Work from Home Call Center Agents: The Pros and Cons

Customer Engagement Team December 17, 2021

According to a Global Workplace Analytics survey, the number of workers who now list “home” as their primary place of work has increased 73% from 2005 to 2011. Call centers are among the workplaces that now allow employees to work from home. Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Call Recording andWorkforce Management (WFM) software provides agents with the same technological capabilities they would have at their office. This is particularly true when hosted call recording and WFM are accessed through cloud computing.

But is it a good idea to allow agents to work from home? What are the work-from-home call center pros and cons? Here are three arguments in favor of this arrangement – and three arguments against.

It’s a Good Idea Because…

  1. Comfortable Employees are Happier Employees
    The comforts of home can make a call center agent more content in his or her work, and more motivated to maintain their employment by working hard and meeting the company’s needs. And depending on the home environment, there may be fewer distractions there than there would be at a busy call center.
  2. It Saves Money
    Agents who work from home avoid the two-way commute every day, which saves money on gas. Parents can also save on daycare for their children and the need to maintain a ‘professional’ wardrobe for the office. The arrangement is more economical for the company as well, as it does not have to provide a workstation on its premises.
  3. A Sense of Independence
    An agent may feel more confident in knowing that he or she is trusted enough to work from home without a manager looking over their shoulder throughout the day.

It May Not Be a Good Idea Because…

  1. Potential Loss of Productivity
    It takes self-motivation to work from home. Agents who lack this virtue may be distracted in a home environment, and their job performance will suffer.
  2. The Motivation of Competition
    In an office environment there can be a sense of healthy competition between agents, who measure their performance on first call resolution and call times against each other. While it’s certainly possible to compare notes via email, it’s not the same as when agents are working side by side.
  3. Communication
    Without face time with coworkers, agents may not find out about new projects or opportunities as quickly (or at all). Work-from-home agents may also miss out on the camaraderie and support they receive from fellow employees and managers.