How Sensée’s LiveDesk enhances communications for ageas’ work-at-home teams

“LiveDesk has been a real eye opener for our teams in ageas especially as it’s so versatile and user friendly. They love it. It provides an instant overview of all the teams, who is working at any given time and which managers are there, ready to support our consultants.

“Controlling the system is really simple. It is easy to join a room so that IT, trainers, consultants and managers can get together. And it’s great for communication: for asking questions, training, quick de-briefs and collating information from live chats to highlight training gaps and areas that may need more focus.

“If Team Leaders or Managers need to deliver comms to the whole team they can go into breakout rooms with screen sharing capabilities and run Q&As. This is ideal for demonstrating new processes to the team and supporting those struggling with something. With consultants having quicker access to information, hold times are reduced and customers have a better experience.

“All our teams that have worked on LiveDesk have thought it is fantastic, it brings the team closer together and supports our purpose of making insurance easy.”

Andrew Edwards, ageas

My story: Sean

After serving an apprenticeship as a software engineer and then working in the catering trade, making his way up to head chef, Sean decided on a change of career.

“I wanted to retrain and gain a professional qualification but that’s difficult when you’re working full time and commuting two hours a day” explains Sean.

After successfully applying for a role at Sensée in July 19, he has been working with the Allianz Partners team while at the same time studying part time at the Open University for a law degree.

“Flexibility is a huge factor in why working from home is ideal for me. I can log off for the day and be straight into my studies without wasting any time.

Working for Sensée has also helped me massively with my study discipline and I use the same rules that I follow for work towards my studying (set hours for studying, phone in the other room, nobody in my office – and no distractions!).

My story: Linda

For 9 years Linda worked as a software architect in the telecoms industry designing and building call centres. The job involved a lengthy daily commute to work. 

However in 2014 Linda was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a condition that affects the body’s collagen, creating joint issues and causing ligaments to tear easily.  Commuting to work became emotionally difficult as well as painful and exhausting.  

A change of lifestyle was required and Linda decided to move to the countryside.  However this made the commute even trickier.  With the country bus service quite unreliable, she turned to cycling but that just added to her stress – worrying all the time about what the weather would be like the next day.

Things improved for Linda when her employer have her the opportunity to work from home. Unfortunately though she was made redundant and started to become really worried about finding another role that would allow her to homework.

In March 2019, Linda came across Sensée and applied for a work from home role on the Bupa account.  When she heard her application was successful, she felt a weight removed from her shoulders. “Not having to stress about commuting has massively helped my physical and mental health” she explains. “and the support I’ve received from my Team Leader and colleagues has been outstanding. I’ve not felt pressured in any way and have never met two companies that are so good, and so understanding, when it comes to mental health.”

“Flexibility is key to why it works for me.  While I work for 30 hours a week I can’t work more than 4 hours at a time because of my joints aching.  So I’ll typically work from 9 till 1, then have a break and work from 2.30 – 4.30.  If I can’t make a planned schedule then there’s nearly always a colleague that can step in who is happy to do a shift swap.  In the future I’d like to move on to do some virtual floor walking duties and longer term to possibly get back into training, and maybe a Deputy Team Leader role.  It’s fantastic that such opportunities exist in a homeworking role.”

My story: Jade

In October 2019, Jade saw an advert on an online recruitment site for customer advisers to work on the Sensée Bupa account and successfully applied. She has never looked back.

In her previous job working in the call centre of a large telecoms company, she struggled with a culture she found intimidating and distracting.  “It was like working in a school playground” she says “and it started to affect my mental health”.

Things have been very different since joining Sensée though.  “There’s no gossip culture and I’m more relaxed, meaning I’m more enthusiastic, focused and helpful. I love virtual floorwalking and helping out colleagues. Working for Sensée has also afforded me the time to study part time for a Psychology with Counselling degree while holding down a full down a full time job.  I work 35 hours Monday to Saturday but try and dedicate Tuesdays to studying.  Working for Sensée has been a saving grace!”

(Online workshop) Building Systems and Processes to Communicate More Effectively with Homeworkers

Date: 18th February 2021
Time: 10am to 11.30am
Chair: Sandra Busby, Chair, Welsh Contact Centre Forum

 

Are you having problems with absenteeism and attrition? Engagement and productivity? People isolation and motivation? Team Leader and adviser training? Worried that these problems are getting worse rather than going away?

You’re not alone. In a recent study of over 100 of the UK’s largest businesses, 74% said they thought that ‘communicating effectively with homeworkers’ would be just as big a problem in 2021 as it was in 2020, while 66% thought similarly about ‘employee engagement/motivation’.

In this online workshop, we examine what communications systems & processes are necessary to create an effective work-from-home (WFH) environment. The workshop will cover:

  • The Recruitment, On-Boarding and Induction Training Process
  • General WFH Communications (Team Leader-to-Adviser, Adviser-to-Adviser, Corporate Comms etc.)
  • The Resource Scheduling Process
  • WFH Communications Security and Compliance

Agenda

10.00 – 10.05: Introductions and agenda (Sandra Busby, WCCF)
10.05 – 10.20: The benefits of homeworking (Mark Walton, Sensée)
10.20 – 10.40: Demo: Building a WFH Comms System that’s Fit-for-Purpose (Steve Mosser, Sensée)
10.40 – 11.30: Question and Answer session (Sandra Busby, WCCF: Mark Walton, Sensée; Steve Mosser, Sensée)

To register your attendance simply send your name, email, company and job title to Lucinda Butler at the Welsh Contact Centre Forum lucinda@wccf.uk

Lucinda will send a Zoom link and joining instructions to registrants a week before the online workshop.

