A new survey has revealed that, despite efforts to improve working conditions at call centres, almost a quarter of all staff face a complete ban on Internet use at work. Activities that many UK employees take for granted, such as online banking, checking their travel arrangements and keeping up with industry news, are still forbidden at call centres.
“This survey demonstrates that many call centres are taking an inflexible attitude to the issue of personal use of the Internet in the workplace, despite calls from unions to adopt a measured approach,” said Simon Norris, Managing Director of productivity management software firm, Temperus. “Too many companies ignore the fact that sensible use of the internet can enhance professional performance, and enable staff to conduct basic personal tasks without any loss of output and efficiency.”
The survey also revealed that almost 30 per cent of organisations have yet to implement a clear policy on the issue of Internet use. “The Internet is here to stay. Instead of hiding from it, or putting resource-sapping blocking systems in place, companies should address its use in a professional manner. For UK call centres who need to add value through cross-selling or up-selling products, or deal with worried or distressed callers, content, committed and informed staff are essential,” said Norris.
“The good news is that technology is now available that offers an employee-friendly solution,” he continued. “It ensures staff fulfil their contracted hours, safeguarding the interests of employers, while giving them control over personal and professional lives. The good news for call centres – and indeed all business – is that it also allows companies and their staff to analyse how and when systems, application and web-sites are used, and plan work schedules, staff levels and training needs to maximise productivity as a result.”