Enterprise -> Technology
By: Nicola Brookes, NewVoiceMedia
Published: 2nd July 2014
Copyright © 2014
Many businesses have a rapidly expanding workforce, but an office that stays the same size as it ever was. This isn’t a case of forcing employees to share desks or building workspaces in the corridors, it’s simply that more businesses are recruiting remote workers.
Four million people in Britain now work from home, with an increase of 62,000 compared with last year. This is the highest figure to date, and cloud technology is the single biggest factor contributing to this shift from the office to the home.
Virtual call centre agents
While businesses across all sectors are embracing the idea of employees working from home, there has been a particularly large growth of remote working within the call centre industry.
According to the Plantronics and Customer Contact Association, 61% of contact centres plan to increase their number of home-working agents. Plus, a staggering 92% of call centres cited that remote workers improved the flexibility of their business.
With cloud computing, it’s easy for an employee to get started in the comfort of their own home. All they’ll need is a phone, internet access and a computer and they can begin taking calls and dealing with customer enquiries, in much the same way as they would in the office.
Technology like NewVoiceMedia’s ContactWorld is accessed via the internet, so as long as your employees can get online they can log in to exactly the same system as their office-based co-workers. As a call centre manager, you can still see who’s online and available and it’s as easy to manage as if they were sitting a few metres from your desk.
So, what’s stopping every call centre from joining the cloud?
With remote working still a fairly recent concept, there’s the attitude amongst some that working from home means watching television—but this simply isn’t the case. Admittedly, there is the fact that 200,000 more people than usual watched the Jeremy Kyle Show on a snowy November day, when huge numbers worked from home due to weather conditions—but this is an exceptional case!
Plus, with call centre work, agents have to be available all the time just the same as they would in the office. It’s simply part of the job and that doesn’t change just because their desk has.
Other businesses may be cautious, as it seems like a big thing to expand beyond the walls of your office. Many also believe that employing home-working staff will result in work being harder to control and organise. But with software that tracks every call and agent, day-to-day management remains unchanged.
The simple fact is that businesses shouldn’t remain fixed in one location with a set number of employees; they need to adapt to changes and embrace the potential outside the office walls.
Posted: 2nd July 2014 | By Rob Moses :
Remote workers are usually more efficient and cheaper overall than onsite workers. Granted, a small minority will abuse the opportunity to work at home, but it has been consistently shown that efficiency and production rise when workers do not have to deal with commuting and can manage their home life too (like accepting packages or letting the cable guy in). I seem to recall in Minneapolis a couple years ago, that Hennipen county gave up a multistory building and sent their works home to work. They saved the cost of the building rent in exchange for investing in computers for their workers. They now have a more efficient workforce and vastly more happy!
Another aspect is using remote contractors for development, administration, Help Desk and other technical work. Contractors can save as much as 25% over FT employees and they don't take vacations and don't leave for greener pastures!
It is obviously not workable for all industries, but a significant proportion of the workforce could work at home reducing traffic clutter, infrastructure, returning the focus to home neighborhoods and families and generally raising the quality of life for everyone. If the bottom line is efficiency and profit, it's a no-brainer, even for those who think they have to watch their employees to make sure they are working.
Yes, the future is definitely remote for smart companies.
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Published by: electronicdawn Ltd.