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Working From Home in the Age of Coronavirus - DiRAD Technologies - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Working From Home in the Age of Coronavirus

The rapid spread of the Coronavirus has led a vast number of employers to consider work-from-home strategies for their employees. While the jury is still out on the virus’s dangers, the fact remains that organizations are getting serious about work-from-home and are asking for help.

The major challenges of work-from-home include:

  • Issues with employee supervision and accountability
  • Loss of the benefits of in-person staff collaboration
  • Telecommunications challenges of a geographically dispersed staff, resulting in disjointed and unpredictable call handling, presence, and messaging. This is often the biggest challenge: companies ask themselves — how can we present a unified, centralized organizational structure when many of our staff are working out of their homes or on the road?

The challenges can be overcome by Voice over IP (VoIP) and Unified Communications (UC), with the bonus effect of financial savings. We don’t have to get technical about it – let’s talk about how it can help an organization thrive while employees are safely working at home.

Business Communication Systems

Unified Communications Allow for Employee Supervision

Today’s improved UC solutions include a function called Presence that indicates an employee’s status at their workstation (wherever that may be). Employees can choose statuses such as “Available”, “Away from Desk”, “At Lunch” and “On Vacation”. If an employee walks away from their workstation, their status can be set to automatically change. The UC system keeps track of time in each status for real-time supervision and historical reporting.

Taking it a step further, many companies have adopted the use of web cameras to ensure employees are working at their remote workstations. While this approach can work, it is suggested that the employer first use less-invasive measures like presence and productivity metrics, then move to camera use if certain benchmarks are being missed. Going “off-camera” can be used as a privilege that is earned by meeting the employer’s expectations of work-from-home employees.

Communication Tools for Collaboration

With work-from-employees separated from each other, there are concerns that projects requiring collaboration will suffer. This can be addressed with unified communication’s video conferencing features. Using this feature provides a live team environment that brings everyone together and decreases feelings of isolation. Many employees just leave their cameras on throughout the day (or are required to) for quick “drop-ins”.

Solving Telecommunications Challenges

Today’s better unified communication solutions include the ability to make and take calls from a PC or laptop connected to the internet. Most of us know that – but a quality UC system also provides the option for calls to be sent to “physical” lines like home phones and cell phones in case there are internet issues. Unified communications also take care of privacy and company appearance challenges by sending the Caller ID of the company when dialing out to customers. A company with multiple locations can leverage this technology to present a unified organization to callers, avoiding the hassles of dialing multiple numbers to reach the right location.

Looking Ahead to Better Work From Home Options

By leveraging unified communication technology,  work-from-home challenges can easily be overcome. In fact, many companies who have made the switch will never go back to the old way. To them, work-from-home has become a no-brainer. It improves productivity, retention, accountability, and safety. It’s also cheaper, thanks to UC solutions that have the added benefit of lower costs. While possible pandemics cause us to rethink our operations, the end result could make things better than they ever were.

Publish Date: June 8, 2021 2:15 PM


2021 Buyers Guide Call Routing Optimization

 
1.) 
Eastwind Communications

Eastwind sells Oracle, Ribbon, and Dialogic SBC and routing solutions for both premise-based and cloud-based deployments along with Microsoft Teams integration. Eastwind offers managed service offerings and complete 7x24 support.

2.) 
Lieber & Associates

Call Routing and Contact Center Optimization
L&A provides consulting services to optimize contact centers, including call routing, skills-based routing, and multi-location routing. The firm's senior consultants have several decades of experience each in this area and work with all vendors' systems. L&A's president pioneered skills-based routing.

3.) 
OpsTel Services

SPEED
The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Performance Monitoring
 



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