74 per cent of contact centre employees who homework have a better work-life-balance says new survey

HomeAgent PicThe UK’s largest contact centre homeworking survey “The 2020 UK HomeAgent Study” reveals that more and more UK contact centres are turning to homeworking as they discover its huge potential financial and productivity benefits. The survey was conducted between November 2019 and the middle of March 2020, prior to the Covid-19 lockdown in the UK.

The 2020 survey was managed/published by the UK Contact Centre Forum and sponsored by Content Guru, Sensée and SYKES. It is the second time the survey has been run, the first was in 2016. 300 Managers/Directors and HomeAgents took part in the 2020 UK HomeAgent study by completing online questionnaire surveys.

When comparing work-at-home with office-based contact centre operations, 75 per cent of organisations responding to the survey say that Attrition is lower, 61 per cent say Productivity is better, and 54 per cent say Absenteeism is better. By comparison, in the 2016 study, the figures were 42, 46, and 58 per cent respectively.

As well as delivering significant advantages to businesses, homeworking is also delivering huge benefits to agents. 74 per cent of HomeAgents say that they have a better work-life-balance. 86 per cent say they they have no travel-to-work costs, while 81 per cent say that they have removed the time wasted travelling to work. By comparison, in the 2016 study, the figures were 65, 73, and 68 per cent respectively.

Other key findings from the 2020 survey include:

  • 75 per cent of HomeAgents are aged 35 or over; 61 per cent have over 10 years experience in customer contact roles
  • 71 per cent of HomeAgents say that they are happy (at least some of the time); 65 per cent are proud to tell people where they work
  • 50 per cent of organisations allow HomeAgents to work multiple shifts on a single day
  • 97 per cent of HomeAgents experience virtual training; 70 per cent of these think it is just as effective as office-based training
  • 59 per cent of HomeAgents supply/buy their own laptops; 76 per cent supply their own broadband/internet
  • 79 per cent of HomeAgents meet colleagues once a month or less

“Our survey results reveal that interest in homeworking has never been higher” said Trevor Butterworth, CEO of the UK Contact Centre Forum. “Compared with our 2016 Survey, an even greater number of HomeAgents are reporting that they’re enjoying a better work-life-balance, have no travel-to-work costs, and have removed the time wasted travelling to work, with Employers reporting greater gains in terms of lower Attrition and Absenteeism, and higher Productivity.

“Subsequent to this research concluding, Covid-19 has changed the homeworking picture significantly. Recent research from ContactBabel/Channel Doctors indicates that 84 per cent of UK contact centres are now mainly home-based*. However, this doesn’t change the significance of our research. In fact, quite the opposite. As companies emerge from lockdown, they need to make tough decisions about what the ‘new normal’ will look like, and where homeworking fits in. This research can provide them with the confidence that homeworking is a sound option from an ethical, financial and employee engagement perspective.

“It should come as no surprise that an April 2020 UKCCF webinar poll of 156 organisations revealed that 47 per cent of contact centres that have introduced homeworking in response to Covid-19 see it as a longer term strategy rather than just a short term measure.”

To download an Executive Summary of the 2020 UK HomeAgent survey, please go to https://bit.ly/3jJPIkF


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