As the technology used to power contact centers has become more advanced, organizations around the globe are beginning to form a less rigid definition of “center”, enabling a large percentage of their agents to work remotely, or “work from home”. They are also increasingly relying on multiple sites for their customer engagement initiatives. In fact, just a short twelve months back, 53% of respondents managed customer engagements through one or zero contact center, a number that has since fallen to 51%, and is predicted to shrink to 39% in twelve months. Interestingly enough, the number of contact centers with more than five locations is steadily decreasing—while 16% had more than five locations twelve months ago, only 14% do I the present, and only 13% will in twelve months. The sweet spot appears to be in the 2-5 range.
As it relates to “work from home”, businesses are indeed increasing their reliance on a remote workforce, however they are not becoming overly reliant on the model. A year ago, 89% of organizations employed 20% or less of their workforce in a remote setting, a number that has since decreased to 86% in the present. In just twelve months, however, 72% of expect to have 20% or less of their employees working remotely, meaning that more than a quarter or businesses will have a substantial number of at-home agents—but there are limits. Even amid the apparent trend towards a more flexible contact center, only 5% of businesses will allow more than 40% of their agents to work remotely.
While there are limits to the number of contact centers sites businesses are willing to create and the number of employees they will allow to work from home, it is clear that there is an ongoing trend towards creating a multi-site, soft-walled and less rigid contact center environment. And this trend will further drive the demand for cloud technology, quality assurance capabilities, and other tools and features that will help facilitate an efficient and well-run contact center.