Why At-Home Workforce (Part 3)

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In part 1 and part 2 of this three part series, we discussed common objections to deploying an at-home workforce and some benefits to having such a workforce either as a supplement to or substitution for a brick-and-mortar workforce. Now for the ‘what’s next’…

If you are saying to yourself,  “I’m sold, now how do I get started?” – take some advice from Michele Rowan, at-home workforce advocate and expert who would tell you when preparing to move employee home (see www.gohome.us.com):

Set clear expectations with agents

  • Ergonomics
  • Connectivity
  • Access and response time
  • Uptime

 Take agents through a group training and Q & A

  • Technology
  • All other expectations

 Prepare & train your supervisors & support staff

  • Competencies for managing at-home agents
  • Technology expertise
  • Webcam & webcast
  • Adobe connect

Source your at-home workforce by looking for the following kinds of employees in the following places:

  • Stay at home parents – Parenting web sites
  • Disabled individuals – NTI, Virtual Training Systems
  • Baby Boomers – Boomernet.com
  • Retirees and seniors – Suddenlysenior.com
  • Military Spouses – Military web sites

Once you have your staff in place, use some proven best practices to retain them, including:

  1. Set clear expectations
  2. Communicate and make them feel part of a community, sharing company culture and events
  3. Have a solid support structure in place
  4. Enable strong social connectivity opportunities using technology such as webcams and virtual team meetings (WebEx and Skype are helpful here)
  5. Offer flexible schedules

Hopefully this series has given you some insight into ways and reasons to consider an at-home workforce.  Many materials and experts exist around the subject and certainly the inContact suite of contact center solutions will enable such a workforce regardless of size, industry or location. We have many customers who have both brick-and-mortar and at-home agents in North America and abroad. The inContact platform and business analytics give a consistent view, set of best practices and tools for agents regardless of geography.