Why SmartWorking Works For Contact Centres
Two years ago, more than four hundred homeworkers (or Home Agents) and their employers took part in a survey conducted by the United Kingdom Contact Centre Forum. The results were overwhelmingly positive and clearly expressed the benefits of flexible working for both parties.
- 58% now employ SmartWorkers.
- 69% said their employees were happier and more productive.
- 74% said remote working made scheduling easier and more flexible.
- 84% allow employees to work multiple shifts in a single day.
- 65% said their work-life balance improved greatly.
- 73% said they no longer have any weekly travel costs.
- 68% recovered time wasted commuting to work.
- 92% said they were happier.
- 86% received virtual training with 58% saying it was just as effective as office-based training.
“Employers responding to our survey pointed to huge benefits in terms of cost savings, productivity and enhanced Employee Engagement, while the vast majority of Home Agents are clearly happy swapping the advantages of office working for the work-life balance benefits of homeworking,” said Trevor Butterworth, CEO of the UK Contact Centre Forum.
Why Didn’t We Listen?
Despite the obvious advantages outlined in the CCF survey, the number of remote customer service roles have remained virtually unchanged in the last two years. At present, almost a quarter of all customer service positions in the UK are performed remotely. Why isn’t this figure greater?
Like the computing and IT sector, the customer service industry is equipped to make a smooth transition to SmartWorking. Through simple and readily available technology, companies can empower a completely remote workforce that is both happier and more productive.
Now Is The Time
Now is the time to make the switch to SmartWorking. The US-based kitchen and home furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma recently announced their intention to hire a total of 3,500 seasonal remote customer service associates, averaging 200 hires each week between now and November.
An advocate of SmartWorking practices for years, Williams-Sonoma are no fools when it comes to seizing opportunities. They know it’s not the $12 per hour salary or the 40% discount that is attracting people to these positions. Instead, it’s their offer of flexibility, autonomy and an improved work-life balance.