The Importance of a Geographically Diverse Workforce

As parts of New Zealand begin the recovery and cleanup process after the havoc of Cyclone Gabrielle our thoughts are with those that have been effected by its devastation. Sadly, this impact extends to some of our own staff who were caught I the path of the floods and violent winds. We are now seeing increased call volumes across several campaigns we manage that see calls driven by weather events such as this. Fortunately, the impact to our ability to operate at full capacity has not been impacted so we can continue to offer much needed support to our clients and their customers; this could have been much worse had Telnet stuck to traditional hiring practices and a primarily in-house model.

Reading posts online and interacting with others in the contact centre industry I see countless instances of substantially reduced operational capabilities and in some cases inability to operate at all in the short term due to their company working without a good homeworker model or all their staff being located in heavily impacted areas. Much like at the height of COVID-19 we are seeing again the rapidly rising need for not just a solid homeworker model but also the benefits of having a geographically diverse workforce in any industries where this is possible.

In New Zealand we had already seen the benefits of this idea through reduced need for substantial office space/hard ware and access to a wider talent pool and now we can see the importance this has on providing resiliency to the business by protecting them from the impact of disasters. The frontline staff will also benefit from such a move in operational style as their numbers will not be as heavily impacted so they will not feel so keenly the strain of having to work with reduced team mates due to more agents being available than there would be in a mostly inhouse operation.

We have written several blog posts about how Telnet implemented and manages our homeworker model along with what software we use and we are more than happy to discus this topic with anyone who wants to reach out.

Telnet wishes everyone impacted by this disaster speedy recovery and I hope we all take this opportunity to reflect on how we work and what we can do better to ensure support for our clients, customers and staff should such a situation arise again.

Written by Sam Rae