BPO agents’ productivity drops 20% while at home
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A call center company noticed a 20% decline in the productivity of its agents who are working from home.

Performance 360 founder Michael Cubos said in an interview yesterday that while WFH is doable, especially for small and medium BPO firms, issues on declining productivity has become a challenge for the management.

Under the WFH setup, most agents are distracted with a lot of factors, like domestic chores, sleeping, online entertainment (games, netflix, etc), these among others are just few of the downsides of the flexible work arrangements imposed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

In general, Cubos said small and medium sized outsourcing firms are not ready for WFH arrangements, both employers and workers. This affected the quality of work.

While supervisory monitoring via online is put in place, still work efficiency in a work-from-home setup is different from a real office setup.

For his company, which employs over a hundred call center agents, personal computers installed with complete firewall and anti-virus software are provided for the agents in their respective homes, including high-speed WiFi routers.

Some BPO firms are constantly implementing strategies to keep efficiency, such as random video calls, spot check, incentives, and group online games among employees to keep them from sleepiness.

Meanwhile, clients of small and medium BPOs, do not require strict confidentiality rules, unlike multinational call centers that handle top 500 corporations.

Cubos’ company has implemented a 100 percent WFH setup two days after the Cebu Provincial Government declared the ECQ on March 14, 2020.

Cubos, who is also the chairman of the supposed Cebu Business Month (CBM 2020) said clients’ demand for outsourcing jobs remain brisk, although those that rely heavily on foot traffic, like travel related are almost non performing. Agents who handle these type of jobs are assigned to other tasks or programs.

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