    Learn more about the Mitel MiContact Center solutions in this brochure.