Contact center managers do everything they can to boost their employees’ morale and performance, from holding fun competitions to arranging individualized coaching. But one of the most effective ways to improve morale, and thus performance, is by providing a strategically designed space for employees to work in.
The more pleasant the work environment is, the more easily contact center employees will be able to focus on doing their best. Watch the short video from Officeworks for an explanation and some tips on Feng Shui for home or office. After that, read our list for more great ideas to grow your office chi and create the right atmosphere in your contact center.
Rather than keeping contact centers, and even individual agents, behind opaque walls or partitions, let them see and be seen by installing glass walls instead. Opening up the space in this way makes it feel less claustrophobic and more communal. And if your contact center is located within the same building as other company operations, it will build a sense of connection with those other departments as well.
These glass walls can also provide natural lighting, too! Consider installing large floor-to-ceiling windows to enhance the natural lighting in your office space and allow your employees to connect with the world outside. If those are not possible, consider installing a skylight or two in the office; these serve the same purpose.
Instead of providing a small, enclosed break room, try creating an inviting, open, communal space where agents can gather during their breaks. An assortment of comfortable chairs, couches, pillows and rug alongside conveniently placed tables will encourage your contact center workforce to relax and chat, thus boosting their sense of connectedness with their fellow employees. The break room can also be positioned near the perimeter of the floor as well, so the windows can offer a moment of peace.
This goes for the rest of the office area as well. If the desk or cubicle areas are too close together and cramped, the employees may feel uncomfortable. Open desk areas allows for employees to breathe easily, and consider it their own private room where they can enjoy a private lunch, if needed, or a short break with their neighboring cubicles, or co-workers that stop by. The ROI from making these changes is ultimately happier employees. They do not feel secluded from each other and a positive company culture will thrive.
For new hires or any employees going through training, it just makes sense to provide a quiet area that’s conducive to study and concentration. This doesn’t mean that it needs to be completely cut off from the main space, however; an adjacent side room with a glass wall will keep trainees feeling connected to the pulse of the contact center, while also giving them a place where they can focus. They can even be structured towards the perimeter of your contact center area, so they can include windows. With conference rooms around the perimeters, the desk areas can stay unified within the middle, instead of being separated by the rooms, making the area seem disconnected.
If phones and computer systems allow, it’s ideal to make seating arrangements flexible, so that different teams can easily gather and disperse. Rather than being tied down to one cubicle or desk all day, having the freedom to take a call on a couch, or to interact with a customer on a laptop at a table surrounded by colleagues, is a significant boost to morale.
If phones and computer systems do not allow for flexible seating arrangement, each employee's desk should have enough space for them to feel comfortable in. A small space can make an employee feel claustrophobic, which in turn can increase stress levels. A larger desk space will allow the employees to decorate their area and feel more homely. If the employee feels at home in their area, it can improve their work performance.
There are some activities, even in a contact center, that simply require silence. Whether an employee needs a quiet spot to take a challenging call or meet one-on-one with a supervisor, access to a private, quiet room should be provided so that employees aren’t forced to search the building for somewhere to go. Small conference rooms or an area around the break room would be great places for employees to take advantage of quiet time.
Especially with the varying shifts worked by contact center employees, it’s important that the workplace feel comfortable and homey. Two factors are of the utmost importance here, where employees will be spending so much of their time – lighting and temperature. If the spaces are too dark, or the lighting is distracting in any way, alertness and comfort will be negatively affected. And if the workplace is too hot or too cold, employees will likewise not be able to focus.
Contact centers are unique environments that require unique workspace solutions. Implementing some of these tips in your contact center might just give your workforce the boost they need to improve performance and customer service.