Since July this year, Vodafone Hungary has been offering customer service staff the opportunity to work from home in a permanent manner, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
Vodafone says that experience from recent months has shown that this approach can be introduced in areas such as customer service, where it had been thought to be unthinkable before. The company offers the option of continuing to work from home even after the epidemic to colleagues enrolling in the program.
In mid-March, Vodafone ordered all its staff working in the company’s Budapest offices to work from home. The company says that this did not cause any disruption, as home office had been part of Vodafoneʼs daily routine for years.
In view of the pandemic, the company reorganized the work of colleagues who previously thought that working from home was impossible due to the nature of their position, allowing almost all of them to work from home during the emergency.
Based on the experience gained during the switch, Vodafone began working on making the new approach to work feasible and workable in the long run.
In the first phase starting in early July, 50% of customer service staff will have the option to work from home permanently, which the company plans to expand in the future.
Vodafone argues that, in addition to the pandemic, the needs of employees also justified a change in the working method of customer service staff, as a survey had found that nearly three-quarters of employees would take advantage of working remotely in the long run.
Employees could save time and money by eliminating the need for commuting to work, and the solution allows for more flexible work, and these factors, in turn, reduce stress and increase job satisfaction.
Furthermore, with the need to commute to the office coming to an end, it will be possible to attract employees for whom commuting had previously been an issue. This means that people who live further from the office buildings or are potentially less mobile due to illness or care needs, can also join the company.
"I believe that the negative effects of the coronavirus epidemic can be best mitigated by companies that learn from the experience of recent months, and incorporate their findings into their future operations," says Gabriella Szentkuti, director of commercial operations at Vodafone Hungary.
"One such conclusion is that the efficiency of employees not only does not decrease, but in many cases actually increases when working from home. It is in view of this, as well as the needs of our employees, that we have decided to offer our customer service staff the opportunity to work remotely. In this regard, we are breaking new ground in Hungary, and we hope that, as a result, we will be able to welcome many talented new colleagues from all across the country in the future," she adds.
The company says that it also pays careful attention to the introduction of the new work approach, including the health of its employees; checking, among other things, whether the conditions of safe working are in place in the long run for colleagues enrolling in the program.
According to the press release, if the employeeʼs home workstation meets the criteria identified, it will be fitted with any necessary IT equipment (e.g. notebook, headset, monitor, and any necessary software support).