My Homeworking Story (Episode 1): The Journey To Work

In the first of a new six part series, Sensée Training Manager Sam Goldney explains the steps she takes when getting ready for work.

The Journey To Work

Sam GoldneyAfter ten years of working from home I’d like to think I’ve got my morning journey to work routine finely honed. I see the children off to school on the school bus and then go for a good yomp through the fields with the dogs before grabbing a coffee and heading upstairs. My computer’s already turned on, so I load my systems and am ready for the day in a great frame of mind after a healthy dose of family and fresh air.

But it hasn’t always been as easy as walking the dogs and negotiating my two young children to get dressed and eat breakfast. I spent years sitting on the motorway on my commute from leafy North Warwickshire to central Birmingham and then driving frantically round the car park looking for a parking spot… before running into the office to ensure I arrived before my learners.

It took the life changing act of losing my best friend to cancer to make me realise that there was more to life than this. Leaving my amazing job was a brave step but one of the best I ever made.

Starting my workday in a happy, healthy frame of mind ensures that both my employer and family get the very best out of me.  Here are my 6 tips for getting ready to work:

  1. Get showered and dressed: The act of getting dressed psychologically switches your work mindset on
  2. Don’t get distracted by home tasks when you should be working: You’ll only feel guilty unlike the washing up which won’t mind waiting until your lunch break for you
  3. Have a dedicated workspace: Walking up the stairs to the office is my daily commute and I switch from my role as Mum and Wife to Training Manager as I close the office door
  4. Get your PC switched on early: Avoid sitting at your PC watching the spinning circle of Windows updates being installed through clenched teeth
  5. Make sure you have what you need for the day: Have a glass of water to hand or an extra coffee in a thermos flask
  6. Have a clear working space: If necessary, clear everything to the other end of the dining table (if that is what you are working from these days)
    • Write yourself a list of what you want to achieve, then break it down…. must complete, need to complete, useful to complete, bonus task
    • Look at your diary for the day and plan time for a break. You are far more productive if you step away and return with a fresh perspective on a problem
    • Say good morning to your team. Check in on them and their loved ones and use your webcam to see what people are saying as well as listening to them

(Flexible working e-meeting) The Great Debate: Gig Working vs The Employed Model

Thursday 29 October at noon
Chair: Leigh Hopwood, CCMA
Gig working spokesperson: TBC, Limitless
Employed status spokesperson: Mark Walton, CEO, Sensée

As contact centres grapple to determine a future operating model on a backdrop of increased homeworking, the attitudes of a new generation of workers and a desire to find a better work-life balance are driving contact centre leaders to start thinking differently.

The Great Debate will focus on two alternative approaches to flexible working ‘Gig Working’ and ‘The Employed Model’ pitching Sensée, the contact centre business renowned for its successful homeworking operations, against Limitless, a business that has deployed a gig workforce to deliver contact centre capabilities.

How it will work

We plan to have some fun! Sensée will open the debate and propose why flexible working is appropriate in most settings, the ethics behind it and the security it provides. Then we’ll hear from Limitless who will oppose this approach and present how gig working can meet the needs of both customers and colleagues.

You will be invited to share your comments and questions through the Zoom platform, which will be shared live by our Chair of the debate, Leigh Hopwood.

After closing comments from both the proposer and the opposition, you will be invited to vote on the statement: Flexible working is appropriate in more settings than gig working.

What are Gig Workers?

Gig workers are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers. Gig workers enter into formal agreements with on-demand companies to provide services to the company’s clients. They have high levels of flexibility and autonomy.

Agenda

12:00 Welcome – Leigh Hopwood
12:05 Proposition: Employed Model – Mark Walton, Sensée (6 mins)
12:11 Opposition: Gig Working – TBC, Limitless (6 mins)
12:17 Response: Employed Model – Mark Walton, Sensée (6 mins)
12:23 Response: Gig Working – TBC, Limitless (6 mins)
12:30 Comments and questions from the floor (prepared by Leigh, Mark and Limitless)
12:45 Closing comments: Employed Model – Mark Walton, Sensée (2 mins)
12:47 Closing comments: Gig Working – TBC, Limitless (2 mins)
12:50 Vote on the statement: “The Employed model is a more appropriate way to achieve flexible working in a broad range of settings than gig working”

To register, please visit the CCMA Event Registration Page

 

(e-meeting) Creating a positive homeworking team culture

11.30am – 13.00pm
Thursday 22nd October
Chair: Jayne Davies, Chair, CCNNI

At this e-meeting in partnership with the Contact Centre Network Northern Ireland (CCNNI) we will discuss the ‘people’ side of running a busy work-from-home contact centre operation, with particular focus on building and sustaining team culture in a sustainable homeworking operating model.

The e-meeting will cover key aspects of people and team management including:

•  Employee engagement
•  Team culture
•  Recruitment and on-boarding
•  Flexible working and life/work balance
•  Health and wellbeing of remote workers
•  Motivation and reward
•  Performance management and quality
•  Sustaining company ethos and values with homeworking

The virtual meeting will include a presentation, insight and extended discussions with Sensée Customer Experience Officer Rob Smale, Sensée NI Sourcing Manager Annamarie Quinn, and Sensée Team Leader Marie McClenaghan, with opportunities throughout for attendees to ask questions around their contact centre homeworking challenges.

Agenda

11.30 – 11.35: Introduction (Jayne Davies, CCNNI)
11.35 – 11.55: Presentation “Homeworking – the People Challenges” (Sensée)
11.55 – 12.35: Breakout Discussions (around homeworking experiences and challenges)
12.35 – 13.00: Feedback from Breakout sessions and general Q&A

To register your place, please visit the CCNNI Event Registration Page

 

 

Sensée’s homeworking achievements recognised at 2020 industry awards

2020 has been an extraordinary year for homeworking and a landmark year for Sensée.

In recognition of the company’s impressive recent growth, and role in helping other organisations transition to homeworking during lockdown, we have been shortlisted at a number of major 2020 industry awards.

Sensée has been named as a Finalist at the prestigious European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards in the Outsourced Contact Centre of the Year category, as well as in the Most Effective Homeworking Programme, and Best Outsourcing Partnership (with BUPA) categories.

At the Northern Awards, we’ve been shortlisted for Best Outsourcer, Best Homeworking Programme During Covid-19, Frontline Team of the Year (with Allianz Partners), and Customer Service Advisor (Jenny Bate, SSE). And at the South West Contact Centre Awards, we’ve been named as finalists for Best Outsourcer, Best Homeworking Programme During Covid-19, Customer Engagement Team of the Year (with Allianz Partners), and Customer Service Representative (Jenny Bate, SSE).

“We’re delighted to have been recognised in this way” said Mark Walton, CEO of Sensée. “We’ve come a long way in the last 12 months and a big thanks to all our 1300 homeworkers for making everything we’ve achieved possible.

“Congratulations in particular to the Allianz Partners’ team and to Jenny from our SSE team who have been shortlisted at two separate Awards events – an amazing achievement. Best of luck to all our finalists!”.