Workshop Recording: Does WFH Really Make Business Sense?

Our team recently ran an online training workshop hosted by the Welsh Contact Centre Forum.

Sandra Busby, owner of the WCCF, chaired the event which featured:

The focus of the workshop was: Does WFH Work? Does it make business sense?

Naturally you might expect the Sensée team to support WFH, but this was structured as a session where the group could share experience and insight, rather than just evangelise for work-from-home operations.

It’s true that as the pandemic subsided there were many calls for WFH to go the same way. However, many employees found they were more productive outside of the office environment so there is a strong reason why many executives may want to investigate their options before making a decision one way or the other.

Our team outlined eight specific questions that executives need to explore when deciding if a WFH business case makes sense for them:

  1. Will it work for our business? The simplest, but most fundamental question is whether your employees are engaged in tasks that can be performed remotely. Most office-based work could potentially be performed from home, but if in-person service is required then clearly it will either be impossible or a hybrid option will need to be considered.
  2. Is it what our people want? It’s best to ask your people what they want. Everyone has experienced a great deal of change in the workplace in the past couple of years. How would they prefer to work moving forward? The 2020 HomeAgent Survey found that 74.2% of homeworkers enjoy a better work/life balance and 85.9% say they have eliminated all commuting expenses.
  3. What’s the financial case? There are many more variables to consider than just a reduction in rented office space. It is well documented that teams based in the home are more productive, are absent less often, and attrition also declines. How would all these changes affect the revenue model of your business? 
  4. What’s the best hybrid model for us? How should you organise your teams? There are choices to make over time in the office or home – some employees may mix and match or stay in one location 100% of the time. Will this be led by the employers or mandated by the company? How flexible will the system be to allow changes in operation or preferences?
  5. How do we overcome barriers? The 2020 HomeAgent Survey tells us that security, technology, and remote management are the three biggest perceived barriers to change – once managers get over the initial idea of not managing people they can see in person. However, the pandemic has been a testing ground so most managers will have now seen what is possible.
  6. How will we support homeworker self-scheduling? Working from home supports an increase in flexibility that would have been impossible with the traditional commute to an office. Employees should be able to choose their own schedule based on an indication of when they are needed – so a more flexible system that works for both the employee and the business should be possible.
  7. How are we going to support WFH teams? At SensĂ©e we use our LiveDesk Digital Workplace service. It connects everyone in the business together just as if they were in the office in person. This type of connectivity is essential. You cannot send a worker home and hope that a weekly Zoom call is enough to stay in touch – a rethink of how constant social communication takes place is needed.
  8. Do we need a proof-of-concept pilot? This may depend on your Covid experience, but if you are planning to test the water with a pilot then think carefully about who should be involved in building the strategy and the profile of the people you hire – how can you start hiring the kind of people that thrive in a WFH environment?

The entire online workshop is available on replay so if you want to hear our team talking about all these points in more detail, with lots of examples.  Please go to Passcode: F03G4K4@

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