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Working from home boosts call centre success

Allowing call centre staff to work from home can boost productivity, reduce sickness leave and improve staff morale.

This is according to Jim Ball who runs a successful US call centre this way. Before Ball decided to let staff work from home, staff turnover was a real problem – people weren’t keen to commute to a call centre environment, as there was little reason for them to be in an office and the office itself was an uninspiring space.

Then he decided that his agents would work from home. He says that he told himself: "It's the only way you're going to keep and retain people."

He points out that he initially had problems convincing his customers, but as soon as one signed on, more followed and soon he was as busy as ever. Over a decade later and Alpine Access employs 3,000 customer service agents who work from home in 1,000 cities. Its sales reached $53 million last year.

Ball says one of the major problems was standing out from the scammers, who promise to train people for a large cash sum – without the promise of work. However, over time the company has built up a reputation as the legitimate face of working-from-home telesales.

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