BT currently has around 100 home-based agents in its Retail and Conference businesses, and again the benefits go beyond sustainability. They include:
- improved agent utilisation and (surprisingly) faster agent response
- improved agent retention (home-shorers like it)
- increased recruitment pool for agents (home-shoring suits disabled people, students and the semi-retired)
- easier resourcing for anti-social hours (agents are happier to do split shifts logging on in the morning and then later in the evening).
The flexibility and ability to virtualise contact centres can also be applied within businesses. BTGS has implemented virtual contact-centre solutions at a betting chain in the UK that enables suitably trained staff at its branches to be used as contact centre agents when there are lulls in activity at the branches.
The examples of how BTGS is using network, mobile and virtual desktop technologies to enable home working and greater flexibility in the workforce are not applicable to all organisations. However, they will resonate with many in both the public and commercial sectors. What they illustrate most of all is that the business case for using technology to help businesses reduce their overall carbon footprint is strengthened by a range of secondary benefits that make for a happier, more productive and more flexible workforce.
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