Numerous studies have shown that people are more productive when they work outside of the office and it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t. When working remotely, the person doesn’t have to commute to the office. They are not distracted by colleagues or impromptu meetings, meaning that they can get more work done in less time. And they don’t feel the pressure from being watched, which can be very uncomfortable at times.
Employers can feel the advantages of having a remote team, too. People working from home are less likely to take sick leaves or time off. Due to a better work-life balance, employee retention in such teams is generally higher. The technology allows companies to hire talents from all over the world. Finally, having remote employees is extremely cost-effective.
However, to feel the real value of having a remote team, you should be able to work around the potential challenges. In this post, we’ll share some tips on how to build a top-notch team of remote agents and get them to show the best results.
Hire the right people
Hire hustlers and go-getters
These are extremely diligent people who will get things done no matter what. Such people don’t need to be managed or controlled too much. You won’t have to check in just to see whether they are executing on your task because you’ll be sure they do. You’ll still need to provide some directions, but you can be 100% sure that even in the absence of guidance they will make something happen.
Hire people you can trust and trust the people you hire
If you don’t want to stress out over your remote call center and log in to the system every 15 minutes just to check what your agents are up to, hire reliable people. When it comes to managing remote teams, trust beats experience and skills. If you focus on keeping everyone in front of the screen, you won’t have time and resources left on developing your product or helping your customers.
Hire people who are ok without a social workplace
That is an important one if you hire individual agents rather than an entire outsourced team. The individual remote workplace is less social than a co-located one, so when you hire agents working from home, you want to make sure they are ok with it. Some people love such environment, while others don’t. Therefore, it’s better to give preference to the agents that already have relevant experience.
Organize the workflow
To make sure that your remote agents are doing a great job, you must put all the work-related processes in place. Luckily, technology can make it happen. Here is the software that can prove to be extremely useful in organizing the work of remote agents. You can also use time-tracking software.
Slack for communication
When it comes to managing remote teams, communication is everything. You have to choose a communication platform where people will share information and know how to easily find each other. Slack is great in this matter. It’s an online based software, which is accessible from anywhere. The simplicity of this tool makes it perfect for chatting with colleagues, sharing files, brainstorming, solving work-related issues, sharing news, etc. This tool allows users to communicate in public channels and have private conversations, but most importantly, it keeps everybody in the same place.
Zoom for regular meetings
Zoom is a great cloud-based software for video communications. This is one of the most popular tools among the organizations working with remote teams because it’s super easy to use and very reliable. It also has a screen sharing feature, audio and video recording, calendar integrations and more. You can use it for both weekly organization get-togethers and quick one-on-one check-ins. Besides, Zoom is accessible from many devices. It means that more people will be able to join the group call even if they all live in different parts of the world.
Voiptime Cloud for making calls
Let’s get down to the actual work. Having the right call center software is essential for the productivity of remote agents. You need a tool that will not only simplify the workflow for your agents but also enable you to manage and oversee their performance. Voiptime Cloud is versatile and easy-to-use virtual call center software with three dialing modes, comprehensive reporting features, flexible campaign settings, and more. Also, Voiptime Cloud is fully cloud-based, which makes it scalable, user-friendly, and easily accessible from anywhere.
We also recommend that you consider various time tracking solutions and choose the most suitable for you.
Take care of company culture
Just like in-house call centers, remote agent teams achieve the highest results if motivated to do their best. There are strategies managers can use to inspire their team for better performance, but all of these will only get you so far if there is no organizational culture. The relationship is the basis of everything, so make sure you take care of that. Here are a few simple things you can implement to strengthen the relationship within the team.
Weekly team video calls
Management 101: If you want to build a strong remote team, you must develop and sustain a real face-to-face connection. Remote work feels dehumanizing at times. It’s important to remind everybody that there are real people behind the nicknames in Slack. To make sure everybody cooperate and respect each other, you absolutely must see each other from time to time. Make sure you gather all your team on a video call once a week.
Regular one-on-one video meetings
People are motivated to work harder if they feel that their contribution really matters. That’s why you need to pay attention to every single member of your team. Make time for quick face-to-face conversations with every single person in your remote call center at least once a month. Chat about how work is going, find out whether they need help, or just say ‘thank you’ for good work. This simple change can bring extraordinary results.
Meeting in person
That’s a piece of advice for an ideal situation. If you have such an opportunity, meet your remote teammates in person at least once a year. Organize one big get-together if they are all working from one place or at least close enough to be able to arrive. This will foster a strong connection and significantly improve work ethics within the team.
All in all, there is a lot of freedom and benefits to having a remote agent team. You as a call center manager should be flexible enough to re-think the traditional workplace model and be willing to create the best environment for your staff. If you have enough patience to structure effective workflow, your efforts will definitely pay off.