In October, Sensée founder Steve Mosser was a guest on Martin Teasdale’s podcast ‘Get out of Wrap’. It’s a show that focuses entirely on contact centres and the ecosystem of services that surround good contact centres.
Martin started by asking a few questions about the Covid pandemic and the experience that many people in customer service faced – a sudden pivot to working from home (WFH). Of course, this didn’t apply to Sensée as we were entirely WFH before the crisis began.
He asked some interesting questions about overwork and how working from home changes the behaviour of the employee – if you can just go downstairs and start work then how do people switch on and off and create a barrier between work and home life?
Steve explained how we all need to think differently when you bring work to people rather than transporting people to work.
It’s a 180-degree change to what most people have experienced before. In our experience what people need to avoid is transferring the 8-hour block of work from an office to the home environment. This is what happened at many companies during the pandemic.
We promote a micro-staffing arrangement where scheduling tools can be managed by employees to build custom schedules, breaking the day/week into pieces that add up to their contracted hours. So they can pace the work and fit it around their life. There is no scheduled lunch period or anything, it is entirely driven by what works for the employee.
We believe that by empowering the employee to take control of their schedule in this way it helps to avoid the typical overwork issues – people staying late or burning out. With our model they get refreshed several times a day – they are not just at the desk solidly hour after hour.
More recently, this month Steve was also a guest on the CX Files podcast talking to CX analyst and writer Mark Hillary.
The CX Files was really exploring the culture of remote work, with a focus on how to pull people together into a single team with a strong culture when they are not physically working together. He explained that many industry views on this issue remain shaded by the pandemic.
Some people that are used to working together in person will feel that something is missing if they then start working remotely – as happened back in 2020.
What is more important now is our experience of culture in teams that are used to working remotely. They largely build their own culture. They create online groups using WhatsApp or Facebook. They chat and socialize in a different way, but there is a strong connection.
What’s really interesting is that it is mostly the employees themselves who create these connections. As a business we can nudge them to use certain tools and so on but if they don’t want to chat then they won’t.
I was talking recently to one of our team who lives in a very remote countryside location and she said that she has never felt such a strong bond with a team, even though she has not really met most of the people she works with.
Both the podcasts explored other themes, including looking ahead to CX in 2023.