Home Working: Beat Petrol Price Rises & Be More Efficient

Working from home never looked more appealing. When it costs over £70 to fill up an average family car, who wouldn’t want to cut out the daily commute to work to be more cost efficient?

Speaking at the Public Sector Efficiency Expo on Wednesday, Socitm President, Jos Creese highlighted the gulf between the public and private sectors attitude towards home working when he said that although remote working practices were ‘standard’ in the private sector, councils and the public sector were ‘not doing enough of this’. He said: ‘There is always the chance for employees to work at home. Security concerns have stopped this, but there needs to be a way around it.’

Well to answer his question, there are many ways around these security concerns and the availability of enabling IT and Telecoms technology is growing exponentially, because remote working is a no-brainer way of reducing ongoing operational costs.

Virtual Contact Centre
Building a contact centre does not automatically mean occupying a building with as many agents as you can cram in. Build a virtual contact centre from home workers and you have a fully scalabe, resilient workforce of agents selected from a far wider geographic and demographic pool of employees.

Call Analytics
Monitoring every call handled by every agent would be the ultimate goal in managing remotely based call agents. This is now possible with live call analytics. And not just monitoring calls but being able to actively prompt call agents while they are on the phone with a customer or potential customer, thereby decreasing the cost per call and increasing operational efficiency.

Voice Recording
Hand in hand with call monitoring, voice recording calls handled by contact centre agents is widely accepted, not only for quality and training purposes, but perhaps more importantly for resolving disputes with customers quickly and easily. Voice recording is not just confined to onsite contact centres, it can easily be deployed for remotely based agents as well.

Mass Notification
Keeping in touch with home or remote workers is a vital means of maintaining staff morale and team spirit. Communication from senior management is vital if team members are to be kept informed of company news, and there are so many ways this can be achieved. Using a mass notification tool is a fast and cost effective way of sending messages via SMS, email, web page, voice recording, fax and even social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Audio Conferencing
Perhaps one of the most widely adopted remote working technologies, second only to being able to access the company LAN via a secure VPN connection, audio conferencing is a simple and easy way to conduct meetings where participants can be situated in any geographic location.

Video Conferencing
A relatively new technology video conferencing is a more expensive option, but a fantastic way for multinational organisations to connect their employees from around the globe. Telepresence from Cisco has pushed the boundaries to provide an extremely realist representation of a board room setting. As remote working increases and costs of solutions come down, I believe video conferencing will notlong be on a par with audio conferencing in terms of take-up.

Intranet, Email and Instant Messaging
Finally the methods for communicating between employees and management are tried, tested and used everyday and there are no technological barriers for employees to be able to access company systems and information securely from home using a broadband connection. It is simply a matter of changing management perceptions of working from home.

Deploying any, or all of these solutions enables employees whose jobs can be performed anywhere to save money on commuting, as well as enabling their organisation to be more efficient, which as I am sure you will agree, is welcomed in such a fragile economy as ours.

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