Although many employers were embracing remote work before the pandemic, COVID-19 made it more of a standard way of doing business.
By and large, remote work during COVID was a success. Desk-based employees were still able to get work done and maintain a high level of productivity. Most people who suddenly found themselves working remotely realized it helped them achieve a better work-life balance while remaining productive.
From a labor perspective, the effectiveness of remote working during COVID convinced employees that it is a sustainable work model. The pandemic also forced most companies to put remote work systems in place. Moving forward, people who want to work remotely or in a hybrid situation are less willing to accept a position without either. In a 2022 survey, 65 percent of respondents said they wanted a fully remote position, while 31 percent preferred a hybrid work arrangement.
The pandemic also dispelled the idea that remote work is a privilege meant only for top company leaders and in-demand IT workers. Many call centers were able to continue operations in 2020 with their customer service employees taking calls in their bedrooms or home offices. Even though these employees weren’t flying across the country to take important meetings or develop important software, they were still able to provide value by doing their job over the Internet.
What Benefits Do Remote Work Opportunities Provide for Employers?
As the threat of COVID decreased, the easing of restrictions led to another shift in expectations. Some company leaders were eager to get their employees back into the office. These leaders might be concerned that their employees are spending their workdays half paying attention and putting in subpar work as a result. However, the same technology that allows employees to work over the Internet can also be used to ensure they remain productive. In fact, companies have increasingly been finding ways to extract more insight from the remote collaboration and communication tools being used by their employees. Today’s company managers can actually get a better sense of what their employees are doing than if they were in the office.
For employers, remote work should be seen as much more than a way to maintain productivity while making employees happy. Call centers should take a proactive mindset toward remote work and see it as a business opportunity, not merely a concession to workers.
Staffing Experts in Wichita Provide Four Reasons Why Call Center Employers Should Explore Remote Work Options
Statistics show that allowing employees to work remotely translates into all kinds of business benefits, including lower costs, better recruiting, greater flexibility, and higher productivity.
Remote Call Centers are Cost Efficient
For companies, one of the most obvious benefits of embracing remote work is cost reduction. When you have fewer employees coming into the office, your real estate needs decrease as well. Employees that switch over to fully remote no longer need desks or offices. People working on a hybrid model can have their in-person times staggered so that they can share desks and other workspaces. Having fewer people in the office also translates into savings on furnishings, computer hardware, office supplies, and more. On top of that, you can add more staff without necessarily having to add more overhead.
The money that your company saves by prioritizing remote work can then be used in whatever way you see fit. You could increase employee pay, offer more bonuses, invest in employee training, invest in product development, or add more services.
Incidentally, your employees will also experience cost savings by switching to remote work. One of the biggest ways your employees will save is by eliminating their commute. The average person who drives to work can save around $4,500 annually when switching to remote work. Getting rid of a commute also saves time, which is an extremely valuable commodity. We all wish we had more time in the day, especially parents who need to take care of young children. In fact, commute stress is the main reason given by people seeking a remote position, according to a survey by FlexJobs.
Ability to Expand Your Candidate Search for a Larger Talent Pool
Every hiring decision is difficult for a call center. A good representative can help customers find solutions while keeping them happy and providing a good overall experience. A good representative also needs to understand their industry so they can clearly explain the company’s services and products. Ideally, a customer service representative should also be a team player. Finding a candidate who meets these requirements can be challenging, especially in a mid-sized city like Wichita.
If your company has a remote work policy, it can help your hiring team cope with a tight labor market by expanding the size of your company’s talent pool. Instead of being relegated to people in the immediate area, your company can attract talent from around the country. In fact, your company can also use this to its advantage. For example, if you have clients and customers in different regions around the US, you can hire people from these areas so they can literally speak their language. Locally-based representatives will find it easier to make fast and deep connections with local clients and customers. You can also hire people in different time zones to better accommodate clients and customers in different parts of the country.
Offering remote work also expands your company’s talent pool by making open positions more attractive. Someone who may not have wanted a call center job might give it a second look once they know the job is fully remote or hybrid. Younger generations and young parents will be particularly drawn to these kinds of opportunities. This infusion of younger talent supports a high level of literacy with current digital technologies.
Flexible Staffing Options
Although flexible staffing has always been a good thing for an organization to have, massive economic events like a global pandemic or a global recession show that flexibility can be vital in times of crisis. When a company has the option of shifting to remote work, it has a dramatic positive impact on overall flexibility. For example, when companies were expected to uphold social distancing guidelines during COVID, remote and hybrid work arrangements could help keep people socially distant and productive.
Companies can increase their flexibility even further through the use of a call center staffing agency. Today’s call center staffing agencies are able to find hybrid and remote workers for temporary employment. This can help a cell center ramp up its staffing during busy seasons and help a company quickly expand its operations.
Help Increase Productivity and Improve Employee Retention
During the darkest days of the pandemic, many people stuck with a job they didn’t like because it provided a degree of certainty and stability. But as the pandemic started to recede, it unleashed a ton of pent-up demand for new jobs from within the labor force. So many people started quitting their jobs in 2021 and 2022 that the media dubbed it The Great Resignation. On top of that, the pandemic compelled many people to go into early retirement.
This massive churn in the labor market continues to cause problems for employers. It’s never been harder to keep top talent, and call centers must pull out all the stops to keep their best employees. On top of that, turnover is costly. Replacing a departed employee requires placing ads, screening candidates, conducting interviews, onboarding, and training. It also takes time for new employees to get up to speed, and they often make costly errors as part of their learning process.
As we’ve said before, the option to work remotely is something many people are seeking out these days. People want to achieve a better work-life balance, and parents of young children need every precious minute to handle their important responsibilities. If your company doesn’t allow remote or hybrid work, it’s risking losing good people to companies that do offer these options.
Remote work also leads to better company culture and higher employee engagement. When employees are allowed to work remotely, it shows a certain level of trust in them. This gives them a stronger sense of ownership and boosts engagement. Studies on remote work continue to show that it actually leads to higher productivity, dispelling the notion that remote workers are distracted and lazy.
Partner with a Customer Service Staffing Agency in Wichita to Get Help Finding Top Quality Employees for Your Call Center
At Top Notch Personnel, our call center staffing services include providing remote talent to our clients. We understand the current landscape of this labor market, and we work with our clients to develop custom solutions that meet both their short-term and long-term needs. If your call center is currently in need of a custom talent solution, please contact us today.