One of a series of blogs about homeworking in our industry, this week we look at what steps your scheduling and real time team can take to ensure homeworkers and office workers are treated the same.
Same old same old…
- Some processes should be just the same for all agents. Scheduling in breaks, lunches, meetings etc ensures each agent can have a ‘proper’ break from work and switch off, they don’t have to feel guilty about not responding to emails/chats in that time. This can be especially important for homeworkers who don’t have their colleagues with them to remind them to go for a brew when its time!
- Overtime and offline time should be offered in the same way as office workers, this can be easily achieved with the right WFM tool so all agents received the request at the same time thus creating fairness across all work locations.
- Shift start times – the agent may be able to offer more flexible starts for example when not dependant on public transport. This can be particularly beneficial for Sunday working where there is a reduced schedule for public transport and also late and overnight shifts for security reasons.
- Split shifts – these often fit with business needs and can be a great option for agents who like to break up the day.
- Breaks & Lunches – many home working agents find it preferable to take little and often breaks as it’s easier to pop to the fridge at home than to walk all the way to the work canteen! For example, if you have 2 x 15 mins breaks in a day ask your agents if they would prefer 3 x 10 mins, same for lunch would they prefer 2 x 30 mins to an hour off. This will nearly always give improved coverage to requirements. If you are using a WFM tool such as Teleopti you can test and measure the coverage improvements using the What If Scenario module.
- Schedules on WFM – on your tool or excel sheet have a different colour/icon for shifts worked from home and shifts worked in the office. Ensure this is visible to the agents, managers and support services so it can be easily seen what location the agent is working each day, where meetings are etc.
- Adherence monitoring and productivity – be aware that agents working from home may need a little extra work time for example if they need to confirm information with a manager or colleague, where a call is needed rather than a quick tap on the shoulder as they could do in the office.
Work types – what types of work the agent can do may depend on
- what access do they have to the ACD for calls, chat/email distributer, CRM tool for back-office tasks?
- Do they need access to a scanner/printer for back-office tasks?
- Do they need to liaise with other depts regularly for certain tasks?
- What work types are you able to measure real-time and productivity on remotely?
I hope this gives you some WFM tips. There are more blogs on homeworking for the contact centre industry focussing on The Office at Home, Recruitment and Management.
Good luck with your Homeworking ventures! 😊👋🏻