6 Common Sense Practices to Share with Work-at-Home Agents


6 Common Sense Practices to Share with Work-at-Home Agents
Illustration by Chris Fernandez

After more than 20 years in the on-demand contact center industry, I’ve come across some great work-from-home practices. And a few not-so-good ones, too.

Whatever the workstyle or workspace, an agent needs to be efficient and productive. While remote work from home is free range, it isn’t a free-for-all. Routine and discipline are required to get the job done.

Here are some common sense practices to perform well at home.

  1. Park the iPhone: Unless it relates to a client program, please park the iPhone. Put it out of reach, because it’s just too tempting. You can’t afford any distractions when serving a client’s customers. Beyond that, there are apps out there to bring phone use, and possible abuse, under control.
  2. No-bark zone: Dogs, you got to love them, but Lassie isn’t on the clock—you are. She shouldn’t be heard or seen on the customer call or live video, so remove her from the workspace.
  3. Kids-free workspace: We love our kids even more than pets. And I only write this because it’s happened. Remote work isn’t synonymous with homeschooling or daycare. Not at the same time, anyway.
  4. Quiet, please: OK, the dog is happy. Kids are safe and sound. But what about other interruptions? Honking cars. Amazon deliveries. Find a quiet workspace that cuts it all out. I’ve used sound-absorption drapes to help.
  5. No chips and dip: Food in the workplace. Oh man, companies write policies on it. We don’t regulate agent eating. We do, however, recommend low-decibel food when working.
  6. Smart homes: As more things connect, take precautions when working at home. Pay attention to who, or what, is monitoring you from where.
Kim Houlne headshot

As chief executive of Working Solutions, Kim Houlne pioneered on-demand contact center outsourcing with remote workforces in 1996. Today, the company’s distributed network of 110,000+ registered agents handle sales, customer care and tech support for diverse clients.