Skip navigation

Environmental cost of commuting could be slashed using technology to enable working from home, experts argue

Newbury, 14 May 2007: The UK's nearly one million contact centre professionals are generating 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions(1) every year through commuting, according to Exony, leading suppliers of interaction management software to the contact centre industry. This combined contribution to global warming, which would require 902,000 acres (1409 square miles)(2) of forest to 'offset' the CO² (source: US Environmental Protection Agency), could be drastically reduced if more contact centre staff were allowed to work from home rather than commute.

Some 460 million commuter journeys take place to UK contact centres each year, Exony calculates, many of which could be cut back by taking advantage of communications technologies that enable staff to work remotely. The opportunity to work from home, or "homeshore", would also benefit new parents, the disabled and older workers for whom commuting is not an option.

Globally, the figure becomes more stark, as 6.5 million contact centre agents (source: Datamonitor) generate 9.2 million tonnes of CO² by commuting (3), equivalent to 6.2 million acres of forest.

"It's staggering to think that an area of forest nearly the size of Kent would be required to offset the UK contact centre industry's commute," said Ian Ashby, CEO of Exony. "Homeshoring would significantly reduce the amount of traffic on our roads and enable a whole new segment of the population to use their skills beneficially."

The trend towards enabling contact centre staff to work from home is particularly prevalent in the US, powered by changing cultural attitudes and improved communications technology. Currently, there are an estimated 112,000 home-based agents in the US, a figure that is predicted to rise to 330,000 by 2010 (source:IDC).

Despite a contact centre workforce pushing one million, working from home is not as prevalent in the UK. Ashby argues that Work Wise Week, which runs from 16-22 May and includes National Work From Home Day on May 18, provides the perfect opportunity for contact centres to investigate and experiment with homeshoring.

Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, said: "Businesses in the UK will have no option but to introduce smarter working practices, of which home working is one example, if they are going to be able to recruit and retain the staff they need in the future, and increase productivity and competitiveness to be able to meet the challenges emerging from economies such as India and China.

"Changing working practices and working smarter will not only increase business productivity and competitiveness, but also reduce transport congestion and pollution, improve health, assist disadvantaged groups, and harmonise our work and family commitments."

In a new white paper, available for free download at http://www.exony.com, Exony outlines the core benefits to contact centres of homeshoring.

(1) There are 960,000 contact centre workers in the UK (source: ContactBabel), assuming a one-way commute of 10 miles in a family car with engine size less than 1.8L using calculations generated on www.carbonfootprint.com

(2) Context - the county of Kent is 1,537 square miles in size

(3) Same calculation as above

-ends-

About Exony

Exony is the leading provider of interaction management software for virtualised customer contact operations. Exony Virtualized Interaction ManagerTM (VIM) enables operators of virtual contact centres to measure customer interaction experience, efficiency and effectiveness and manage available resources through making immediate tactical or planned strategic changes.

Built on Exony's experience and understanding of virtualised customer interaction, VIM incorporates four modules - Reporting and Analytics, Resource Management, Connect and Service Management, all within the proven Exony Virtualization Framework for security, partitioning and user interaction.

Exony Virtualized Interaction Manager empowers virtualised customer contact operations for organisations across Europe and North America including Affiniti, Alliance & Leicester, BT, Cable & Wireless, France Telecom, HBOS, HSBC, La Poste, Microsoft, National Australia Group, Nectar, Transport for London, UK Home Office, Verizon, Virgin Trains, Virgin Media and Vodafone.

For more information please contact:

PR Contacts :

Sam Grace/ Chris Lee
Rainier PR
Tel: +44 (0)20 7494 6570
Email: exony@rainierpr.co.uk

Michael Hardware
Work Wise UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7939 7939
Email: meh@chelgate.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Speed Communications in the following categories: Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.