The best way to future proof a call center is to design a flexible environment. Change is constant in the workplace, new technologies, people, and customers may mean different demands on call center in the future.
Since none of us really know what the future holds, the best way to design a call center is keeping in mind some of the items that will continue to impact a call center in the foreseeable future.
One item to keep in mind when designing a call center is the flow on the call center floor. Creating a nice flow means having appropriate aisle space, paths to common areas such as restrooms, cafeterias, and break rooms, and having the best agent/supervisor ratio for the center.
A second item to consider is workstation design. Even though there is more technology used in centers than ever before, we will always need a place to put it and a place to use it. The best workstation for agents will be one that has proper work area to perform all of the tasks required. One way to design an efficient station is to include a desktop organizer that will keep the phone and supplies in easy reach of the employee. In addition, consider a workstation that incorporates a Chase Wire Management System. The Chase system hides all wires and cables below the work surface. This design keeps all wires and cables hidden to prevent accidental unplugging of technology and allows for a nice clean look, all while keeping the wires and cables easy for the IT department to access.
Third, the importance of proper ergonomics in the call center will not go away. Design for the future by including ergonomic accessories in work areas. Ergonomics keep agents comfortable and thus more productive, and help to prevent costly repetitive motion injuries. This type of injury can cost a center thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost productivity time. A few key ergonomic items to add into a workstation are an adjustable chair, adjustable keyboard mechanism, adjustable height monitor, task lighting, and headset. With the use of certain adjustable height keyboard mechanisms and adjustable height monitors, a sit-to-stand workstation can be created for minimal cost. This is important because the most ergonomically correct workstations encourage individuals to change positions frequently and easily.
Last, plan for the future when selecting furniture by choose a vendor that can easily reconfigure workstations as needed. The ability to reconfigure means that workstations can be moved into different departments or updated as needs change.
Also look for a system that will allow panels to be replaced as needed without dismantling the entire furniture system. The ability to replace only panels allows reconfigurations at a minimal cost, time, and disruption since panels can be replaced as needed instead of an entire workstation. This ability will also allow for an easy change of color schemes while keeping all of the workstations usable and in place.
Design a call center that will meet the technology and people needs of the future by keeping future change in mind. Remember that change in the workplace is constant and you can design an environment to be flexible and meet your needs for years to come.
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi