Staff Call Time On ‘Work From Home’ Trend

Published: Tue 30 Apr 2024 08:10 AM
The New Zealand contact centre industry is calling for staff to return to the office as it becomes more apparent that the ‘work from home’ model is unhealthy for staff and for business.
The CEO of Customer Contact Network New Zealand (CCNNZ), Elias Kanaris, says that contact centre workers have to contend with abuse, stress and challenging situations, which means they need better support than they can get at home.
“Contact centre staff working from home are isolated and lack mutual support that comes from working next to colleagues who are experiencing the same challenges. You can’t just raise your hand when you need supervisor assistance, or vent and decompress with other people around you.
“Employers are responsible for keeping staff safe, which is very difficult when people are working remotely. Remote working may save costs for companies and make it easier to recruit, but the disadvantages outweigh the costs savings,” he says.
Kanaris says the 2023 Call Centre Network New Zealand Industry Research Report found that the call centre trend of working from home is in decline here, with just 10 per cent of staff working from home fulltime.
The COPC report highlights that 86% of contact centre staff work from home at least one day a week.
“This trend is diminishing. Frontline employees, who constitute a significant portion of the workforce, are now spending more time in the office.”
Kanaris says a significant portion of management has increased their presence in the office, with 20 per cent working full-time onsite.
“Data suggests that a mixed approach, where staff spend two to three days in the office, is becoming the norm. This model supports not only productivity but also ensures staff have access to direct support and team interaction, which is less feasible remotely.”
He advises staff working in the industry, as well as those considering taking a role in a contact centre, take the following steps to help maintain life balance:1. Structured Flexibility:
Negotiate work hours that align with personal responsibilities, such as school runs which will allow you to still be productive without sacrificing family time.
“A more tailored approach will help maintain work engagement and personal satisfaction,” Kanaris says.2. Regular Office Days
Establish specific days, such as Mondays and Fridays, for office attendance.
“It is time that can be dedicated to team meetings and collaborative projects so that you still feel part of a team and not so isolate. We are social creatures.”3. Hybrid Work Benefits:
Incorporate more balance to office and home days to maximise the benefits of both environments.
“Use office days for collaborative and team-building activities, which helps you build relationships with colleagues that can provide support when you are working remotely.
“Like everything in life, there needs to be balance,” Kanaris says.

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