Achieving work-life balance in the hybrid contact centre
Hybrid working has become the norm for contact centres across the UK.
Thanks to cloud contact centre solutions – like Puzzel – customer service teams can now take calls, manage interactions, and collaborate with their colleagues from anywhere. Managers can work from any location too, with cloud access to all the tools they need to monitor calls, track performance, and make service changes in real-time.
This has been a huge step forward for the industry, considering just 4% of contact centre agents in the UK worked remotely full-time before the pandemic . It has brought a number of benefits for employees, including:
– Less time and money spent on commuting
– More freedom and autonomy
– Increased flexibility to work around personal commitments
In turn, businesses are also benefitting from:
– Higher employee engagement and retention
– Increased productivity
– Reduced real estate costs
But when it comes to improving work-life balance – there’s still more to do.
The work-life balance challenge
Simply enabling employees to work from home doesn’t guarantee them a better work-life balance. During the pandemic, many homeworkers actually reported working longer hours than usual and struggling to ‘switch off’ at the end of the day, which led to high rates of burnout and attrition in some industries .
Remote working removes the physical boundary between employees’ home life and work life. This makes it easier for them to work overtime and skip breaks, which can lead to poor mental health long-term. So as a contact centre leader, it’s important for you to understand these challenges and set clear expectations for your staff.
Four ways workforce management (WFM) can help
A workforce management (WFM) solution can help you facilitate a healthier work-life balance for your employees in four ways:
1. Agent self-scheduling
Agent self-scheduling is a feature of WFM that enables agents to submit their availability and work preferences to managers, request shift changes, trade shifts with colleagues and manage their holidays via a portal. This not only reduces your administrative overhead, but provides agents with greater control over their work schedules and work-life balance. Research shows autonomy is one of the strongest motivators for workers , so it’s a quick win for you and your staff.
2. Monitor real-time adherence
If you manage a remote team, you can’t physically see your staff at work. That means you can’t see if they’re working through breaks or in need of support. With a WFM solution however, you can monitor adherence in real-time to ensure agents are sticking to their schedules. You can see what each member of your team is doing versus what they should be doing according to their schedules, and therefore when staff are working overtime, skipping breaks, or in need of support.
3. Improve forecasting and scheduling
Forecasting and scheduling are essential when it comes to agent work-life balance. Accurately forecasting contact volumes across the day and planning schedules accordingly will allow you to meet customer demand and provide the best experience for your agents.
Forecasting and scheduling used to be an arduous process requiring the cross analysis of spreadsheets from multiple communication channels, but now WFM programs can automatically generate forecasts using historical data direct from your omnichannel contact centre. With the right WFM solution, you can generate accurate forecasts and plan optimal schedules to ensure your contact centre is always effectively staffed, while reducing agent overtime.
Puzzel is the leading European provider of cloud contact centre solutions. Every day, more than 1,100 organisations across 40 countries use our software to deliver smart customer experiences, blending the powers of people and technology to serve customers efficiently, effectively and with empathy.
The Puzzel Platform enables organisations to create rich journeys for their customers, with a mix of live and self-service experiences that give people the freedom to choose when, where and how they get help. Artificial intelligence is harnessed at every touchpoint to automate tasks, provide insight, and personalise service and support. Puzzel also includes a suite of productivity and planning tools to empower managers and agents to reach their goals and continuously improve performance. With 20+ years of experience in the industry, Puzzel is the CCaaS provider organisations trust when every moment matters.
For additional information on Puzzel view their Company Profile