The demand for home working opportunities is greater than ever, particularly in the contact centre. Thanks to the advent of cloud technology, companies with contact centres can offer their employees access to all the tools they use in the office from a virtual environment.
By enabling employees to work remotely, business leaders can reduce the overhead costs of running their team and create a more cohesive strategy for customer support.
With all the benefits of remote working contact centre employees, there are a few challenges to consider too. For instance, how do you support your team members in managing a successful work/life balance, when the line between home and work is blurred?
1. Listen to Your Team
The easiest way to support and motivate remote employees is to listen to what they need from you. Regular pulse surveys that allow you to drill down into the needs of your individual users can make a huge difference to your ability to offer the right services and solutions to staff.
You might find that your team members can work better when they have access to video conferencing tools, which means doubling down on your ability to deliver video collaboration. Alternatively, some of your team members might ask for things like project management tools to help them keep track of the tasks that they need to do each day. Supporting your employees means finding what works for them.
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2. Recognise Your Employees
It’s easy to take an out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach to dealing with remote employees sometimes. Many of these key workers can work autonomously thanks to cloud communication tools that keep them connected around the globe. However, while team leaders shouldn’t be micro-managing their employees, they should be making sure that their staff feel appreciated.
The University of Warwick found that increasing employees’ happiness led to a 12% boost in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. In the US, a Gallup poll was able to confirm that people who don’t feel properly recognised are also twice as likely to quit. Make time to show your team members that they’re paying attention with rewards and praise.
3. Encourage Effective Scheduling
A common concern for many business leaders is that remote workers might not put as much effort into their work when they don’t have someone hanging over their shoulder. However, studies have shown that the opposite is often true. Most remote workers struggle to separate their work and life when working from home, which means that they overwork and burn themselves out.
Remind your employees to schedule their days carefully, using things like presence tools to let other team members know when they’re not available. Remote workers shouldn’t have to be “always-on” simply because they’re not in the office. Ask your staff members to respect their colleagues when they’re “away” or offline.
4. Communicate Constantly
Communication is the key to a successful remote working strategy. Your employees need plenty of feedback to let them know how they’re progressing with their work. Consider providing team members with an insight into the metrics that they’re delivering when it comes to things like time to resolution or customer satisfaction.
If your staff are having a hard time with certain tasks, make sure that they know where to turn for extra guidance and help. Even regular video catchups hosted once a month can make a massive difference to how engaged your employees feel.
Support Your Remote Workers
As the demand for remote working contact centre agents continues to increase, make sure you know how to empower and support your valuable workers. These remote employees can help you to accomplish incredible things with your customer experience strategy, but you need to ensure that they’re getting the tools they need to thrive.
Originally published Apr 17, 2020, updated Jan 16, 2023