Future of Work News

More Than Half of Remote Call Center Agents Would Quit if Recalled to the Office


How eager are employees to return to full-time onsite jobs? Let’s take a listen:


It’s official. Americans and others across the world have become attached to their remote and hybrid jobs and would be highly unwilling to return to full-time work in an office setting. During the COVID-19 pandemic’s earliest years, many of us became accustomed to not having a commute, spending more time with our families, and working in slightly more casual attire than in a corporate setting. Workers used the time saved to begin exercise regimens, cook and bake more and practice hobbies.

Call center agents are no exceptions. Many agents switched to remote work during the pandemic because it was difficult, if not impossible, to keep workers safe in packed call centers. Luckily, it’s remarkably easy to transition a call center agent to a home-based worker, especially with a cloud-based contact center solution. All it requires is a reliable internet connection, a browser, and a headset.

A recent survey from Playvox asked agents about their desire to return to the office, the benefits of flexible work arrangements and how they'll respond if their company no longer supports remote work. Playvox asked contact center managers about the likelihood of bringing agents back to the office, the flexible work policies they have in place and the tools managers use to support remote employees. Of the 60 percent of survey participants who said they still work from home, 56 percent said they might leave their jobs if they couldn't work remotely.

“Agents want flexibility in where they work for many of the same reasons that other people want to work from home," said Michelle Randall, Playvox's chief marketing officer. "In addition to having more control of their time, agents cited health and financial reasons for wanting to make remote work a permanent option.”

Indeed, workers are largely unified in explaining why they prefer a remote environment:

  • 91 percent said working remotely helps them save money on transportation, dining out and their office attire. 
  • More than three-quarters said they value the flexibility and control of their schedule that remote work affords.
  • 70 percent said working remotely helps them stay healthy and avoid illness.
  •  70 percent said their job happiness has greatly increased due to remote work.

The message is clear: Call centers that are already having trouble keeping staffing at necessary levels and are considering bringing agents back to the office probably should rethink that strategy.

“When you factor in lower resignation rates and higher job satisfaction, flexible work becomes a win-win for agents and contact centers alike,” added Randall.

Edited by Erik Linask

Future of Work Contributor

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