How “Right Time” Schedules Translate to Enhanced Customer Experience Outcomes
Even before the mass move to working-from-home, many people were seeking jobs that would allow them to choose where, when, and how they want to work. For many people, the traditional 9-to-5 office job simply wasn’t sustainable for their lifestyles. Whether it be due to childcare, a partner whose job involves consistent relocation, or other pressing daytime responsibilities outside of work, flexibility with work and income is now seen by many as a requirement rather than a luxury.
While not every business can offer flexible work schedules, the organizations and contact centers that have recognized this shift in mindset over standard work hours have been able to attract and retain a higher caliber of talent, therefore driving enhanced customer experience outcomes.
What is True Flexibility?
A “flexible” opportunity often describes variable options for where people work, most frequently this means people have the option to work from home. However, true flexibility incorporates when. This is known as “Right Time” scheduling, as opposed to part-time or full-time schedules.
“Right Time’” is defined by the ability and freedom to choose if, when and where they want to work. Their schedules aren’t dictated to them by the organization, like part-time or full-time schedules often are. The key is to allow the person who is putting in the time, to choose their schedule. This autonomy puts the definition of balance into the worker’s hands so they can prioritize meaningful opportunities that fit into their life.
Happier Workers Make Happier Customers
The Liveops Virtual Flex model is a successful case study in flexible scheduling. We have discovered that “right time” improves agent experience because agents are able to achieve their work/life balance while still leveraging their years of experience to represent great brands.
By offering true flexibility and work/life balance to the right talent profile, while ensuring that clients are always covered and metrics are always met, enhanced customer experience outcomes are regularly achieved. Additionally, agents who choose to forgo the standard 40-hour work week typical of a brick-and-mortar contact center, are more likely to stay with an organization in the long-term. Without the factors that lead to agent attrition that are associated with standard work schedules, agents experience less overall burnout. Agents can retain their freedom in choosing when to commit their services and are able to achieve a balance in their lives by exercising this discretion and choice.
With a schedule centered on work/life balance, agents are more engaged and are more eager to willingly invest themselves into their work and connect with your customers in a more meaningful way. These connections are what ultimately drive enhanced customer experience outcomes and results for enterprise organizations.
Why Demand for “Right Time” is Increasing
In a recent article published by Inc, contributor Jessica Stillman spoke on the rising popularity of flexible work schedules. “Right now, and perhaps even more so in the future, success may be about maximal autonomy and flexibility to do interesting work and get paid a living for it, as opposed to vertical ambition.”
Many of those who are attracted to positions that offer flexible work schedules already possess years of experience and education, and may not be seeking more upward mobility at this stage in their lives. Additionally, flexible schedules may open doors that may have been closed in a traditional work environment. For example, someone may choose to start their own business instead of reporting in to a structured 40-hour job. This example shows that vertical ambition and success are quite possible with flexibility, but it is on their terms.
The Great Resignation that started in 2021 brought many long-simmering attitudes Americans have about work into greater focus. While some chose to make their career a centerpiece of their lives, the popularity of flexible/ “Right Time” schedules, along with the rise of virtual entrepreneurship, have proven that many Americans have concluded that their jobs don’t define their personal identity, nor should it dictate how they live their lives.
How Businesses Can Respond to the Increasing Desire for Flexibility
Although many organizations have responded to the transition to remote work by adjusting business operations that target productivity and connectivity, there is still more work to be done. More than simply recreating the office experience within a worker’s living room (ie: work AT home), recent workforce trends tell us that organizations need to provide remote workers with a healthy work/life balance to retain top talent (ie: work FROM home).
A recent survey from management research and consulting firm Gartner revealed that the organizations that offer flexible hours for workers often see an increase in the percentage of high performance as compared to those who work with fixed schedules. Additionally, over the last year, a rise of new jobs where workers are measured by their output (instead of their time) continued to attract modern workers desiring more flexibility. This is the core of the distributed workforce: the organizations dictate the results, while the people control when, where, why, and how they deliver those outcomes.
One key takeaway for organizations looking to leverage the increasing desire for worker flexibility is the need to offer support and stability. Because the individuals who are seeking more flexibility are typically more educated and experienced, they have better options for sustained earning opportunities, especially in today’s competitive marketplace. Particularly for those with in-demand skills, the organizations that reinforce value for remote workers stand a better chance of retaining them in the long run.
As the workplace revolution accelerates, the conversation surrounding work is no longer solely focused on remote or even hybrid work models. The idea of flexibility at work is transforming at a rapid pace. Balancing asynchronous schedules and other seismic shifts in how businesses typically operate, it is imperative that organizations revaluate how they define success, and how the model impacts the customer experience.