Work from Home programs and Work from Home Call Centers are being launched by more and more companies as technology advancements enable workers to communicate and collaborate just as effectively from remote locations as they can sitting in the same office. A 2013 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management revealed a greater increase in the number of companies planning to offer telecommuting in 2014 than those offering just about any other new benefit.
When done right, a Work from Home program is a win for everyone. Staff morale will soar with reduced commuting time and costs, increased shift flexibility, and increased productivity. Employers benefit because a telecommuting program cuts operational costs and because fostering happy employees means better-serviced, happier customers.
Since 2005, the number of workers who are telecommuting has increased by over 60 percent, with now over 2 million people working a flexible schedule at least part-time.
– Inc. Magazine, April 2013
There are many components required for a Work from Home program to be successful, such as determining legal and financial policies, designating physical environment best practices, building a program guide, developing and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), and more. But, without the right technology, it is impossible for a Work from Home program to be successful. A 2014 Evolve IP survey on cloud adoption proves that companies are taking the technological steps required to offer increased flexibility for employees. The survey revealed that more than one third of respondents currently have desktops in the cloud or are planning to migrate in the next three years – a secure way to enable telecommuting employees to navigate proprietary tools.
Technology is taking enterprise programs to the next level, enabling them to change the way they work. Cloud technology – such as unified business communications, hosted or virtual call centers and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS); integration with critical applications such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Work Force Management (WFM) tools; and other advanced technologies provide organizations with better insight and new options for such things as Work from Home programs. Cloud technology is now easily and affordably enabling many companies to launch a work from home virtual call center where call center agents and supervisors are working from their homes. Based on the survey results, organizations are currently or planning to take advantage of these technologies.
IMPLEMENTING A SOLID TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION
The key items to address from a technology perspective are the ability for employees to make and receive phone calls, get access to your business applications and obtain technical support. Some other specifics you need to consider when determining the right technology solution include:
- How will calls be delivered remotely? Are there additional costs or constraints? A hosted VoIP phone system may be the best way to go.
- How do you ensure call quality isn’t compromised? Are wireless or cellular phones acceptable?
- How will staff easily but securely access important business applications and files? How will you easily provide support and upgrades for their desktops? A DaaS solution may be the most efficient and secure for your organization.
- A Work from Home Call Center can be implemented with the right agent and supervisor technology tools, such as those offered by Evolve IP