Until recently, perspectives varied when evaluating work at home policies and their direct impact on productivity when compared to traditional organizational cultures. Unfortunately, following the WHO’s identification of the COVID-19 virus popularly known as Coronavirus, everyone’s perspective has shifted. The threat of a potential pandemic poses a serious health risk to every employee, executive, and contractor - whose wellbeing takes precedence. As a result, the new status quo in China and other countries in the Asia Pacific region has shifted to encouraging employees to work at home, which happens to be potentially lifesaving while delivering the added benefit of maintaining business continuity in the face of adversity.
Following official announcements across Chinese provinces directing companies to enforce a mandatory work at home policy, installs for remote work applications such as WeChat Work have soared. As infection rates increase, even companies outside Asia are requesting returning travelers to work at home for the first couple of weeks after returning. The ripple effect has reached as far as Europe, where flagpole business events like Mobile World Congress have been cancelled incurring financial loss. Everyone is united in the hope that the health risks associated with Coronavirus will be eliminated as soon as possible. While many enterprises are already adopting remote work as part of a broader digital transformation initiative, the global health crisis highlights the imperative to accelerate this process. The need to deliver competitive levels of productivity and indeed business continuity is a universal business reality.
In the Contact Center industry, the quality of the customer experience drives growth. While most contact centers operate in a traditional centralized location populated by hundreds or even thousands of agents, an increasing number of organizations have embraced the Work-At-Home-Agent (WAHA) model. With the proper UC infrastructure and collaboration platforms in place (e.g. WebRTC enabled browsers), the WAHA model can deliver competitive results, and in some cases even outperform centralized organizations. Work at home Agents are equipped with hard phones or soft phone solutions to communicate over voice calls – just as they would in a centralized contact center. Surely, working from home with access to the open internet does introduce challenges, ranging from voice quality assurance, security governance, and remote manageability and monitoring. In order to securely connect and enable a robust WAHA alternative to the traditional centralized contact center solution, providers must adopt a holistic approach that spans people, culture, and technology.
The AudioCodes One Voice for Contact Center offering is a case in point for a WAHA solution deployment that aligns the technology stack with the needs of both people and organizational culture. The wide range of components spanning devices, media gateways, SBCs, and associated management tools – all work together as one integrated system to deliver a holistic customer experience while maintaining competitive levels of productivity.