Is your call center ready for a 4-day work week?

Is your call center ready for a 4-day work week?

Faith Ocampo Published on January 25, 2017

excited asian call center worker holding wall clock

A swelling number of companies are starting to offer longer weekends—three days, to be exact—to their employees. Can 24/7 call centers also pull this off?

The idea of a 40-hour, 4-day work week (and hence 3-day weekends) is quite new, but it’s already garnering plenty of thumbs-up across industries.

Google co-founder Larry Page, for instance, is all for adjusting work schedules to let employees devote more time for the things that matter to them.
Global financial advisory firm KPMG has also rolled out a compressed work week among their staff. The company said this helped boost employee engagement and also fortified their employer branding.

Even online retail giant Amazon has started to experiment with this strategy. Just last year, they’ve begun piloting a 30-hour work week among select employees, recognizing that the 40-hour, 5-day model may not be suitable for everyone. Although they’ll be testing it merely among a few dozen staff, Amazon hopes this move will foster the same, if not a higher, level of productivity.

Can customer support firms also pull this off?

Implementing a compressed work week may seem like a counterintuitive tactic for call centers that are already juggling erratic work schedules. And not to mention that most of these outsourcing companies run 24/7, as they often work with clients from different time zones.

Longer rest days and shorter work weeks, however, may just be the solution to the stress-and-burnout plague among customer service workers. Studies indicate that this arrangement can increase staff productivity and alleviate fatigue, something that many contact center agents are prone to. In the long term, therefore, this can help trim down turnovers and attrition.

If you’ve decided to draft a new employee schedule template for a shorter work week, keep these tips in mind.

  1. Solicit employee feedback.

    business executive talking to employee
    You may be convinced that a 4-day work week will be more beneficial for your company, but your employees may not be ready for it.

    Your first step, therefore, must be to talk to them and see if they’re willing to make the necessary adjustments. After all, working 10 hours a day can be more dragging than the usual 8-hour shift, as employees would need to finish more tasks in a day. They’d thus be left with less time to run personal errands like doctor appointments, child care, and grocery shopping, although they’d enjoy a longer weekend.

    Before rolling out a new work schedule, make sure to onboard employees with your proposed arrangement. This will give them enough time to get used to the changes you’ll be making.

  2. Think about your customers.

    For call centers, another major consideration would be the customer experience. Would reducing the work week affect the quality of your customer support services? If so, how can you make sure this doesn’t happen?

    This can be particularly tricky for ’round-the-clock support providers. One option is to organize overlapping and rotating shifts among your teams. Assign different work and rest days among your agents to make sure that there are people manning your hotlines all the time.

    Also, seek advice from your workforce managers so you can anticipate spikes in the number of transactions you’re likely to face. This would let you ensure that you have enough people on your operations floor to accommodate customers’ requests and complaints.

  3. Don’t rush the planning stage.

    thinking customer service listening to customer in call center
    Shift planning is perhaps the most critical part of workforce management. So spend all the time you need to iron out even the tiniest details and gear up for every single issue that may arise. For instance, consider how you’ll be using and allocating resources such as computers, desks, chairs, and other facilities.

    Be sure to include everyone as you tweak your employee schedule templates, such as team leaders, operation managers, and of course, your frontline agents. Also, keep in mind that different departments may have different needs, and the prospective schedule may not be applicable to everyone. For this, you may need to design work schedules that are tailored to the unique requirements of your teams.

  4. Set additional rules.

    As you plan to transition into the 4-day work week, make sure that it won’t negatively affect your call center’s productivity level and output quality. You may set additional rules and backup plans to guard against performance drops. Here are some things you need to think about:

    •     Do you need to hire freelance agents to act as backup staff?
    •     Should agents be required to work during holidays?
    •     Should agents be allowed to swap schedules with one another in case of emergencies?
    •     What would a typical daily workload consist of?
    •     Should you set new daily customer service and productivity goals?

  5. Start small.

    Before rolling out the new scheme across the entire company, try it out on a small scale first. Another way to test the new arrangement is to implement it once a month. This way, you can spot problematic areas, if any, helping you avoid costly consequences. You’ll also be able to evaluate its impacts on productivity and employee engagement.

    During the trial period, keep gathering feedback from your staff so you can calibrate and re-calibrate their schedules as necessary.

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO2 days ago
#CustomerService metrics indicate the level of service your brand is capable of providing.
They can also reveal just how effective your strategies are, including your
• staffing
• training
• quality assurance, and
• service/people management.

Metrics are more diagnostic than curative: https://buff.ly/3RiolyQ

----------
Make dismal #CustomerService a thing of the past when you outsource your #CustomerSupport needs: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CallCenterOutsourcing #CallCenters
#CustomerExperience
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO3 days ago
Customers appreciate brands with #eCommerce websites that have #LiveChatSupport because of its convenience, speed, and humanized interaction.
You need to optimize these 4 features to make your #ChatSupport exceptional: https://buff.ly/3fhVflL

----------
Upgrade #CustomerExperience with our 24/7 multichannel #CustomerSupport solutions: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CustomerService #eCommerce
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO7 days ago
#Repost | Team Allied Services and You:
𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗕𝗣𝗢 is once again supporting #RyansRun during the TCS New York City Marathon this November.

Ryan's Run is a nonprofit organization and NYC Marathon Charity Partner. This #sponsorship supports #charity healthcare system Allied Services and their goal to improve the lives of people with disabilities, life-changing injuries, and chronic illnesses.

Photo shows Open Access BPO CEO Ben Davidowitz presenting the multilingual #CallCenter's donation to Allied Services' Jim Brogna and Steve Davidowitz.

----------
Open Access BPO is a multilingual call center with locations in both the Philippines and the United States. The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Ben Davidowitz, grew up in Kingston, PA. His brother, Steve, has been part of the charity campaign since its inception in 2010, and will be running the TCS New York City Marathon once again this year as part of Team Allied Services and You. He will be joined by an Open Access BPO employee.

Thank you @openaccessbpo

#openaccessbpo #teamalliedservicesandyou #pinoyrunner
#tcsnycmarathon #partnership #support #WeSpeakYourLanguage
#NYCMarathon2022
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO1 week ago
Open Access BPO, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, is holding a #BloodDonation drive on September 28.

Employees who haven't signed up as #BloodDonors may do so by filling out this form: https://buff.ly/3dvNyI6

𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗕𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮
September 28 | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM PST
Open Access BPO Makati, Glorietta 2 site lobby

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#DonateBlood
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO1 week ago
#Gamification works to create healthy competition and camaraderie among your #CallCenter agents while ensuring productivity and high quality support for your customers.

But it only works if done right. Here are several tips you can use to gamify your contact center: https://buff.ly/3dvR6Kt

----------
Ensure high quality support for your customers: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO1 week ago
Having a branded #CustomerService strategy sets your business apart from others, helping grow your customers base and enhancing #CustomerExperience.
Here's how you can develop a branded customer service strategy: https://buff.ly/3Smzv6A

----------
Outsource #CustomerDelight without losing your #BrandIdentity: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CustomerSupport #branding
Open Access BPO