The idea of hiring remote agents has become more and more popular in call centers. This, of course, has brought significant changes to the industry – luckily, in good ways.
In fact, relying on remote agents can be highly beneficial for call centers in terms of productivity, operations, and cost-effectiveness.
While the ongoing debate about home agents is a hot one, a number of recent studies have shown that the pros clearly outweigh the cons. So, let’s check out what the important benefits of the home agent model are!
Cost savings – on both sides
Perhaps the greatest argument in favor of hiring remote agents is that they are cost effective.
As I’m sure you’ll be aware, renting an office space and purchasing all the necessary office and IT facilities is extremely expensive. By utilizing home-based agents, however, you can significantly reduce costs related to office space and IT infrastructure. Also, additional costs, such as transport, employee catering and utility costs can be avoided.
Furthermore, in every call center, there are peak times when customer calls suddenly skyrocket. During these peak periods, you can easily scale up your business by adding part-time remote agents. And as part-time home-based agents receive reduced benefit packages and vacation time, again, additional cost savings can be made.
There’s no question, call centers can save a fortune by using home-based agents. But did you also realize that agents too can make savings by working from home? As gas prices and the cost of public transportation rise, traveling to and from work is getting more and more expensive. Working from home allows remote agents to save on these expenses.
Reduced agent burnout
As call centers are known for being extremely stressful environments to work in, agent retention has always been a major challenge for call center managers. However, utilizing remote agents offers the chance to reduce agent burnout, for two main reasons.
Firstly, employees these days increasingly prefer flexibility at work, and the idea of working remotely from home is very appealing, both to millennials and Gen Z’ers, as well as older generations. Gen Z’ers in particular often struggle with being chained to their desks, and chances are your more mature agents would also prefer not to spend their days in a call center. So why not provide them with the opportunity to work from home?
Secondly, the majority of workers spend 30 minutes on average commuting. But have you ever heard your employees talk about how much they enjoy that commute? I bet not. Research conducted by The Harvard Business Review demonstrates that commuting can be more stressful than actually working. Makes sense, right?
By providing the opportunity to work from home, you’ll allow your agents to get off the hamster wheel. And this is exactly why hiring remote agents can help you reduce burnout in your agent team.
Remote agents show increased productivity
Productivity has always been high on the list of priorities at call centers. According to a recent Forbes article, 91% of remote workers feel they are more productive when working remotely.
Furthermore, workspace evolution has decreased the average space per employee and increased office noise levels. This is especially true for call centers, where a bunch of agents sit close to each other while being on the phone all day long. And of course, this working environment is not for everyone. In fact, as shown in a previous infographic, 89% of open office workers say they are more productive when working alone.
In contrast, when agents are allowed to work from home, they can avoid the daily distractions of an office, such as noisy colleagues, long lunch breaks and never-ending (and often pointless) meetings. Instead, they can concentrate 100% on their ongoing projects.
Access to a global pool of talent
While almost every industry is facing workforce shortages, it’s a real struggle in the call center industry. It’s no surprise considering that the idea of working as a call center agent is not very popular among employees.
Also, as many customer service departments operate internationally, call centers often need to rely on multilingual workforces, which of course is even more challenging.
And this is where remote agents again prove their worth. By utilizing a remote workforce, you will be able to access a global pool of high-quality talent. Furthermore, as your options will be geographically limitless, your business will be able to find the most skilled multilingual agents without being limited by geographic factors.
It’s no secret that the traditional workforce model is in free fall, and it really does seem that employees are happier when working from home. And as we all know, happier agents are more productive agents.
By relying on remote agents, you can cut costs significantly, increase productivity and decrease burnout in your agent team, while also providing you with the opportunity of hiring the best talent in the world. So, if you are not utilizing remote agents already, maybe it’s time to give it a try!