Sydney, Australia, Jan, 2021 -- Telco provider Telstra aims to bring all of its call centres back to Australia within the next 18 months and allow more employees to work from home.
Telstra CEO Andy Penn announced the ambitious target in a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) on Thursday.
The number of calls Telstra receives has fallen in 2020, which is allowing the company to scale back its call centre operations and bring them to Australia.
'We have reduced the volume of calls by eliminating a lot of the annoyances that people would have had,' Mr Penn said.
'We are helping people get more out of the technology rather than reporting a fault.
'This has given us the opportunity to move all of our call centre staff onshore. We will have this completed within the next 18 months.'
Mr Penn said Telstra is moving to become 'location agnostic' by allowing its call centre and office staff to work from home if they desire.
Eighty per cent of Telstra's call centre workers in Australia already work from home and all of them have the option to do so, according to Mr Penn.
Telstra temporarily closed its call centre operations in the Philippines and India due to Covid-19 outbreaks in June last year.
While the Philippines and India are still grappling with the virus, Australia has not had a case for 11 days as of Friday.
Mr Penn said employers now have to offer flexible work opportunities to attract local staff due to a rise in working from home last year.
'The bottom line is competition for talent is going to shift to the new era of remote and hybrid work because where an employee lives is no longer a limitation,' he said.
'Our future ways of working are going to be instrumental in how successful we will be in this war for talent.
'The companies that get it right will attract and keep the best talent and talent is the single most important competitive differentiator in uncertain times.'
Mr Penn said the world 'will never return to normal' after the Covid-19 pandemic and businesses must adapt to survive.
'There is every chance that 2021 will be even more uncertain than 2020,' he said.
'How we work, how we travel and how we live generally will not look and feel the same as it did 12 months ago.
'It is therefore better to spend our energy in accepting the changes that need to come and embrace a new way of living and working.'
Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Telstra Incorporated is a global provider of advanced communications services to multinational corporations.
Published: Monday, February 1, 2021
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