Like any other work environment, call centers can either become a place of joy or the proverbial dungeon – that place to which we must go to serve out our time. If you find yourself dreading work each day, it’s time to take action. Some simple changes can make the workplace enjoyable for you and your colleagues - AND lead to increases in performance that will impress your managers.
Without trying to offer an exhaustive list of remedies, our experts focused first on facilities, food and environmental issues. Here are some of the suggestions they offered on how to make your center a happier and more productive place.
- Look at heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), which have a major impact on working conditions. Feeling cold, overheated, or in a drafty place are irritants that sap morale. Research showed that companies using “purpose built” facilities, in which the ceiling is lower and individual floor vents have been installed, can save up to 30% - 40% on heating and air conditioning costs while also improving perceptions of working conditions by agents.
- Consider the ergonomics of the workplace: Look at chairs in particular – make sure they are proper for the desks and are fully adjustable, providing fit and comfort.
- Break rooms or quiet rooms can pay dividends in helping agents refresh and recharge.
- Survey agents to ask them what improvements they would like to see in the center.
- Consider availability of food resources: a variety of catered meals from local restaurants, enhanced lunch facilities, hot meals, microwave ovens, etc.:
- 80% of people surveyed said they would eat lunch in the facility three or more times per week if hot meals were offered and reasonably priced
- 68% of those surveyed said they would eat breakfast in the facility if offered and reasonably priced
Issues touching on the global environment are increasingly important to agents, especially millennials. They will feel prouder to work for companies that are sensitive to these issues. Consider the following:
- Offer recycle bins: encourage recycling of paper waste, plastics and other recyclable items
- Electronic communications: avoid excessive paper waste through the use of email, electronic bulletin boards, etc.
Studies also showed that many agents are happiest when in a setting that they can control. Thus “at home” agents become another viable option for consideration when trying to increase productivity, reduce facility costs, and develop agent loyalty.
Finally, the importance of interpersonal relationships should always be remembered. As an agent, if you are greeted by name by your superiors with a big smile as you enter work each day, and feel appropriately appreciated while you are there, your attitude and approach will make a positive difference everyone can feel.
Tip of the day: The investments you make in your people (including their work environment) are your most important investments - and will provide you with positive Return on Investment. .
CallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring the most innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore. “Caramels” distills key moments from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.