Working from home

Jarvis

Newbie
Mar 28, 2020
1
0
I called American to book a ticket, and I asked the agent how are they dealing with COVID-19 at the call center? He said some agents were working at home on a temporary basis, but there are other groups who have been doing this for several years, and the company is “closing” the program, and they will need to go to an office.

Due to COVID-19 most companies and government employees have been sent home to work. I believe this is a wonderful system, because during times of blizzards or tornadoes and hurricanes there will always be someone at home ready to answer.

American Airlines, please keep your reservations agents home it also good for the environment.
 

La Li Lu Le Lo

Veteran
May 29, 2010
6,924
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Jarvis I want to state this from the very start, I am NOT an American Airlines employee (I used to be). So my working situation may be very different.

However I DO work from home and have for about 6 years. I would like to offer a little perspective for you as someone who has been working from home for a LONG time.

I think working from home saves the employee (gas, parking, tolls) and company (rent, cubicles, utilities) money and is a great thing IF the employee can handle the responsibility. Some can't.

Another aspect of working from home that people don't consider is the isolation. My situation is I work at night on computer networks. I have to watch light and noise levels because my wife is trying to sleep. Working in a quiet, dark house all alone night after night is isolating.

The last thing is some people's homes are not an appropriate business atmosphere. Loud pets, constant distractions, active kids, these are all things that companies don't want to expose their customers to. Some employees who CAN work from home come to the office for that very reason (and some come to ESCAPE home :D ).

I guess the biggest wildcard is if the employee can be responsible and stay focused. For a company like American Airlines that pays well and offers good benefits or a company like mine hiring mostly professionals that is less of a problem than someone who say....... works in call center selling extended car warranties for $10 an hour through some temp service.
 

eolesen

Veteran
Jul 23, 2003
15,351
9,232
I'd be surprised if AA is closing down the home based agents, but if so, it's probably for cause. When AA first offered it, it was only for experienced res agents affected by an office closure (e.g. ERO, CRO, SWRO, WRO). Hopefully employees who were at those locations are still grandfathered in...

Many airlines have home based reservations workers (including mine), and I think it's a good option for someone who can handle the lack of physical support that the office based job affords. I will say that if you don't have reliable internet and a closed off office where there aren't disruptions or distractions, being home based can sometimes be a bit of a disservice to customers. There's also a challenge for new employees in terms of training and learning curve. Sometimes you need someone to look over your shoulder or buddy-jack.

I've been in two roles at two different companies where I was able to be home based for a total of six years (possibly seven by the time COVID hysteria is over and done with), and it works for me. But... I've also seen a lot of people over the last 14 months who haven't exactly flourished without the structure of an office environment.
 

La Li Lu Le Lo

Veteran
May 29, 2010
6,924
2,611
There's also a challenge for new employees in terms of training and learning curve. Sometimes you need someone to look over your shoulder or buddy-jack.
I don't know what buddy-jacking is but where I work we make extensive use of screen share. That seems to work very well. Honestly I feel voice, screen share, file sharing, and IM eliminate the need for in person training. At least that works well in my business. We are able to train/troublehoot complex issues using these tools.

I've been in two roles at two different companies where I was able to be home based for a total of six years (possibly seven by the time COVID hysteria is over and done with), and it works for me. But... I've also seen a lot of people over the last 14 months who haven't exactly flourished without the structure of an office environment.
Right. Like I said some people just can't handle the responsibility and stay focused.

In my opinion the solution is to get rid of them. It says something to character when they need the "structure" of an office (as in someone riding their ass or hand hold them) to flourish. You have to ask.... do you really want to work with people with a lack of discipline and character.
 

eolesen

Veteran
Jul 23, 2003
15,351
9,232
Buddy jacking is having a lead or supervisor listening to both sides of a call. I'm sure it's all electronic now, but back in the day it involved walking the floor and plugging into your headset jack into the rep's phone.