The new normal: telecommuting will continue after the pandemic is over

In June 2020, we distributed a survey to our clients to find out how COVID-19 has affected their business models. One of the key findings was that 79% of them, who were forced to expand telecommuting bet on continuing with this model once the confinement situation is over.

However, they consider the optimal percentage of time spent working from home office would be around 50%. On the other hand, almost half of the respondents (47%) consider the highest risk companies face post-crisis is losing customers plus the lower products and services’ consumption.

The contact center: the most used channel among customers. The confinement situation imposed by the Covid-19 changed, not only the routines and habits of users, but also their online behavior and how they relate to brands. According to our survey, the contact center has been the most-used channel by end-consumers, followed by web and mobile apps, showing an increase of 24%, 21%, and 17%, respectively.

Besides, 8 out of 10 respondents express the confinement situation imposed changed which channels are used. For both the sales service (28%) and queries and incidents (31%), the contact center continues to be the preferred channel, over instant messaging, email, or mobile apps. Likewise, the companies surveyed plan to invest more in mobile applications (27%), web applications (23%), and contact center solutions (21%) in the upcoming months.

Changes in business models This crisis has made something evident; with the increase in remote work, there will be business model changes for many different businesses. Companies must act proactively and find new ways quickly. In this sense, six out of ten companies surveyed confessed they had to modify their digital strategy due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The most involved areas in the digital plan have been Systems/IT, Operations, and Marketing. The objectives are very diverse, while 25% have changed their strategy to get results in the short term, another 25% do it to streamline projects, and another 25% to align their plans to particular business needs. 65% of companies changed how they execute projects. Managing them requires using a series of technical, conceptual, and interpersonal skills to deliver the best results. The main support respondents need when executing is technical knowledge.

“It is quite revealing for us that, after the crisis, clients are so clear telecommuting is here to stay, and that they can even argue that half of the activity of their customer relationship centers will be done by Atento@Home agents. Without a doubt, we see a great opportunity in the long-term implementation of the home office model for our industry.The results are demonstrating the same quality and efficiency standards can be kept with more motivated employees, applying monitoring tools adapted to the new situation”, says José María Pérez Melber, Atento Director from EMEA.