When a work-at-home team is first established, it may consist of only a small number of agents, working to support the core in-centre team.
Given this relatively small scale, it’s quite natural that there’s reluctance to allocate significant resources to the set up and management of the home-based operation.
But, to ensure that the work-at-home team is effective, efficient and viable, it’s vital to dedicate the necessary resources, particularly as you scale up the operation.
A sizeable team working from home needs to be supported and managed in the right way for the model, not one that has been simply adapted from a classic customer support contact centre.
When the team comprises just a handful of agents working from home while the majority of the team works in-centre, it’s possible to successfully share services such as IT support across both the on-site and home-based agents.
However, as the home-based team grows, an increasing amount of resources are needed to manage and run the team because it becomes very difficult for those support members to treat all as equal priorities and inevitably those making eye contact are served first. At this point, it’s important to invest in the IT resources necessary to ensure everything functions effectively.
When setting up and expanding your work-at-home model, investment in dedicated virtual training resources is important to ensure home-based agents are trained in a way tailored to remote learning and working.
Although, in some cases, remote workers can visit the contact centre for training if, for example, required by a client, regular classroom training isn’t a practical or effective approach for the work-at-home model. This is particularly true as the home-based team grows, in both size and distance from the centre. Virtual training is a much more effective way to prepare your people.
Versatility in training teams across different countries and continents also plays a huge part in scaling up work-at-home operations. For example, a trainer in the UK can effectively train home-based agents based in The Netherlands within a properly prepared virtual training environment.
HR and recruitment
As the work-at-home team grows, core investment is required to make the switch to a stand-alone model, and this is particularly important if multiple countries are involved because of different languages, legal requirements and cultures.
With this in mind, a dedicated virtual HR team is necessary, both during the set up of the home-based team and during the growth that follows, to ensure proper development and daily management of the team.
To summarise, for a work-at-home team to be effective and successful, it’s vital that the resources required are allocated right from the point of setup. Not only this, but as the scale and scope of the operation grows, the changing resource requirements must be accounted for. The key to success is correctly identifying the point at which further dedicated resources are required.
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