10 Tips For Working From Home

My Post (8).pngIn the past, a remote job was a dream job scenario for many office employees. In reality, the transition from office to home can be challenging and difficult to manage at first. In this blog, we will cover ten tips that will ease to transition to working remotely.

The first step you take from transitioning over from a regular full-time job to working remotely is difficult. We, as a society, have become accustomed to the norm of working a full 9 to 5 job at a designated workplace. For the lucky few, you might have a 4-day workweek.

Many companies today already support remote work and have flexible policies to support remote employees. At the same time, many companies are having to quickly adapt to entire offices closing for a period of time.

Benefits of Working from Home

Working remotely can benefit employers just as much as it helps the employees. Many companies that implement remote work have noticed increases in productivity and cost savings. Employees that work from home are more inclined to meet their deadlines due to maintaining the trust they have with their employer. Not making deadlines means that the employee is not cut out for remote work, so it’s back to the office.

10 Tips For Working From Home

Up to this point, we covered some of the pros and cons of working from home. We also looked at how to transition from an office job to a work from home job. These are the essential building blocks for starting your career working from home.

Now comes the important bit. Here are 10 tips to help you be more productive when working from home.

1. Get into a Routine

Working from home does offer flexibility regarding your time, but you still have a job to do and only 24 hours in a day to accomplish your goals. A challenge that remote workers often face is balancing online and offline availability. Seasoned professionals know the right balance and are sure to keep their two worlds separated, even when in the same space.

2. Find Your Optimal Working Hours

Everyone is different, which is why we are most efficient at different hours in the day. Some of us are most productive in the early hours of the morning, while others work best at night. Keep trying out different time slots in the day to find out when you work at your best.

3. Document Your Work Process

Take note of all the different steps you take when completing a project. If you are an SEO consultant developing a content marketing strategy, then you can develop a checklist to streamline this process.

Even the best of writers are prone to mistakes and can skip a few steps, especially when they are trying to meet deadlines. A checklist will help to keep your systems in check. Your efficiency shows and clients do take notice. – Read More

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6 Tips to Keep Your Audience Engaged During Online Meetings

My Post (6).pngIt wasn’t too long ago that debates raged about whether online meetings could ever truly replace face-to-face meetings. In the years since, many would likely say the argument was, at best, difficult to resolve and, at worst, moot.

That’s because both have their unique qualities. In the end, one doesn’t prove to be better than the other. What’s become clear, however, is that more and more business is conducted via online meetings than ever before. Between 2005 and 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. Clearly, online meeting technology represents one of the most critical communication and collaboration tools for the remote workforce. Research firm Global Market Insights predicts that video conferencing, an $11 billion market in 2017, will grow to $20 billion by 2024.

So with online meetings growing in popularity, we thought we’d take a look at the unique aspects of conducting an online meeting and offer a few tips for how to keep your remote attendees—who you may or may not be able to see—completely engaged.

Here are six tips to help you master the art of engaging online meetings.

1. The importance of preparation

Agenda

First, avoid any confusion when you kick off the meeting by sending out a clear agenda prior to the call. Make sure you clearly indicate the meeting goals and everyone’s expected contribution, if applicable. If you’re expecting a report on action items in this meeting, let attendees know in advance so they don’t leave it until the meeting starts to read the agenda.

Set up

When you send the meeting invite, be sure to include login details for your conference call and arrive five to 10 minutes early to check that they work. Making time for setup prior to the meeting will put a stop to that embarrassing scramble to update the login details and adjust the invite when you realize no one can connect.

Complementary materials

Next, decide what accompanying material you’ll be using in the meeting. If you’ll be presenting, it’s a no-brainer, but even if you’re just having a team or project meeting, consider what visual aids might be useful for the remote attendees to feel fully involved. Whatever the format, make sure your online meeting tools are set up for screen sharing and video conferencing. Which brings me to my next tip.

2. Make sure you have the right remote work tools

All of your careful preparation for a virtual meeting will be fruitless unless you have the right online collaboration tools at your disposal. If you find yourself having virtual meetings regularly, make sure you have the software to suit your needs and allow easy screen sharing and clear, crisp video conferencing.

