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Why Remote Customer Service Roles Are A Toss Up for companies

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Sep 13, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

Several well-known public companies have made headlines over the past year because they’re offering customer service and other corporate support workers the chance to work remotely, right from the comfort of the employees’ own homes. At the same time, however, other – equally well-known and successful - employers are doing just the opposite, reigning in a formerly-home based workforce to bring them back under one corporate roof.

So, what makes one company decide to move to a remote workforce when another decides to do the complete opposite? The reasons are surprising only in that there are cross-over benefits and drawbacks to either employment arrangement. In this post, we’ll explore some of the factors your company should consider as you evaluate your options for filling corporate support positions.

Expenses

There’s no question that companies that allow customer service representatives to work from home will pay less for space, utilities, office equipment, furniture, insurance, housekeeping and all of the other expenses that come with hosting an on-site call center.

However, when allowing staff to work from their own homes, companies incur other expenses. Setting up remote workers with the equipment they need to tap into your corporate systems is not without cost. Consider also your organization’s real expenses related to handling things like hardware and connectivity issues with a virtual workforce, and the costs associated with ensuring your company’s data – and that of its clients – is secure and protected against both cyber threats as well as physical loss or exposure.

Similarly, because of the absence of on-site supervision, remote workers are more or less on the honor system. While there are tools that can help track workers’ productivity, there is an inherent potential for misuse of the company’s time. In many cases, home-based workers are actually more productive than their office-based counterparts.

Job Satisfaction

The ability to skip a long and frustrating commute can be a powerful benefit, helping companies attract a more skilled, experienced workforce. Of course, working from home also means employees can dress more casually than they could in the office, and can have flexibility that can enhance work-life balance.

Organizations that decide against using remote customer service or other corporate support roles may need to work harder to make their in-office roles attractive and rewarding, in order to attract and retain the caliber of worker they want. This does not necessarily mean paying higher wages; on-site perks like break rooms with massage chairs or pool tables, or elaborate employee appreciation events with top-name entertainment – things that would have been unheard of 20 years ago, are not just accepted now; they’re almost commonplace in some industries.

Access to Talent

Choosing to allow workers to handle your corporate support needs remotely can give your organization access to potential workers who otherwise would not be interested in the job. However, on the flip side, potential employees who are at the beginning of their careers and want to advance with your company may not feel they have that opportunity with a remote-work arrangement, because of the decreased visibility for those roles.

Whatever Your Corporate Support Needs, ICS Can Help

At Infinity Consulting Solutions, we understand that every company’s staffing needs are different; there isn’t any single one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to filling human resources, customer service or administrative support roles. Just as we work closely with the candidates we pre-screen and evaluate, we also work hard to understand our business clients’ structure.

Whether you are hiring for remote positions or want a more traditional workforce, ICS has the connections, knowledge and experience to help make your workforce the best it can be. In addition to corporate support roles, ICS also helps companies fill accounting and finance, compliance and legal and information technology positions.

ICS goes beyond the traditional staffing agency experience, creating great experiences for employers across the country. To learn more, contact us today in any of our eight offices across the country (New York, Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis and Denver.)

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