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Improvements for Working From Home: Exploring the Difficulties and Possible Improvements for Having a One Person Call Center at Home and Being an Independent Contractor

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Call center technology is subject to improvements and innovations. Some of these technologies include speech recognition software to allow computers to handle first level of customer support, text mining and natural language processing to allow better customer handling, agent training by automatic mining of best practices from past interactions, support automation and many other technologies to improve agent productivity and customer satisfaction. Automatic lead selection or lead steering is also intended to improve efficiencies, both for inbound and outbound campaigns, whereby inbound calls are intended to quickly land with the appropriate agent to handle the task, whilst minimizing wait times and long lists of irrelevant options for people calling in, as well as for outbound calls, where lead selection allows management to designate what type of leads go to which agent based on factors including skill, socioeconomic factors and past performance and percentage likelihood of closing a sale per lead.

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What workers need is a sense of moral authority, derived not from a focus on the efficiency of means but from the importance of the ends they produce

The organization of your dreams gives you powerful reasons to submit to its necessary structures that support the organization’s purpose. In that company, leaders’ authority derives from the answer to a question that Steve Varley, managing partner of Ernst & Young UK, put to senior partners in his inaugural address, after he reported record profits and partners’ earnings: “Is that all there is?” (In reply, he proposed a radical new direction—a program called “Growing Successfully, Making the Difference”—aimed at achieving both financial growth and social change.) During the past 30 years we have heard the following kinds of conversations at many organizations: “I’ll be home late. I’m working on a cure for migraine.” “Still at work. The new U2 album comes out tomorrow—it’s brilliant.” “Very busy on the plan to take insulin into East Africa.” We have never heard this: “I’ll be home late. I’m increasing shareholder value.”People want to do good work—to feel they matter in an organization that makes a difference. They want to work in a place that magnifies their strengths, not their weaknesses. For that, they need some autonomy and structure, and the organization must be coherent, honest, and open. But that’s tricky because it requires balancing many competing claims. Achieving the full benefit of diversity means trading the comfort of being surrounded by kindred spirits for the hard work of fitting various kinds of people, work habits, and thought traditions into a vibrant culture. Managers must continually work out when to forge ahead and when to take the time to discuss and compromise. Our aim here is not to critique modern business structures. But it’s hard not to notice that many of the organizations we’ve highlighted are unusual in their ownership arrangements and ambitions. Featured strongly are partnerships, mutual associations, charitable trusts, and social enterprises. Although all share a desire to generate revenue, few are conventional, large-scale capitalist enterprises. It would be a mistake to suggest that the organizations are all alike, but two commonalities stand out. First, the institutions are all very clear about what they do well: Novo Nordisk transforms the lives of people with diabetes; Arup creates beautiful environments. Second, the organizations are suspicious, in almost a contrarian way, of fads and fashions that sweep the corporate world. Work can be liberating, or it can be alienating, exploitative, controlling, and homogenizing. Despite the changes that new technologies and new generations bring, the underlying forces of shareholder capitalism and unexamined bureaucracy remain powerful. As you strive to create an authentic organization and fully realize human potential at work, do not underestimate the challenge. If you do, such organizations will remain the exception rather than the rule—for most people, a mere dream.

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Technological change affects more than productivity, employment, and income inequality (A. Aneesh, 2006). It also creates opportunities for changes in the nature of work itself. Numerous ethnographic studies have shown how a variety of new technologies have altered the way work is performed, the roles that workers play in a firm’s division of labor, and the way these changing roles alter the structure of organizations. In this chapter, the analysis of technology and society continues, with a focus on (1) changing forms of work, including occupations and contingent jobs; (2) dynamism and flexibility in the workforce; (3) demographics and job satisfaction; (4) the organizations and other institutions in which we work; (5) changes in the role of work in people’s lives; and (6) education and job training. As the nature of the work environment continues to change, new trends have emerged at the individual, team, and organizational levels (A. Aneesh, 2006). The workforce is now more demographically diverse than ever, and older workers represent a significant subset of the working population. Increased technology and the growing complexity of tasks have given rise to more virtual and interdisciplinary teams. Furthermore, interest in multinational organizations has grown as many companies seek to increase their overseas assignments. If society is receptive to these changes and also able to adapt quickly to new technology, it can lead to benefits for both employees and organizations. However, history suggests that these trends can lead to hurdles and unexpected negative consequences, such as decreased job satisfaction, poor work/life balance, and neglect of personal and long-term career development. In contrast to MOOC (massive open online course) models such as those promoted by Coursera or edX, some traditional universities have been engaged in distance education for 40 years or more, ranging from radio and television programs100 to web-based offerings. The advances of IT access and bandwidth have reduced the barriers of delay and cost compared to sending audio or video tapes through the U.S. Postal Service

Even during the 1990s, when this model of videotapes through mail delivery was the dominant form of “distance education,” more than 1,200 U.S. higher-education institutions were engaged in distance education, enrolling over 1 million students per year. From this perspective, IT can be seen as enabling and enhancing a traditional form of public higher education, rather than a completely new approach to higher education. The difference in perspectives may be due in part to differences in assumptions about the content (what) and form (for whom) of higher education, and not just its mechanisms for delivery (how).

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Ordinarily, board has stated a project of 6 days training workshop that would result in participants becoming Contact Operations Performance Centre (COPC) Registered Co-coordinators. COPC measures processes within a contact/call centre and determines their robustness and efficiency. The COPC certification gives a certain amount of confidence to international customers and credibility to the operator. This news tells us of the confidence that the ministry of IT has in the call center industry and the initiatives that they are taking for training the local people to be effective call center employees.

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A. Aneesh, 2006, Virtual Migration: The Programming of Globalization, Duke University Press, Raleigh, N.C.; M. Baba, 1999, Dangerous liaisons: Trust, distrust, and information technology in American work organization, Human Organization 58(3):331-333;

N. Natalia and E. Vaast, 2008, Innovating or doing as told? Status differences and overlapping boundaries in offshore collaboration, MIS Quarterly 32:307-332;

S.R. Barley, 1990, The alignment of technology and structure through roles and networks, Administrative Science Quarterly 35:61-103;

D.E. Bailey, P.M. Leonardi, and S.R. Barley, 2012, The lure of the virtual, Organization Science 23:1485-1504;

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