Six ways contact centre agents can stay engaged whilst working remotely
Remote working has become the new norm in recent months, and it looks like it might be here to stay for many contact centres across the UK. As we venture into our sixth month working from home, it’s important we try to break bad habits before they form – from chilling in your PJs until lunch time to working through the day without a break. Now’s a good time to reset yourself so that you can stay engaged and motivated – enabling you to deliver the best customer experience possible for your clients.
- Get up, get ready – become a morning person
While many can agree it’s been nice to ditch the daily commute for extra time in bed, it’s important that we give our body and brain time to wake-up before getting straight to it. Try waking up an hour earlier than you need to, to let your brain wake-up gradually. Use this extra time for yourself. Whether you choose to work out or walk the dog, tidy the house or watch the news, it’s important to give yourself that time – you deserve it after all.Staying in your PJs might also seem appealing first thing in the morning, but it’s not a good habit to get into. Routine is important for maintaining our mental health and getting dressed adds structure to your day, which you may be missing while working from home. We can vouch that it often leads to feeling lazy and unmotivated.
Don’t forget the importance of breakfast too.  Eating breakfast helps to boost your metabolism and to maintain energy and concentration levels that you’ll need throughout the morning. Skipping breakfast often leads to unhealthy snacking on foods that give quick bursts of energy, making you feel unmotivated and less engaged later on. You don’t want to be falling asleep on that customer support call now do you…
- Keep moving and stay hydrated
Being a Contact Centre Agent often means you’re stuck at a desk responding to enquiries for hours on end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your body moving. With our daily routines shaken up, a lot of people have lost virtual step count without even realising.We all know exercise keeps you healthy, but exercising can also increase productivity in all areas of your life. Not only does exercise give you more energy and stop that afternoon fatigue slump, it also keeps momentum going and improves mental capacity.
And let’s not stop there – make sure you’re drinking lots of water.  It’s proven that drinking water can increase productivity by 14%. So ditch the caffeine and make a conscious effort to take a few minutes away from your screen to replenish yourself.
- The Tech headaches
We’ve all experienced that customer support call where the lines are so bad that we can’t hear the agent. Make sure you have good WIFI and signal by investing in a WIFI booster or position yourself close to the internet router. A good quality headset with noise cancellation is also vital to maintain a high level of audio quality during calls and in call recordings.If you’re using a laptop, try to use it on a flat surface along with your external keyboard and mouse to allow the laptop monitor to be at eye-level. This also allows for wrist support from the desk/table where the laptop is placed and helps with headaches caused by looking down at a screen for long periods of time.
Finally, don’t forget video-conferencing! If you are using video, take care to consider what may be in the background and who may be visible during the call. Most video-conferencing solutions these days now offer the ability to use virtual backgrounds, so why not go for a funky background or even better, rep your company brand!
- Your surroundings – tidy space, tidy mind
Firstly, try to sit in the same place if possible and avoid moving from room to room. Uncomfortable workstation configurations can lead to feeling demotivated.Try taking 5 minutes at the end of the day to tidy and clean your desk. It’s proven that a cluttered desk can make focusing on projects difficult and distracting, raising your level of stress throughout the day.
A clean and tidy work environment boosts productivity and morale, so keeping on top of the mess in your workspace should be a priority. With desks providing the perfect host for bacteria to flourish, maintaining a clean workspace is essential to remaining fit and healthy, now more than ever!
- Internal chit chat – employee communications
To maintain a proactive and happy contact centre culture remotely, you first need to ensure that you are communicating effectively with your internal team. Integrating tools and using a CCaaS solution that enables you to do so is crucial. For example, with Puzzel’s Microsoft Teams integration, Puzzel customers can provide their users full visibility of contacts and presence of their entire organisation at any time from within the Agent Application. This integration creates ease of use and simplicity, allowing you to concentrate on the customer while being able to have access to their colleagues on Teams for help and advice.
- Clock off and switch off
Many agents who are working remotely are now working much longer hours than normal.  A study commissioned by LinkedIn in partnership with The Mental Health Foundation found that 56% are feeling more anxious or stressed, 24% are struggling with their mental health, and nearly a third (31%) are having difficulty sleeping, putting them at a higher risk of burning out.Whilst it’s amazing that you are able to get more done working from home, it’s important you have a routine that enables you to switch off for the sake of both your wellbeing and productivity.
Why not try one or all six of our top tips to help you stay engaged whilst working remotely? Let us know how you get on – we’d love to hear from you!