Mitigating Agents’ Productivity Loss when Working From Home
Living in unprecedented times…strange days indeed.
It’s a year now since most of us became aware of the Coronavirus scourge; and it was not long thereafter that our lives began to change in a profound way. Many of our customers have moved their workforce from the office to home and the stakeholders with whom I’ve spoken have said that, while not without some minor hiccups, they were pleased with the speed and manner in which they were able to do so.
As we start to become more accustomed to a work-from-home workforce, companies are starting to rethink whether this could become a more permanent arrangement. Eliminating office space and their associated costs would certainly intrigue Finance and ditching the perils of morning and evening commutes would appeal to staff.
However, those same stakeholders have expressed concerns about the potential productivity losses over the long term. These concerns are supported with real data – a report quoted in TechRepublic showed a 14% decline in overall productivity of staff working remotely.
Monitor and Measure
Remote workers no longer have the benefit of having supervisors, coaches and even their colleagues so easily accessible as they would have if working from the office. There is no ‘water-cooler’ to gather around and chat about a difficult call, or perhaps discover that there is a feature in a promotion that they were not aware of. Could this be impacting productivity? Or is it simply a matter of “when the cat is away the mice will play…solitaire?
While some may thrive working on their own, some, otherwise good agents, will struggle for whatever reason.
Nevertheless, understanding the cause is step one. What are your agents doing while they’re on a call? How are they handling different types of calls What is their workflow? What are they doing when they are not on a call? How are they spending their productive and unproductive time? How does this compare against other agents in the same team? The answers to these questions is the first step to putting together a set of tactics designed to help individual agents raise their productivity metrics.
Technology does exist to provide valuable insight into how agents work. These technologies existed before the pandemic, but their value is even more meaningful today and they will continue to be so as companies continue embrace work from home post-pandemic.
OpenText’s Optimize solution for instance, uncovers agents’ desktop activities and workflow throughout the day. It analyzes usage patterns at a granular level such as what resources they’re using, how often and where in their workflow they’re using them to process customer interactions The analysis can be aggregated and contrasted with teammates and used to spot opportunities for agent development and corrective measures.
For more information on how Optimize can help drive performance for your remote workers, as well as your on-premise workers, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.