Throughout 2020, where possible Technology Enabled Care (TEC) monitoring centres across the UK rose to the occasion, acting swiftly to safeguard employees and migrate to a new way of working that even the most in-depth business-continuity plans hadn’t envisioned.
Are these changes really the “new normal” or will we revert to previous operations? Have organisations that have been able to utilise technology adapted better than initially expected?
Across the TEC sector, business leaders will need to use these lessons from this accelerated shift to a remote monitoring centre workforce. Consideration will need to be taken into what role physical offices play in a TEC monitoring centre moving forward.
The reality is that each organisation will be different, as will the needs of each employee. There have been many who have thrived from working remotely, and many who have struggled. There have been even more that have experienced both positive and negative emotions over the course of a single day.
To what degree remote working will shape the future of your TEC monitoring centre is for your business leaders to decide, but the reasons below identify why remote working is here to stay in some capacity.
- The technical hurdles to a remote workforce have been overcome. Cloud technologies have meant that for those utilising a cloud hosted monitoring platform, such as CareNet, can access their services via anywhere with an internet connection. Employees can operate with the same level of information and control as previously only available within the physical office environment.
- In a non-emergency call centre environment working remotely was already reality. Some organisations had already made the transition to the whole workforce working remotely prior to COVID-19. Many of these had found that remote operators were providing an alternative flexible, low overhead option.Within a TEC environment, this was a little more experimental. At Appello, although we had already identified the value of remote working, implementation in any capacity was still 2-3 years away. As a result of our cloud capabilities, when COVID-19 impacted, we were well placed to implement remote working where appropriate within days.
- As the UK’s largest monitoring centre, we are fully aware of the challenges faced by TEC monitoring centres in recruiting the appropriate workforce. Expanding the recruitment pool to beyond the traditional commutable radius of the centre, potentially nationally, will offer many advantages in resourcing a monitoring centre.
- The productivity concerns of remote working have proved to be unfounded. One common presumption has been that if staff were to work remotely, they would find themselves distracted by other things in their home. This has not been the case and employees are shown to work very effectively remotely. Furthermore, call handling platforms, such as AppelloCareNet are designed to monitor the availability of operators and manage their workload to ensure changes in performance can be identified.
- In a TEC environment the challenging nature of calls can vary significantly, occasionally these calls are very intense and emotional. Managing these scenarios can often require a team effort with support from those with appropriate experience, training, and knowledge. The wider communication technologies that we have all become accustomed to using, enable this support still to be available when operators work from remotely ensuring employees don’t feel isolated.
To learn more about how digital transformation and cloud can change the delivery of your monitoring services read, ‘Go Further with Cloud’.
Go Further with Cloud is designed to act as an introduction to cloud in TEC and provide you with the confidence to ask the right questions when exploring how it can benefit your organisations.