What will tomorrow’s call centers look like? If we’re lucky they might resemble the San Francisco facility designed for Airbnb. Check out the photos here.
Clearly the idea was to create a call center that doesn’t look like a call center: no boring rows of cubicles, standard desks, drab break rooms etc. The space is more open and varied, with different settings to suit the preferences of each agent.
There is more freedom of movement, as laptops now do everything that a desktop computer does, so employees do not need to be tied down to one plugged-in machine. There is more interaction between agents, but the work can still get done.
You would think noise might be an issue in such an open environment. But as the article explains, the architects and designers worked with the company to install sound-absorbing materials, such as cotton padding in the ceiling and walls. Agents also used advanced headsets with a masking system in the microphone that reduces surrounding noise.
Is this the future of the call center? With more customer contacts now being handled online or other means, fewer call center agents might make it possible to accommodate such flexible facilities.