A decade ago, telework or remote work was not an option given to the employees by businesses except for special cases. It’s also because of the lack of technology at that time. The freelancer community or the gig workforce kick-started this culture and propelled the gig economy. To businesses, they engage with these contingent workers/gig workers on shorter or long term projects on delivery based payment models. Remote gig workers choose where to work from — client’s place, or coworking centres or home offices.
Remote work culture in Customer Support
The remote work culture was not much prominent among the full-time employees, particularly among customer support companies. Employees had to be physically present in the offices for their work hours. Because they are tied to the physical infrastructure—from the dialer to data security.
Then came the crisis
When a global pandemic forced countries and companies into a lockdown, the go-to alternate was to manage the business from wherever the employees are. Some shut shop because the immediate transition to a remote model was not feasible and they were not prepared. Progressive customer support companies managed to pivot with some hiccups like shipping hardware to homes and ensured business continuity. Closer to three quarters by now customer support companies who were on the fence are also understanding that remote set up is going to be the future regardless of the crisis. According to this study, 35% of customer support workers will be working remotely by 2023.
Some proven benefits of moving your Customer Support to a remote setup
- Increased Productivity
Let’s look into some facts.
- Remote workers work 17 more days than the FTE in a year.
- Remote workers are 10 minutes lesser in being unproductive for a day compared to office employees.
See similar stats related to customer support industry. It has been a myth that WFH will affect productivity. The stats proved this as a myth itself. Provided with the right infrastructure and a good setup, the productivity of the remote customer support employees are on par or more compared with the in-office performance. With reduced workplace distractions and long commute hours, remote workers get more control over the available work hours in their daily schedule.
For a CFO — who is keen on cutting corners — by not having an office significantly reduces the fixed and variable costs. From real estate maintenance costs to cooler supplies, a massive cut. The spend can be channelled towards equipping the remote set up with best-suited technology stack. The primary problem in connecting remotely is the internet. And now ISPs are providing better consumer-grade connectivity with 99% uptime in most of the remote locations. For employees too, the working remote has been a significant saving with related to monthly expenses — from commuting to condos.
- Talent pool
According to this research in 2019
- 80% of employees want to work from home at least some of the time
- 35% of employees would change jobs for the opportunity to work remotely full time
- More than a third of workers would take a pay cut of up to 5% in exchange for the option to work remotely at least some of the time
Going by these pre-pandemic stats, the preference of working remote has already been prevalent but was not mainstream. After Covid-19, working from remote locations being the new normal, the preferences to work remote has grown among the workforce. The remote workers’ talent pool has just got wider and deeper. Because you get a global talent pool as you’re not location-bound. With more choices, customer support companies can get the best-suited talent based on deeper filtering criteria.
- Work-life Balance
Today’s worker demands higher flexibility and more comfort. And be it a millennial or a mother, working from remote locations — 84% is their home—offers better comfort than shuttling to an office location every day. Remote employees save a lot of time and this balances out their work-life time. A comfortable employee is a happy employee. A happy employee performs better. By providing a happier environment, customer support companies avoid attrition.