Unified Communications (UC) and wireless headsets have dramatically increased the flexibility of today’s contact centres, helping them to improve customer service and attend to the needs of their agents.

Taking further advantage of technology, and using it to create contact centres in which people can work from home, is likely to be the next stage, unlocking a whole new level of employee satisfaction and productivity, and reducing real-estate costs and energy consumption.

However, in order for it to be successful, there are certain steps contact centres need to take. One of them means taking advantage of the ‘presence information’ UC offers, such as ‘on a call’ or ‘away ’, so colleagues always know each other’s status. This is a practical and efficient way for people to communicate with each other as well as helping to build trust between home workers and those still in the contact centre.

Another factor is to create the right working environment at home. It’s key to making sure employees still feel well integrated with the team. UC technology can reduce the sense of isolation felt by many remote workers, allowing a simple escalation from Instant Messaging chat (IM) to a voice call and ultimately onto a conference call or video call.

But perhaps the most important critical success factor is the commitment everybody brings to it – not just the home workers, but their office-based colleagues and the management teams too. Without it, there is a danger it will foster an atmosphere of mistrust; with it, entire teams are happy, productivity is improved, and customer satisfaction can be increased.