A team messaging solution is a great way to bring virtual teams and individuals together, allowing video calling and screen sharing at the touch of a button.

Screen sharing is a must-have feature for communicating during virtual meetings. By sharing the presentation, visual aids, or even the meeting agenda or notes, everyone can be kept in the loop and will be less likely to get distracted.

But even if screen sharing isn’t a feature you have access to, video conferencing is really where it’s at when you’re looking to keep everyone engaged in a virtual meeting. It’s incredibly difficult to relate to a voice at the end of a telephone line. When you can put a face to the name, the barriers come down, connections can be made more naturally, and contributing to the meeting becomes easier for everyone. Just remember when your video screen is on to avoid being caught off guard!

3. Establish some housekeeping rules and stick to them

Being a remote meeting attendee can often be a frustrating experience. Side chatter, difficulty hearing the speaker, and struggling to get your point across are just some things that can make a virtual meeting a less-than-pleasant experience for remote workers.

By setting some general housekeeping rules for online meetings and video conference calls, everyone will be more inclined to stay tuned-in and more likely to accept your next invite. Here’s some inspiration for your rule book:

  1. No cross-chat or side conversations in meetings.
  2. Be clear and concise, always keep remote attendees in mind.
  3. Give people on the phone a chance to speak. Allow time for them, and be aware that they may have questions at any time, just like everyone in the room.
  4. Civility and respect should be the norm. Be respectful of people’s time by being punctual and ready to dive in.

4. Make time for a few minutes of introductions

Before you get down to business, make time for introductions and small talk, preferably going beyond just the work chitchat. Make this fun by asking attendees random questions and encouraging some banter. Think: “What did everyone have for breakfast/lunch? What’s been the highlight of your week?” – Read more

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5 Benefits of letting agents work remotely

My Post (17).pngIf remote working hadn’t yet been on your radar, the current state of the world due to COVID-19 has almost certainly changed things for your business and contact center. As states and businesses close in an effort to control the virus’ spread, business owners are having to make tough decisions about their workforce.

Though you may not be thrilled about having your employees work remotely, there are numerous business benefits to having a remote customer support team. In this article, we explored some of the top advantages of working in remote teams, from home or local coffee shops. If your contact center has the ability to utilize a remote workforce, this change may make a powerful, beneficial difference to the way you do business.

The benefits of a remote team

As a business owner or contact center manager, you likely have legitimate concerns about allowing your agents to work remotely. Maybe you’re wondering:

“How will I know if my remote agents are actively working?”

“Can I coordinate a productive schedule for a distributed team that works across multiple time zones?”

“Will I see negative effects on our customer service if I create a remote team?”

Thankfully, these fears are largely unfounded, especially when your contact center team is equipped with the right tools. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ll see even better results when your team is connected by technology rather than proximity.

Before getting into the benefits, however, let’s start with the basics.

What is a remote team?

A remote team includes a group of employees that completes their tasks and collaborates with coworkers outside of office spaces. In terms of a contact center, this can include agents, supervisors and contact center admins. These remote workers may have started in a traditional co-working space before moving home or they may have been hired specifically for a remote position. Though they don’t work in the same space, these teams maintain typical team meetings and communication, just through the phone or over video calls.

Many contact centers build diverse teams by hiring remote workers from across the nation and the globe. This increases access to a larger talent pool and often attracts more candidates, allowing you to build a highly effective team that is the best at what they do.

What are the benefits of remote working?

The decision to move from an office setting to a virtual team affects everyone in the business, so it’s important to know the benefit of remote work for your team and customer service. There are many ways to implement remote work, each with its own perks, but there are some benefits that everyone can experience when working remotely.

1 – Increasing productivity through remote work

Though many business owners and contact center managers worry about work getting done from home, increased productivity is often the biggest benefit of a remote team. A study presented in the Harvard Business Review, for example, showed that remote workers accomplished almost a full additional day’s amount of work per week when compared to on-site employees. Another study found that 45% of remote employees can get more done in less time and 44% are less distracted and more productive than they would be at the office.

For some agents, the ability to find the best environment and schedule for their needs naturally leads to better work. For others, improved productivity is a way to pay back companies that allow them to work from home. – Read more

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