How would you feel if you called into a bank’s contact centre and heard a dog barking?  Or, if an airline customer service employee called and you could hear a TV in the background?

That’s a dilemma facing many organizations currently as they plan remote and work from home strategies.  Despite the fact that there’s a sort of expectation that the majority of professionals have begun working from home — sounding professional and evoking trust in the organization when it doesn’t quite sound like employees are in an office presents a new challenge.

For organizations and employees that have had time to implement work from home procedures over months or years, it is likely that many will have locations at home that are prepared for work.  A room where a door can be shut, an ergonomic desk and chair, quiet and controlled acoustics, and a ‘clean’ background.  However, many organizations and employees won’t have this luxury.  An additional complexity is that many employees will be sharing their home with others during this period.

Steps to mitigate background noise:

First, be honest and open with customers before they call.  Advise them through your usual communication routes that employees will be working from home, and in many cases sharing that home with other people.  Confirm that their information and data will be just as secure with employees working from home as it would be if they were in the office.  Confirm this again at the start of the customer call.

Second, if possible, encourage employees to find a quiet location to work in.  This is only a temporary adjustment to usual working practices, so focus on getting somewhere quiet to work to ensure your service to customers can be continued.

Finally, check whether your employees have noise cancelling microphones on their headsets.  If you’ve bought them in the last few years, they are likely to have this technology, so you already have the best solution available.  The noise cancelling microphones will not remove all background noise, however it can remove most sounds around you.  They do require positioning correctly to achieve this so check out our videos on how to place the microphone to get the most from the headsets, and ensure your employees follow these guidelines.

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The current predictions are that working from home may continue for some time, so keep coming back to our blog for further updates, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for further information.