3 Tools Your Agents Need to Make Working from Home Successful

For some, the switch to work-from-home sounded like an opportunity to make some serious routine upgrades—who didn’t mind trading the office’s K-cups for some whipped coffee? Commutes went from 20 minutes to 20 seconds, and athleisure became the new business casual. But as days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, screen fatigue had set in and people began longing for a normal routine again.

With many aspects of life suspended in a sense of uncertainty, it can be challenging for us all to really imagine returning to normal again anytime soon. In fact, our workplaces may forever look different.

Perhaps if given access to a few simple tools, your team of agents can feel connected again and establish a healthy routine right from their dining room table or IKEA desk.

Thankfully, different does not have to mean miserable or unproductive. Perhaps if given access to a few simple tools, your team of agents can feel connected again and establish a healthy routine right from their dining room table or IKEA desk.

Here are 3 tools your agents need to make working from home successful:

  1. Management office hours. Hopefully by now your agents are comfortable handling calls and other channels again, but many miss the collaboration and face-to-face coaching they relied on in the contact center. Consider setting up virtual “drop-in” office hours for supervisors and managers, trade boring conference call for video team chats, and implement shared workspaces in a CRM or suite like Google Drive. These are great ways to check-in with your agents and monitor their engagement before corrective actions could become necessary.
  2. Self-service scheduling. As many businesses make longer-term plans to keep employees working from their homes, agents may need additional flexibility in their scheduling to accommodate shared workspaces. Parents with children attending school virtually or an apartment full of roommates on calls of their own could inhibit optimal agent attentiveness. Granting your agents access to a self-service scheduling system gives them the flexibility they need to work during optimal focus times. Plus, a reliable Workforce Management solution such as Calabrio or Verint helps you staff according to real call volume—which ultimately reduces costs, cuts down on customer hold times and employee boredom.
  3. Reliable Equipment. Whether you had to move agents home in days or had longer to make a work-from-home game plan, your agents might benefit from some simple equipment upgrades to restore great customer service. The right noise-cancelling headset or a simple ethernet connection could make all the difference for your agent and customer experience. Additionally, supervisors could spend even just a few minutes with each agent to ensure their work-from-home station is up for the task. After all, a Wi-Fi router connected to 4 smartphones, a TV, an InstaPot and multiple laptops at once probably has even your most advanced cloud-based platform moving at the speed of dial-up. This is bad for productivity and business continuity—no matter how long they will be working from home.

We hope these tools will prove to be useful in establishing a new normal that protects your business objectives and reinforces healthy routines for your whole team.

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