Home based agents and contact centres: online poll suggests that working from home will be part of the ‘new normal’
Interesting new research in this week’s newsletter suggesting that working from home could be the post Covid-19 lockdown norm for the majority of contact centre workers.
In an online poll of businesses, conducted since ’lockdown’ by home working specialist Sensee, more than four in five respondents revealed that they had introduced homeworking in response to the Coronavirus crisis – with just over half of these seeing it as a short term measure, and just under halfper cent a long term strategy. One in eight respondents already had homeworkers before lockdown or had no plans to introduce homeworking, or hadn’t yet implemented homeworking plans.
When asked about their biggest homeworking challenge the most common issues related Pastoral Care (i.e. isolation/mental health), Motivation/Productivity, Telephony/Technology Services, Communication with Remote Workers, and per cent Staff Management. Training, IT Security, and Recruitment were also identified. Only a tiny fraction of respondents thought that they ‘had homeworking nailed’.
“Contact centre homeworking has been around for over 20 years but only recently, and under the most difficult conditions, has it become a reality for the majority of contact centre workers” said Mark Walton, CEO of Sensée. “What our poll shows is that it not only provides an effective short-term business continuity solution but is increasingly being seen as a lot more. Over 50 per cent of UK contact centres are now looking at homeworking as part of their longer term strategy.”
Some perhaps unsurprising comments here from Mark, although there is no doubt that attitudes towards home working have changed dramatically over the past two months, a change highlighted in our own Covid-19 Impact Survey. And we will be looking at the issues and challenges around home working in more detail at our upcoming Internal Communications Digital Conference this autumn. We have a great line up of speaker ranging from BBC News to Coca Cola to Virgin Media, to the NHS and Shell Energy. Look forward to having you join our online conference on September 18.