We’re nearing the end of our third week on the customer service center (CSC) working from home trial. That means there’s one week remaining, plus a little time to debrief Martin and Chantelle and look into the data, before we’ll understand a little more about the challenges and opportunities of working remotely.

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Working from home is one of the opportunities afforded to us by shifting to a predominantly digital service and, if done right, could improve things for our customers, colleagues and the business as a whole. Specifically:

  1. Is there a reduction in overhead costs compared to office based colleagues?

  2. Do fewer distractions lead to improved throughput of tasks compared to office based colleagues?

  3. Is the experience better for the colleague (less travel/parking/comfortable working conditions)?

  4. Does the opportunity to work flexible hours mean we’re better resourced to meet peaks in demand and respond to customers much more promptly?

Our first foray is such a small but important step on this journey - allowing us to begin designing what our ‘colleague offer’ looks like from a place of experience rather than with a blank sheet. We’re particularly interested in contributions to gas/electric/broadband, provision of ICT/office equipment and to identify and plan around some of the less desirable impacts of working remotely - such as feelings of isolation from the rest of your team.

We targeted back office communications - that’s emails, social media and digital tasks to you and me - specifically for the easiest entry point, but plan on expanding to teams with more complex needs when it becomes appropriate.

So, we’re nearly completing our first stage. Stay on the look out for updates this side of Christmas!