Are you making the most of your homeworkers’ life experiences?

According to the last major UK HomeAgent survey*, 75% of contact centre advisers who CHOSE to work from home (WFH) were 35 or over, with 61% having over 10 years’ experience in customer contact roles. Over 200 advisers took part in the survey.

By comparison, the average age of an office-based contact centre worker (pre-pandemic) was somewhere between 26 and 31**, with the differences in life experience as well as customer contact experience between home and office-based workers obvious.

Clearly this picture will have changed significantly post pandemic with home/ hybrid working options available to a lot more people, young and old. However, the observation about WFH being attractive to an older, more experienced demographic remains.

Here at Sensée, our average employee age is 41. Over 50% of our 1400 employees are working parents, many live in rural areas (so can’t easily access city centre offices), while others live with a disability, or care for an elderly relative. For many of these people, homeworking is a practical necessity as much as it is a lifestyle choice.

What you typically get with an older, more experienced workforce is better listening skills, higher levels of empathy, a greater understanding of customer issues, improved problem-solving skills, and better service quality.  

So how can organisations embarking on their home and hybrid working journeys make better use of these skills? Is it possible to give older, more experienced workers greater autonomy when handling queries – perhaps enabling them to adjust processes, handle more channels, and create innovative new approaches in search of better customer outcomes? 

Displaying this sort of trust in colleagues is important in any workplace but especially so in @home environments where colleagues are out of direct sight.  Furthermore, it could be an important step towards building positive engagement within your broader @home community.

 

  • The 2020 UK HomeAgent survey
  • Various sources incl. 2008 YouGov survey, BBC3 programme ‘The Call Centre’, 2004 ‘CFA Business Skills @ Work Contact Centre Labour Market’ Report 2012

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