With the spotlight well and truly on homeworking is it about time more organisations started taking it seriously as a long-term strategy?
Sensée already does. Last week the homeworking specialist, who provide outsourced customer contact services to well-known organisations such as Bupa, Hastings Direct and several Government departments, as well as homeworking consultancy services, announced plans to create 500 new permanent and 500 new temporary positions to meet the growing demand from its clients for work-at-home staff.
A win-win for companies and their employees
“There’s certainly an overwhelming appetite for homeworking within the working population,” says Sensée CEO Mark Walton.
In 2018, The Office for National Statistics claimed that 4.5 million UK people worked from home, at least some of the time. And according to Work Wise Week, an additional 1.8 million people would like to work from home but are not given the chance – claiming that 53% of workers feel that they’d be more productive if they could work outside the office.
Research from the UK Contact Centre Forum (UKCCF) supports this feeling with hard facts. Its 2016 survey of work-at-home contact centre operators found that 42% of organisations had lower attrition, 58% lower absenteeism, and 46% higher productivity as a result of homeworking. In 2019, it further claimed that 82.0% of organisations will have home-based contact centre agents by 2029.
The barriers are down
So what’s been holding companies back?
“Fifteen years ago, organisations frequently claimed that they didn’t have the technology, HR and operational know-how to make a success of homeworking. Today, that’s no longer the case,” says Walton.
“Specialist operators such as Sensée now have customised contact centre homeworking solutions to address key HR and operational issues, as well as specialist virtual workplace tools for training and real-time communications/ management – giving managers real-time visibility of homeworkers so they can support and collaborate as required.
“Covid-19 may have brought the homeworking option into sharp focus for companies, but the building blocks were already in place.”
Extending the recruitment pool
In the past, homeworkers were frequently either managers and top performing employees offered homeworking ‘as a reward’ or self-employed people required to create their own limited companies before supplying services.
Today, homeworkers are now more likely to choose to work from home, be employed, and be more experienced. Indeed, 74% of homeworkers are aged 35 or over according to the UKCCF, and 66% have over 10 years experience in customer contact roles.
Walton says: “People come into homeworking for a wide variety of reasons. At Sensée, we have 700 fully-employed homeworkers including work-at-home mums, many who find working in an office stressful, and others that are excluded from the normal workplace. Some of our people live in rural areas or are simply too far from the office to commute. Others live with a disability. We estimate that 18% of our colleagues have some form of disability, and a further 8% are carers to people with special needs.”
Sensée is in regular contact with organisations that support the disabled community, is a Purple Member, supports the Armed Forces Covenant, is Disability Confident committed and is registered with Employers for Carers.
In response to both the Covid-19 pandemic and the growing demand from clients for work-at-home staff, Sensée is currently looking for 1,000 candidates to fill customer contact advisors, team managers and back-office staff vacancies to work for new and existing clients – including Bupa and Hastings Direct – as well as for several Government departments. Start dates are immediate.
Sensée is welcoming applications from people of all backgrounds, levels of experience, gender and age. Contact centre experience is preferred but not essential. Customer service and other job-specific training is provided.
Candidates can apply today for the new roles at www.sensee.co.uk