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The Advantages of Cluster Workstations in the Call Center

TMCnews Featured Article

November 13, 2009

The Advantages of Cluster Workstations in the Call Center

By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

Want to give your call center agents a sense of privacy while at the same time improving call center floor traffic flow?

Then you might want to consider “cluster” or “pod” workstations.

Most call center floor plans have a “linear” layout -- with rows and rows of cubicles running in parallel -- and often with agents staring each other in the face. A cluster workstation, on the other hand, has agents sitting “in the round,” i.e. in circular fashion.

This alternative call center furniture design offers some interesting benefits, including increased collaboration and improved hands-on coaching and one-on-one interaction for call center managers.

One advantage is improved traffic flow throughout the call center floor. Very often call centers are not operating at capacity. That means agents will, if given the opportunity, tend to spread out across the floor. In call centers with linear floor plans, this means more walking for managers and supervisors – and slower response time.

With clusters set up throughout the facility, managers can “make the rounds” faster than if they have to walk up and down long aisles, with an empty seat between every agent.

At the same time, agents gain a sense of privacy, because they are not “bumping chairs” -- nor are they staring each other in the face.

It’s pretty well established that the better the work environment, the more likely agents are to stay in their jobs. Never lose sight of the role call center furniture plays in agent satisfaction.

Cluster workstations also offer options in terms of accessories and design. For example a marker board panel can be incorporated into the workstation allowing agents a place to jot notes – and a monitor arm can be installed so as to make the monitor fully adjustable for ergonomic purposes. Very often the workspace is deeper than a conventional cubicle, thus agents gain extra desk space as well.

For more information about the advantages of “cluster” or “pod” workstations from call center furniture provider Interior Concepts, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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