I've long been fascinated by the move toward Work From Home (WFH) agents in the contact center industry. It just seems to make sense - lower costs for contact center operators and a happier work environment for contact center agents.
As I've talked with successful contact center managers/operators who are utilizing the WFH model, I've seen some trends toward leveraging WFH not only for the "usual" reasons (lower costs, happier agents) but for overall improved results / incentives in the contact center. I wanted to share with you the ways that some forward thinking contact centers are using the model:
- Incentives for top performers: One contact center I've spoken with has a select number of WFH spots. Each month they are awarded to the top performing agents in the contact center. It's an incentive that pretty much every agent wants, and the contact center has seen a direct result in everyone's performance metrics.
- Seasonal scalability: I spoke recently with a customer that has two primary peak seasons, each lasting about a month. The company has built a model to add temporary agents during the peak seasons, but they didn't want the added expense of paying for more square footage in their contact center when it would only be filled to capacity for about two months every year. Their solution was to send all of their seasoned agents home during the peak times, and fill the existing seats with temporary workers.
- Geographic dispersion: We work with a contact center on the west coast that allows a large percentage of its workforce to work from home. They have agents located in every time zone in the United States, allowing them to easily staff for every time zone while not requiring their agents on the West coast to come to work at 4:00 in the morning.
- Attracting top talent: If you have no geographic boundaries for your contact center, your reach to hire new agents can be as big as you want. You can not only attract top talent more easily by offering the WFH model, but you can find skilled agents anywhere they live today, without being limited to a single geography.
There are many reasons for the WFH model outside of those you typically hear about. I'd love to hear more of the reasons for moving to a WFH model - please feel free to comment below. And we've built a number of WFH reasources that you can access here.