The work-from-home model continues to gain popularity as companies seek ways to provide great customer experiences while cutting costs along the way. But most brands still aren’t reaping its full benefits.
Too often, there’s a disconnect between what brands think a WFH workforce wants and needs (and how they work) and what WFH associates really think and need.
With so many workers are opting for gig work these days, there’s a huge opportunity for companies to tap into a global workforce and elevate their customer experience with WFH associates – but it takes the right approach.
It’s time to rethink the ideas, processes, and tools guiding your WFH strategy. Here are a few reasons why.
1. A brick-and-mortar approach doesn’t work
A lot of WFH BPO partners say they’re flexible, but the reality is that most aren’t. Many make the mistake of expecting associates to be the flexible ones when it ought to be the other way around.
Many employers are still thinking “traditionally,” the way they always have when it came to brick-and-mortar contact centers. They want associates to work 40 hours a week and be available to work mornings or evenings. But associates no longer want that type of work environment.
Amid the pandemic and Great Resignation, many associates have learned to cope with less income if it means they can have a more flexible job. They’re prioritizing their families, mental health, and wellbeing over their work. They want some autonomy over their own schedule; they want to choose when they take their breaks and take days off – and they’re not working jobs that don’t check these boxes.
There are various tools contact center operators can use that give associates some control and power over their schedule. It’s time to start using them, or you’ll lose employees to companies that do.
2. Managers need more, better support
Employers also need to pay closer attention to their people managers. Their jobs have changed drastically since the beginning of the pandemic but, by and large, the training and support they’re getting hasn’t evolved with the job.
Managers in the WFH realm have a very different relationship with the people they manage these days. Now more than ever, whether they want to or not, managers play a critical role in ensuring brands have a thriving community of associates.
This means their training needs to expand. There are so many more facets to a manager’s job than there used to be. Traditionally, managers haven’t been trained in how to manage with compassion, but that skill set has suddenly become vital to the job since the pandemic began.
For example, a growing number of people are struggling with mental health issues and other hardships, and managers need to know how to respond when an associate tells them, for instance, that he’s facing eviction or caring for an ill family member.
3. Technology and people can help
Is your company still tied to legacy processes and ways of thinking when it comes to work-from-home? Then you’ll be stuck with legacy results. To take ROI and employee experience to the next level, WFH needs to be rethought from the ground up at most brands.
That’s where working with an experienced BPO partner can help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to experts with experience to assess what you’re doing now – what’s working and what’s not – and help take your WFH model to the next level.
There are lots of things the right partner can help you explore, such as:
- Having the right knowledge management system in place so associates have the information they need when they need it
- Onboarding and developing employees with AI-powered training they can complete on their own schedule
- Remote associate solutions that merge the quality of an on-site contact center with the flexibility and cost savings of work-from-home
Making the necessary changes to embrace this new approach to WFH may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. And it should be a constant work in progress. Finding the perfect WFH model that works for your business will take time and continual improvements, but the investments will pay off well into the future. Amid all the change, there are exciting opportunities for growth.