Be Sure to Write it Down!

  • Process for approval within your company

  • Reviewing policy with prospective Home Agents

  • So, topic # 1 - why do you need a policy statement? Everyone needs to be able to read, understand, and agree to the provisions of the policy prior to participating.

    All of your agents need to know you're launching a Home Agent program. You'll want to let them know whether working at home is an option for everyone. If not, what are your criteria for selecting who can participate in the program? Will there be a trial period? What happens if an agent wants to come back into the office? What if an agent is happy working at home, but their supervisor feels like it isn't working?

    Supervisors need to know how to select the "right" candidates. Are there metrics that must be met 1) for an agent to be selected to work from home, and 2) for a Home Agent to continue to work from home? How will supervisors conduct the Home Agent's performance appraisal? Will agents need to drive into the office occasionally for face-to-face meetings or reviews? How will Home Agents be trained? Do you plan to give Home Agents more flexibility with their schedule - for example, let them work two-hour shifts to cover peak periods instead of your in-office minimum of four hours?

    Your Director of Customer Care will want to understand the business impact of Home Agents, and a written policy will help make that assessment. Will a Home Agent program reduce turnover, help your company attract and retain more highly qualified agents, reduce training and hiring costs? (Hint - your Avaya or channel partner team can assess your projected Return on Investment by sitting down with you and filling out our Home Agent ROI tool!)

    The IT Department needs to understand the ramifications from a technology support perspective. You'll probably want to work with them as you develop your policy statement to ensure buy-in.

    And last but not least, your legal department will want to carefully review your Home Agent policy to ensure you avoid any problematic statements. One important note - during the Home Agent focus group meeting at the our user's conference, one savvy Avaya customer pointed out that once a written Home Agent policy is in place, you must consistently adhere to that policy. Otherwise, an agent who felt he or she was treated unfairly could possibly have grounds for legal action.

    My next blog will delve more deeply into the content of the policy statement. If you've already implemented a Home Agent program and are willing to allow me to share sections of your policy statement with others, please send them to me at Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spambots. Es necesario activar Javascript para visualizarla . Are there any "oops!" areas that you forgot to include in early versions? Is there ambiguous language, or sections that you've needed to clarify? If you've revised your policy, what did you modify, and why? Please share your experiences.