The annual CCNNI Awards is a celebration of contact centre excellence for businesses operating in the region. Other winners at the Awards included BNP Paribas PF, Danske Bank, Santander and Ulster Bank.Â
The event, run virtually via Zoom, featured an educational session on Grower Champagne from TV sommelier and presenter Sandia Chang, a Â champagne quiz, and the opportunity to sample two amazing grower champagnes.
Guests also received a hot dog home kit so they could create Bubbledogsâ most-loved hot dogs from the comfort of their own kitchens – plus a pair of Jollies Socks, with a second pair sent to a local shelter for the homeless.
Jess has always led a busy outdoor life. For the last 15 years she has been a divemaster and scuba instructor, helped train racehorses, operated as a qualified equine sports massage therapist and worked on a rare breed longhorn cattle farm.
In March 2020, however, her new role as a scuba sales and training consultant came to an abrupt halt when Covid struck. While she could still operate as a diving instructor and carry out equine massage work (at certain times during lockdown), demand for those services was much slower.
Although she had never worked in an office before, she quickly took to work-from-home. âI love it because it has given me the gift of timeâ says Jess. âI no longer have to make a 1-1.5 hour commute each side of the day, giving me more time to ride my horses, work on the farm and do my other jobs.â
Jess works 30 hours a week, booking in her hours in advance at times that suit her best (which is often 3 full days and one half day) and there is currently plenty of opportunity for overtime.
âI never imagined that work-from-home would be so socialâ adds Jess. âBut weâre a close team, the training and support is excellent, and the LiveDesk communications system means weâre always in live contact with managers and colleagues.â
The annual South West Contact Centre Awards is a celebration of contact centre excellence for businesses operating in the South WestÂ of England. Other winners at the 2020 Awards included Ageas, Agilisys, Alexandra, Ascensos, Aster Group, Capita, NFU Mutual, Scotts and Co, Somerset County Council, Subfero and UCAS.
The event is organised and operated by the SouthÂ West Contact Centre Forum, a networking organisation that delivers extensive support to the regionâs 250 employers who collectively employ circa 52,000 people in both the Public and Private sector.
Fiona was brought up on a small island in the Outer Hebrides and, for most of her life, has yearned for the day she could return to her birthplace, or a similarly remote location.
But work always got in the way. Fiona has had a long and fulfilling career working in the voluntary sector and undertaking community development work (including managing a Citizens Advice Bureau and running a Carers Centre) but this was mainly living in and around large cities in Scotland.
Five years ago, however, she figured it was time for a change. Partly this was because she had a medical condition that made traveling difficult but also because she wanted to do something at home.
In 2020, Fiona upped stick and moved from Galashiels (near the English border) with her partner and five cats to a remote area at the very top of Sutherland. âWeâre on a single track road, and the nearest house is 500 yards awayâ she explains. âThe nearest big city is Inverness and thatâs 150-200 miles away. But none of that makes any difference when it comes to doing my job effectively. We even have remarkably good broadband for such a remote location.â
So youâve dropped your daughter off at school crying and the teacher has peeled her off your leg as she fancies a day at home with Mummy.
The dog has chased a bird into what felt like the next county and wouldnât come back so youâre running late to get back home with a sulky dog firmly on a lead.
The cat has brought a mouse into the house and it is currently squeaking its way round the lounge with said cat in hot pursuit….. and you need to be on a conference call with a new client in five minutes. Arrggghhhhhh!
All of those (and more) have happened to me during my work from home journey. Â And Iâd put part of my success at homeworking down to an ability to switch off and concentrate on the job in hand…. just as if I was in a contact centre where I wouldnât have those distractions around me.
Here are my 9 tips for coping with distractions:
If you have pets, shut them away in another part of the house so they donât disturb you when youâre working
Get dressed â it doesnât have to be in a suit but the act of getting dressed ready for work psychologically amends your mindset
Have a dedicated work space which is always kept clear so you can focus on the job in hand
Switch off your phone or at least put it on silent and log out of all social media
Ensure family members and friends know that youâre working. You canât stop for a coffee if someone happens to âpop-inâ whilst youâre working
Start the day with a realistic to do list and set yourself goals to achieve
Stay active, stand up, stretch your arms. Generally avoid getting uncomfortable whilst youâre working
Take breaks â get some exercise, plan a lunch time walk, or go for a bike ride or run. Youâre always much fresher after exercise and itâs good for your mental health too
Plan time to speak with your colleagues – then you can ignore the ping of Teams without worrying about appearing rude