Transcom has contact centers in six cities in Sweden. In addition to that, we have a significant number of work-at-home agents in Scandinavia as well as in North America.
We asked Robert Cederlund, who works as a Home Agent in Sweden, three short questions:
What do you like best about being a Home Agent?
I can do chores during my breaks and I get to sit in my own chair. I don’t have to shave every day because the customer and my boss don’t see me when I work from home. I have a cross trainer at home that I can use during my breaks.
What is the difference between working at a contact center and from home?
I thought I would miss my colleagues, but I spend most of my time on the phone anyway. You have access to a chat room, so I feel that I have more social interaction with colleagues now. I also get to use the same workstation every day, making it easier to feel “more at home” even at work.
What is the best part about working from home?
It is very silent, so I can really focus on the customer.
The opportunity to work at home is gaining popularity among employees around the world, and a growing number of companies are offering work-at-home solutions.
Transcom has had the technical readiness for work-at-home projects for many years. Transcom Estonia started to offer this solution 1,5 years ago. So far, the feedback from employees has been very positive.
We have asked what the home agents like or dislike about working at home.
“What I like the most by working at home is that I can spend much more time with my children. My children are very happy that I’m at home when they are coming back from school. Even if they are not allowed to disturb me during working hours, they like to know that I’m just in the next room. And after the working day, I have much more energy than before, we all are going out together frequently and my family enjoys it”
“I live in the countryside and the biggest benefit for me is that I save time and money by not having to commute. It makes me especially happy during the snowy winter. Now, I don’t have to go out in early mornings to shovel the piles of snow and be worried will I be on time to work or not. Instead of that, I have the luxury to wake up just 30 minutes before my shift starts, to have my morning coffee and admire from the window the beautiful snowfall.
However, working from home is not for everyone. To avoid any setbacks, our experienced home workers want to share some useful advice:
- Before starting to work from home, discuss the consequences with your family. They have to accept that even if you are at home, you are not available for them during working hours.
- When working alone, it can make you feel abandoned. You will need an active social network after work to compensate for it.”
- When it comes to product knowledge – you have to be skilled in what you do, as you don’t get the support as easily as in the office. So, in the beginning, it is a good solution to work in the call center and then move home. And then we have the coaching sessions, when we gather once per quarter at the call center to meet with our colleagues to discuss updates. These meetings are very useful and appreciated.
So, if you have considered all the aspects of home working and decided you’ll go for it, you might find that it’s probably the best job you ever had.
Once a year, the Swedish call center association Kontakta arranges a conference focusing on customer service. The overall goal of the conference is for people in the industry to meet, exchange best practices and discuss future industry trends.
This year, I was invited as one of the keynote speakers. I chose to talk about how Transcom’s Home-Based Agent (HBA) concept creates value for our clients and how it supports the creation of outstanding customer experiences. Team leaders, trainers and coaches also participated via video link.
I think the positive reactions from the audience are testimony to the fact that our Home-Based Agent solutions meet the industry’s expectations in terms of performance, reliability and cost.
Feel free to take a look at the presentation below (modified based on the Swedish-language version):
Christian Hultén, General Manager of Transcom’s North region