January 10 is Houseplant Appreciation Day and a perfect time to discuss remote work in the Contact Center world. While COVID-19 forced Contact Centers around the globe into remote work, today a lot of Contact Centers are deciding how best to move forward. NGNCloudComm from Grupo NGN is the best CCaaS solution for Contact Centers to support any model of office, remote, or hybrid work models. Agents and supervisors can run NGNCloudComm entirely from the web without any footprint or local installations required. This makes NGNCloudComm the most simple as well as the most secure CCaaS option on top of having the most up to date feature set making it the 2022 Customer TMC Labs Innovation Award Winner.
Remote Working Statistics
As of late 2022, 26% of US employees work remotely. That is down from a COVID-19 peak of 41.7% working remotely during 2020 but is still more than 4 times the percentage of remote workers in 2018 (5.7%). Here are some additional remote work statistics:
US employees work remotely at least part time
US employees say they prefer working remote
Job seekers say they are more likely to choose an employer that offers remote work
By 2025 experts predict that more than 36 million US based workers will be remote
It is clear that remote work is here to stay, and Contact Centers need to be able to maximize the efficiency of remote employees.
Benefits of a Remote Work Force
I remember working with one of my customers who told me that prior to the pandemic they were completely opposed to allowing remote work. But after being forced into remote work, this customer found that the benefits far outweighed the challenges, and they now have a permanent remote workforce.
The number one benefit this customer mentioned was the increased pool of potential hires. Prior to allowing remote work this Contact Center had a limited pool of workers to hire from what was basically a 20 to 30-mile radius from their headquarters. But once they started hiring for remote workers, they found that not only did the number of applicants they received for open listings was more than triple, but the quality of applicants was also much higher than what they were used to seeing from their local pool.
Remote employees have reduced stress, improved morale, take fewer sick days and say they have a better work life balance. For a Contact Center this correlates to increased productivity and decreased turnover.
Remote Working Challenges
For agents there are a few challenges of which one is overcoming the possible loneliness of not going into a physical workplace and seeing co-workers on a regular basis. For some agents making sure they take breaks and walking away from their desk can be a challenge.
Contact Centers also have a few challenges they need to overcome with a remote work force. These challenges can include:
- Maintaining motivation and engaging with agents
- Monitoring remote agents as needed or even legally required
- Providing IT support
- Ensuring compliance
- Communicating with agents as needed
NGNCloudComm for a Remote Workforce
Zero footprint is a huge advantage NGNCloudComm brings to its customers. Supporting work from home and remote agents is much simpler when agents can log in and use their workstation without having to go through any complicated installation procedures. NGNCloudComm supports voice connections directly from their browsers, a softphone, a cell phone, a landline, or even through a PBX. Agents have several options to ensure the most reliable and best quality connection.
Supervisors and managers are also able to login and manage their Contact Center through a web-based system without having to install anything. This includes not having to install any extra Java applets or plugins!
Customers have a custom NGNSuite landing page for easy access to all their online based tools.
Supervisors have everything they need to manage day to day operations from NGNCloudComm’s Manager Console.
- Start and stop queues (inbound/outbound/social media/chat/etc.)
- Based on permissions, control the Business Rules
- Manage lead flow for outbound queues
- Assign agents to queues and skills as needed
- Track the real time status of each agent
- Monitor any agent or join a call to provide help
- Run reports and check performance results
All these capabilities are available WITHOUT ANY DOWNLOAD and WITHOUT ANY INSTALLATION.
NGNInsights for Remote Workers
NGNInsights is our all-in-one dashboard, performance management, gamification, and internal chat tool and it is the perfect solution to maximize your remote team’s motivation and performance. It was originally developed for the US Pentagon by a team of data scientists and video game designers and is now used by some the largest BPOs and Contact Centers around the world.
Real Time Feedback Loop
Agents have a tile that displays their performance results for key performance indicators (KPIs) or “Insights”. Supervisors have access to an overview of all their agent’s tiles. This creates an open feedback loop where agents see their performance evaluation in real time and can make adjustments and improvements in real time knowing that they are viewing the exact same tile as their supervisor.
In addition to the real time data analysis, NGNInsights includes the following gamification options:
- Store and Digital Currency
These features engage your remote workforce with positive motivation and healthy competition.
Chat Developed Specifically for the Contact Center
While there are several options for an internal chat system, Contact Centers have very specific compliance and legal needs on top of the need to allow remote employees to communicate with each other.
NGNInsights chat was developed specifically for Contact Centers. It comes with settings specific to ensuring full compliance including limiting who agents can chat with and whether agents can include any screenshots or file attachments with their chats. Broadcast messages scroll across the top of agent screens ensuring that time sensitive information is communicated without having to audibly interrupt a voice call.