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10 Tips for Call Centre Employees Returning to Work


As lockdown measures begin to ease, many businesses are taking steps to keep their employees safe once they return to work. David Freedman, DMA Council Member and CEO of the leading UK Contact Centre Confero, shares 10 practical tips for contact-centre employees:

The UK is on hold while the Government considers measures to soften the lockdown, lift the essential-only travel restrictions, and allow most businesses to begin working from the office.

While, in many cases, call-centre employees appear to have embraced working from home, this hasn’t been without its challenges. Many will be looking to return part- or full-time as soon as possible. The largest challenge will be how to reassure them that they’re protected as much as possible from the coronavirus in the office.

Running A Call Centre from the Office During the Pandemic

Having operated a call centre from the office throughout the pandemic, I’d like to share what we learned.

First and most importantly: set up a coronavirus committee to include representation from both employees and management. The committee should meet daily to discuss issues and concerns from the floor, and take immediate action where necessary to improve conditions.

Send daily updates to your team with actions you have and will take to further safety, and encourage social distancing – especially on public transport – on an ongoing basis by giving tips.

10 Practical Tips

  1. Create one empty space between each agent workstation
  2. No hot desking – all agents should be allocated their own workstations
  3. Don’t share headphones – all agents should have their own headphones. If the headphones have foam earpads, change them on a regular basis
  4. Every day before logging-in, each employee should use disinfectant wipes to clean their keyboard, mouse, desk, chair, and headphones
  5. Increase the cleaning routine in the office: wipe door handles, kitchen surfaces, fridges, microwaves, and everything in between as regularly as possible
  6. Cleaning products, such as disinfectant wipes/sprays and paper towels, should be available for all staff, at all times
  7. Before leaving a meeting, each individual should clean the desk and keyboard that they used
  8. Play office Tetris: to let a colleague pass safely, ensure all staff members are moving backwards, forwards, or sideways into a safe space
  9. Reduce ‘water cooler moments:’ use floor tape at water coolers, coffee machines, kettles, etc. to enforce the two-metre rule
  10. Remember that to maintain a safe workplace with healthy colleagues, social distancing rules must be respected both inside and outside the office

To help avoid a coronavirus case, both management and staff need to use protective measures. It’s essential for colleagues to be respectful, vigilant, and sensible in their back-to-work approach; management would be well advised to re-introduce staff in phases and shifts. If necessary, support staff should continue working from home to free up space in the office, or perhaps rotate the days they come in with other colleagues.

Remember: stay safe and be as vigilant in the office as you are outside.

David Freedman

DMA Contact Centre Council Member

Confero Call Centres

For more information on the pandemic, check out the DMA’s Coronavirus: The Daily Digest and Coronavirus: Advice and Help. From important Government updates to support for your business and other valuable resources.

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