Working remotely is becoming increasingly common as technology continues expanding to include a variety of formats. This type of work can be beneficial for specific kinds of positions; however, for call center agents there are a variety of drawbacks.
- Security risks – as entrepreneur-resources.net explains, when working in a brick and mortar establishment, there are a variety of tools and software in place to help maintain secure connections. For remote workers operating away from this secure setting, there is a higher risk of data breaches, and overall insecure networks.
- Training difficulties – often, training is a multistep and complicated process that requires software and hardware training as well as feedback. This is often a difficult task to do over the phone when the people involved cannot see each other to demonstrate exactly how each task should be completed or accomplished.
- Social concerns – studies demonstrate the importance of having work friends. Harvard Business Review explains how these connections not only make the work day more enjoyable, leading to more workplace satisfaction, but everyone shares a common goal and can help support each other when reaching for that goal. For remote workers, they cannot share in these connections as easily and may lose this shared sense of belonging and common goals.
- Lack of feedback – often times when a company hires remote workers, these workers receive significantly less feedback than those workers in the office. This can lead to the remote workers feeling undervalued. As co describes, choosing an effective communication medium is essential. For example, you do not want every phone call to be associated with negative feedback. You want to deliver negative and positive feedback even if these workers are not always in your presence. This is considerably more time-consuming than just speaking to an individual in the office.
- No active participation – when working remotely, it is harder to know what is happening in the office since they are not there to experience what is happening first-hand. Remote workers require someone, whether that is a boss or coworker, to keep them in the loop, providing updates to group goals. Remote workers receive delayed information which overall can slow down efficiency since they cannot actively participate.
In reality, remote working, particularly for call center agents, is only potentially beneficial for the remote worker, and can actually create increases in work for supervisors and coworkers.
Therefore, working in a physical office is still the better option for call center agents. There are many benefits to working in a brick and mortar establishment:
- Teamwork – as mentioned above, if working in an office setting, active participation is easier, instant and face-to-face communication is more common, and feedback (both positive and negative) is quicker as it can be mentioned in even a simple passing-by conversation at the water cooler.
- Easier (and clearer) communication – careercom addresses the very common risk of important information being misconstrued when sent through a written medium such as email. Seeing coworkers and supervisors in person every day can help reduce these miscommunications.
- Fewer distractions – when working in an office setting, it is often easier to stay focused when compared to working at home. The dog is not barking in the background, the kids are not getting into trouble, and instead, in-office workers are surrounded by others who are also working hard to complete tasks, providing great motivation.
Overall, working in a brick and mortar establishment remains a better option for call center agents. This is why Customer Elation chooses to only hire agents who can physically attend work.