Thursday, March 19: California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order. Which meant that – unless they worked for what are deemed “essential businesses” – such as pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, takeout/delivery restaurants, etc. — thousands of workers across the state would now end up working from home.
Not all non-essential employees can work from home, of course: dental assistants, hairdressers, waiters, front-desk workers, and more, can’t perform their duties from home.
But many types of workers can: those who predominately use computers to do their work.
The governor’s stay-at-home order affected two of our large call center clients at which more than 60 of our specialists work on assignment – on computers. Our clients had the weekend to ensure that their employees as well as ours on assignment at their site were up and running and ready to take customer calls by Monday. At home.
Our customers called us late Thursday asking for help in ensuring that our specialists would be ready to continue working on assignment from their own homes, on our clients’ computers.
Transitioning Helpmates specialists from working on-site to working from home: the logistics
After speaking with clients, four of our internal team members immediately called all of the affected specialists at home, letting them know what we were planning, asking if they have wifi and if they logistically could work from home. Our internal team members coordinated that all of our specialists stayed safe at home on Friday and explained that were starting the process of understanding how Helpmates could assist our clients and our specialists with working remotely.
We shared that we would be working through the weekend and would be in touch with next steps. Our goal was to have all specialists ready to go on Monday, eliminating as much disruption as possible.
We received the calls from our clients after 8 p.m., and we therefore were on the phone with our specialists until late Thursday evening.
Over the weekend, several members of our internal team, including our director of risk assessment, researched what our specialists needed to know in order to work from home and reviewed safe-at-home practices while working. For example: they would need to watch out for too many power cords within their work space (a tripping hazard) and would need a stable work table, and so on.
We also had to ensure that our specialists received the equipment they needed to perform their work from our clients. In addition, we went over liability/responsibility documents with our clients, ensuring that they understood the responsibility of having remote workers.
Keeping our specialists informed
Our specialists naturally were very concerned about the new work-at-home guidelines. They wanted to keep working and many understandably were nervous about being able to provide call center services while working at home. We made sure we explained their new work arrangement with them as much as needed, helping them look forward to their new work environment while also helping them get their new (home) workspace ready for remote work.
We therefore also spent a lot of time explaining what they could and could not do with our clients’ equipment as they performed their duties.
Come Monday, March 23, all of the specialists working at our clients’ call centers the Thursday before were up and running from their homes with few glitches, taking the calls of our client’s customers. Our clients report that their customers haven’t noticed a downturn in the quality of the call center services they receive from either their own employees or ours.
We also have become well-versed in work-from-home responsibility/liability issues as it pertains to staffing agencies and their clients and are happy to help other businesses transition temporary workers to work-from-home assignments.
If you would like more information on how you can use temporary workers for remote-work assignments, contact Rosalie Villa at 949-225-5016 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.