It should come as no surprise to contact center human resources directors that one of the best recruiting benefits the work at home (WaH) agent model offers is hiring without geographic limitations. Couple that with allowing agents to use their own devices (BYOD), and you make the job even more attractive to prospective candidates.
Traditional office working arrangements limit the accessible talent pool to those within a reasonable commuting distance. Hiring remotely removes that boundary. To use the vernacular, when it comes to hiring, "the world is your oyster."
BYOD and WaH also levels the playing field for smaller, mid-market BPOs, allowing them to compete for talent against massive enterprise organizations. As Microsoft's 2021 Work Trend Index puts it, businesses can use remote work as a tool to “attract the best and most diverse talent."
Benefits of BYOD/WaH for Hiring Managers
Expanding the hiring pool geographically is a primary benefit for HR but not the only one. Others include:
Cheaper labor pools. While labor costs in places like the United States, Canada, and Western Europe are higher, workers in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, and India are decidedly cheaper. Regions like Africa and the Middle East also provide support less expensively.
Lower operating costs. Remote employees reduce a company’s overhead, especially if they use their own devices. Employers could save more than $11,000 per employee per year if employees worked from home just half the time, according to a Global Workplace Analytics report.
Inclusive diversity hiring. Another advantage is that people with disabilities no longer face challenging commutes from home to the contact center. For HR, that opens the door to hiring candidates who traditionally may not have been inclined to work from an office.
Statistics also show that businesses with a diverse workforce are more productive and profitable. According to McKinsey, companies that embrace ethnic and social workplace diversity can boost profitability by more than 30% compared to those that don’t.
Increased employee retention. We all know that replacing experienced agents is expensive, so it's better to keep the employees you already have than recruit new ones. Work at home is a means to achieving that goal. As a case in point, Global Workplace Analytics found that 95% of employers surveyed say allowing employees to work remotely has a positive impact on retention.
Greater productivity. Working from a safe, familiar, stress-free environment with fewer distractions lets employees function at their best — more than one study supports that conjecture:
- Gartner research revealed that employees who use their own devices tend to be more productive and personally satisfied.
- Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago surveyed 10,000 employees, the majority of whom said they thought they were just as productive working from home compared to working in the office.
- A 2021 Owl Labs report found that 55% of survey respondents say they work more hours remotely than at the physical office.
Expanded operating hours. Another benefit of remote hiring is that agents can work around the clock. Having agents located in major time zones means that someone is always available to service customers day or night.
Scheduling flexibility. Since contact centers can hire from anywhere, a remote workforce can quickly scale up or down as needs demand.
Lower carbon footprint. Reduced commuting times and costs are good for the environment. Fuel emissions from all modes of transportation decrease considerably when fewer people use them to get to work.
BYOD/WaH Employee Benefits
Prospective employees have every reason to be attracted to the BYOD/WaH operating model.
They can work with companies of their choice irrespective of geography. That's especially beneficial for job seekers living in rural areas and small towns where many available local positions may not exist.
There are limits to that, of course — such as language barriers and cultural differences — but the opportunity to improve their work-life balance with scheduling flexibility carries great appeal.
Work at home offers cost savings for employees, too. A FlexJobs study found that people who work from home save about $4,000 a year. They no longer have to bear transportation costs, buy a professional wardrobe, or fund various daily expenses like food and beverages.
Lastly, remote work also makes it possible for agents to care for their families while also contributing expertise to a team.
BYOD combined with work at home offers BPO and contact center employers and employees a wide range of benefits. It vastly expands the hiring pool, significantly reduces operating costs, increases productivity, enhances flexibility, virtually eliminates commuting time, and lowers the carbon footprint, helping improve the environment.
With the appropriate security measures in place — something our Secure Remote Worker software solution enables — contact centers and BPOs can foster a work at home BYOD workplace culture that adds value to the company, its employees, and clients for years to come.