As an early adopter of remote and distributed working, Poly employees have had the ability to work from home for the past 10 years, which made the transition driven by Covid-19 no sudden rush. Are we alone in this? Apparently not. In a survey that kick-started the webinar, over 50% of participants said that in the move to home, their service levels hadn’t missed a beat. Only a small minority (7%) said they still had some work to do. This is an incredibly good reflection on the call centre industry and our ability to maintain a high level of service across the biggest disruption organisations have seen.
Keeping Workers Engaged
When it comes to managing remote teams, our experts recommend looking at the emotional impact of home working on your teams and ensure they are being looked after. First of all, over communicate. This means increasing the type and amount of team meetings (and be sure to have one on ones to ensure people can speak without their co-worker’s present). As a leader, you may need to adjust your management style to reflect a distributed and remote workforce. These actions will ensure you prevent employee burnout or disengagement – this is essential to ensure those great employees are able to keep delivering the high level of service that keeps your customers loyal.
Is WFH the New Normal?
As the poll at the start revealed, most call centres moved home without skipping a beat… so, does this mean working from home is the new normal? Whilst it has many benefits, it can’t be the norm for everyone – many employees do not have an ergonomic space at home, there may be roles that need to be done in the office, and employees may want the social aspect of being around other people. This is reflected in a second poll that showed approximately 33% of attendees were considering returning most of their employees to the office. The most common approach from attendees was planning for the return of approximately half of their employees. The experts at Poly talked through our employee-based approach for a return to the office. Through surveys, we have identified who needs to be in the office, and which offices can support distancing and cleaning. By bringing these together we can prioritise a safe return for employees.
For many attendees, the return to the office is not something that needs to be rushed. A majority of 66% of employees have a timescale of 0 to 4 months – a likely timeline for many organisations will coincide with children returning to school.
The Recommendations from Our Panel
- Empower, and look after your employees – make any plans central to their health and wellbeing. These employees can now work anywhere, so their retention is essential for you to continue delivering great service.
- Make the most of your cloud systems by increasing the type and amount of team meetings, and employee communications. And, ensure your employees deliver great audio across all these systems.
- Make video a part of your daily communication with teams, so they feel better connected to their colleagues.
The transition back into the office is going to vary from place to place and will likely continue to be an emotionally changed topic for many involved. The key here will be listening to local and federal officials as well as your employees while navigating these unprecedented conditions.