When will it be safe to go back to the office?

Today’s BBC investigation into Covid within the office workspace highlights a major problem facing organisations right now.

According to the BBC 5 Live Investigations team, data from Public Health England reveals more than 500 Covid outbreaks, or suspected outbreaks, in offices in England in the second half of 2020 – more than in supermarkets, construction sites, warehouses, restaurants and cafés combined. Plus, there have been over 60 suspected outbreaks in English offices in the first two weeks of the current lockdown.

Contact centre operators face a particularly tough challenge. In its article, the BBC team highlighted the continuing struggles of one particular contact centre that has stayed open throughout the pandemic – and there have been many other examples.

In April 2020, it was reported that 44% of workers on one floor in a South Korean contact centre contracted the coronavirus. In July, it was widely reported that a Test & Trace centre in Glasgow recorded a number of positive cases. And in December, the PCS union claimed 500 workers had contracted the virus at a DVLA centre in Wales.

It’s no surprise that call centres are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks as this floor plan, published by Business Insider Australia, illustrates http://bit.ly/39u30j3

Bricks and Mortar contact centres are, by their very nature, heavily populated, and personal space has always been an issue. Pre-Covid guidance from the Health and Safety Executive recommends that personal space should be as follows:

“The total volume of the room, when empty, divided by the number of people normally working in it should be at least 11 cubic metres. In making this calculation a room or part of a room which is more than 3.0m high should be counted as 3.0m high. The figure of 11 cubic metres per person is a minimum and may be insufficient if, for example, much of the room is taken up by furniture etc.”

Many contact centres however clearly don’t adhere to the 11 cubic metre guidance and, besides, that recommendation was issued pre-Covid.

So what are centres expected to do in the absence of a new ‘acceptable number’? Nick Floyd, the Managing Director of callcentrefurniture.com, a space planning and furniture supply business, advises companies above all to be sensible.

“If pre-lockdown there were 30 people working in a large room, post-lockdown that number needs to come down, maybe to half” he says, “and organisations need to install high perspex screens between people. It’s also not just a question of just what employers want to do any more. What employees are comfortable with is more important than ever.”

There’s no doubt that some people are desperate to get back to the office. However the old office can’t be the new normal. Greater social distancing will necessarily mean less people able to fit into the same space – and that means more homeworking for the foreseeable future for most centres.

The question is ‘what will that look like?’ Will it be 100% work-from-home (WFH) or some version of hybrid homeworking, whether that be 100% WFH for some and 100% office for others, part-time WFH for all, or the appointment of a third party homeworking outsourcer to supplement office-based personnel to maintain service levels. The end of lockdown will not be the end of the office versus WFH debate.

To access the Government guidance on “Social distancing to make your workplace COVID-secure” go to https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/social-distancing/index.htm

(Survey) People Engagement in the Contact Centre 2021

Complete our survey today and receive a free Results eBook showing the views of UK Contact Centre Directors/ Managers and Agents/ Advisers about the current state of people engagement in the new world of work.

The survey is operated by the South West Contact Centre Forum (SWCCF) and Call North West (CNW) and supported by Sensée.

To participate, click on the appropriate link below and answer around 25 short questions on your current experiences. Please answer all questions. The questionnaire will take around 4 minutes to complete. All responses will be handled confidentially and aggregated for analysis purposes.

Agent/Adviser questionnaire

Director/Manager questionnaire

If 20 or more employees from your organisation complete the Contact Centre Agent/ Adviser questionnaire, we will send you a bespoke report detailing aggregated results from their feedback. This report can then be used to compare and contrast against our total survey findings.

Areas Covered

• How has a year of lockdown affected manager/ employee relationships?
• How engaged are employees?
• How has lockdown affected perceptions of peoples’ roles – and career prospects?
• How are organisations ensuring that they support the Mental Health & Well Being of employees?
• How do management and employee perceptions differ?

Free Prize Draw

At the end of the questionnaire you will be asked to provide your email address.

By doing so, you will be entered into a free prize draw – with 10 winners each receiving £50 of vouchers for a leading high street brand. The SWCCF/CNW will notify all winners by email.

If you have any questions in relation to this survey, please email: info@swcontactcentreforum.com

The survey will close March 12th 2021 and findings will be published in an SWCCF/CNW eBook shortly afterwards.

Sensée announces 200 new UK work-at-home contact centre jobs

Sensée is recruiting immediately for 200 new work-from-home roles.  

The vacancies are for permanent, salaried Customer Contact Advisors to work for new and existing clients. Work hours range from 20 to 40 hours a week. Start dates are immediate.

Sensée is welcoming applications from people of all backgrounds, levels of experience, gender and age with all interviewing conducted remotely. Contact centre experience is preferred but not essential. Customer service and other job-specific remote training is provided.  

“We are excited to announce these new job vacancies as the demand for customer service homeworkers continues to rise” said Paul Whymark, COO of Sensée. “The roles enable employees to work flexible hours so that they can enjoy the work-life balance benefits that work-from-home can offer with no commuting.”  

Candidates can apply today for the new roles at www.sensee.co.uk