As the world becomes increasingly connected, remote working continues to be extremely popular and for contact centres this can offer significant advantages.

Here are five reasons why remote agents can be of benefit:

1. Split-Shifts 

 Remote work provides numerous options for scheduling, particularly with split-shifts. Commuting to the office is no longer a concern, making previously impractical schedules more feasible. For instance, a split-shift from 6am-8am and 12pm-6pm may not be ideal for those with office-based jobs. But for someone working from home, this schedule can allow them to work for a few hours, handle family responsibilities and then return to work (split shift). They can run errands in the time they have between the two shifts, grab lunch and manage their time better. This schedule may not be suitable for everyone, but it can be a great option for some agents. 

2. VOT and VTO 

Voluntary overtime (VOT) and voluntary time off (VTO) can be a headache for real-time teams. They are constantly trying to find agents willing to work a few extra hours or take time off to balance service levels and budget constraints. With remote agents, the chances of finding individuals who are willing to work extra hours after their shift or take time off at short notice increases. Remote agents do not have to worry about commuting, so they may be more inclined to take advantage of VOT and VTO opportunities. Simplifying VOT and VTO management can help real-time teams improve their performance. 

3. Micro-Shifts 

Remote work has revolutionised the concept of micro-shifts, with enormous benefits for many organisations. With remote work, agents can work as little as 1-3 hours at a time. This enables organisations to use micro-shifts as building blocks, allowing agents to self-select their schedules. By creating small work segments, agents have greater control and autonomy over their schedules, which can flatten staffing variations, improve consistency and help meet service level targets. Organisations benefit from having greater control over scheduling, while agents benefit from more flexibility in their work arrangements. 

4. No More Seat Allocation Woes 

While it may not be obvious to those outside of contact centres, seat allocation can be a significant challenge for WFM and operations teams in overstaffed centres. With remote agents, this challenge disappears. Managers no longer have to worry about having limited seats available or keeping people who don’t get on apart. Instead, the focus can shift to meeting the demands of the business and customers, without the logistical and relational issues that come with physical contact centre seats. The WFM team can concentrate on meeting the business requirements and not on the physical space allocation. 

5. Increased Schedule Adherence 

One of the most significant benefits of remote work for WFM teams is an increase in schedule adherence. With the remote working model, agents don’t have to deal with traffic or transportation issues that can cause them to be late or miss work. Additionally, the flexibility offered by varying start times and shift lengths, combined with a shift-bid where agents can select their schedules, can further improve schedule adherence. This can be transformational for WFM teams. 

At Call Design, we strongly believe that employees should have a fulfilling, engaging and satisfying work experience. While remote work is a step towards achieving this goal, managing, scheduling and motivating and keeping a remote workforce engaged can be a daunting task. If you share our belief that remote agents can bring value to your organisation but don’t know how to proceed, don’t hesitate to contact us! Call Design enables you to develop and implement an effective remote program for your contact centre. 

By Dan Smitley, Call Design