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    8 Reasons Why We No Longer Need Corporate Offices

    Change Ahead - Why We Don't Need Corporate Offices

    Looking back a decade or so ago it was absolutely essential to have an office, or more likely, a cubicle. That’s where we had meetings, saw our coworkers and just got work done. But today do we really need corporate offices? New technologies allow us to “connect to work,” meaning that all we need to get work done is an internet connection. Employees and Contractors are working from co-working spots, cafes and home offices all over the world without ever having to step foot into a corporate office.  In fact the 2013 Regus Global Economic Indicator of 26,000 business managers across 90 countries, revealed that 48% of them are now working remotely for at least half of their work-week.

    There are 8 reasons why our reliance on corporate offices is dwindling.

    Collaborative technologies

    New technologies are allowing employees and contractors to “connect to work,” meaning that the only thing we need to get our jobs done is an internet connection.  From there we can access all the people and information we need to do our jobs.  We can have virtual meetings, create assets (documents, presentations, or anything else), get updates from our team, and stay connected to our global workforce without daily face to face interaction.  Additionally collaborative technologies allow us to work while we are on the go from our mobile devices.

    New generation of workers

    Millennials are projected to be the majority of the U.S. workforce by 2020–just a few years away.  This is a generation that is used to being connected. Millennials grew up with social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google and they are comfortable sharing and engaging with people and information;  it’s a part of our daily life.  This is a generation that doesn’t know what it’s like to get 200 emails a day while sitting in a cubicle. Organizations need to adapt to this new generation of workers.

    A more attractive workplace

    Chances are that if you were to ask someone if they would rather work from an office or from their home, they would say their home (or co-working spot).  In a recent report released by Chess Media Group we found that 90% of workers believe that an organization offering flexible work environments is more attractive than an organization that does not.  For organizations that want to attract and retain top talent it almost seems essential that employees and contractors not be required to work full-time from corporate offices.

    Companies save money

    Companies spend a massive amount of money on real estate space to house their employees and contractors. TELUS, a telecommunications company based in Canada has a global goal of making a majority of their workforce work remotely either full-time or part time. They want to get rid of some of their massive buildings that they are spending a large amount of money on. Companies also have to spend money on office equipment, internet, amenities, and a host of other things. Depending on the size of the company the potential cost savings here is in the millions per year for a single company.

    Employees & Contractors save time

    Commuting is a big issue for many employees around the world.  According to a report from the United States Census Bureau 600,000 people in the U.S. travel 90 minutes and 50 miles to work (each way) and 10.8 million people travel an hour each way.  Can you imagine spending 10-15 hours in your car each week just driving?  That’s almost a part-time job in your car. You can play around with various scenarios here to figure out how much money is being wasted each year on commuting but the number can easily reach the billions especially when considering other costs such as gas.

    Employees & Contractors are more productive

    There are numerous reports which cite the fact that employees and contractors who work from home are actually more productive then those who work from an office.  Global Workplace Analytics has perhaps the most comprehensive set of data around this with numbers ranging from 600 billion dollars which are wasted each year on workplace distractions to figures showing that national productivity would increase by $334 billion to $467 billion a year through telecommuting.

    Improved quality of life

    A few years ago researchers at Umea University in Sweden found that “couples in which one partner commutes for longer than 45 minutes are 40 percent likelier to divorce.”  Work is already one of the leading causes of stress for employees and contractors and on top of that we throw on the stress that comes from commuting. Employees and Contractors could spend that time working or being with family members or loved ones instead of sitting in a car.

    The new corporate offices

    As mentioned above, any location is now a potential workplace; this includes a home office, a coffee shop, or any other location where you can get an internet connection. Over the past few years we have also seen the rapid emergence of co-working spaces where employees and contractors from different companies can rent desks or offices near where they live (or where it is convenient for them). These co-working spaces are equipment with conference rooms, kitchens, and oftentimes more amenities then a traditional corporate office. In addition, some companies are renting out their excess offices to employees and contractors of other companies.

    In conclusion

    We don’t need to look farther than our personal lives to see why working from an office isn’t always the best approach. Of course many argue that offices are great for fostering communication and collaboration and some offices are gorgeous with fantastic amenities ranging from on-site laundry and massages to childcare and grocery shopping! However, the reality is that even a small distance impacts employee and contractor communication and collaboration. Once they are 200 feet away (or more) from each other, the chances of them talking to one another is virtually zero; you might as well have employees and contractors hundreds of miles away.

    The point here isn’t to say that face-to-face communication is dead, because it isn’t, and we certainly don’t want to get rid of human contact (at least most of us). Instead organizations need to implement more flexible work environments for employees and contractors to allow them to decide how they want to work. For example, some organizations are implementing “pop-up work spaces,” which means that when meetings need to happen they can be arranged at mutually convenient co-working locations where a conference room can be rented for as much time as needed.  This isn’t about removing face-to-face communication it’s about not relying on that as the only option.

    I’m sure you can add to the list above as well, but the overall trend is that we no longer need to rely on corporate offices as the only place where we can get work done. Start your Admissions Process today so you too can think outside the office!

    Credit: Forbes – Original Article

    How to Deal with Unhappy Customers

    Bill Gates - unhappy customers

    Unhappy customers….who needs them? Not!

    No one likes to receive a complaint, but it really is a matter of whether they arrive sooner or later. 96% of unhappy customers don’t actually complain. However, 91% of them will simply leave and never come back. Knowing this, wouldn’t you agree that a complaining customer is sometimes better than one that is silent but halfway out the door? Having unhappy customers might be a second chance in disguise. Here are some tips to help you deal with unhappy costumers.

    It’s all About Brand Reputation

    In this era of social media, people frequently turn to social networks to complain, and they can be really rude about it sometimes. What you need is the skill not to respond unkindly, because your answer may well be read by anyone. Protect your brand by being kind – always.

    It’s not Personal

    Always remember that complaints are not personal, and that the customer’s anger is not directed to the employee, but towards the company in general. This fact will help you to remain calm and polite. If you listen with understanding & sympathy, even the angriest customer will calm down.

    Listen Carefully to Unhappy Customers

    Find out what their problem is, so you can work towards alleviating it and not towards a solution that does not actually help them in any way. The point is to resolve the customer’s issue.

    Before taking action, verify that what you’re doing really helps the customer by asking the customer himself/herself. Once a resolution is agreed, act quickly to implement it. All the customer really wants is a listening ear that will respect their point of view, and work towards helping them.

    Don’t make Excuses

    No matter what or who caused the problem, never blame your customers (even if they have caused the issue). Making excuses is simply a waste of time, and it makes customers even more annoyed. Instead, take full responsibility and do whatever you can in your power to solve the problem as quickly as possible.

    A Unique Opportunity to Improve your Service

    Think about customer complaints as opportunities to improve your service and to transform unhappy customers into fans. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

    Employees who handle customer service complaints quickly, efficiently and professionally take advantage of a unique opportunity: the chance to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied customer. According to a report by White House Office of Consumer Affair, happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience. Not bad, right?

    Next time you have to deal with a disappointed customer, remember that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience, so believe me when I say that you do not want to miss even one chance to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

    We appreciate Zopim for this Original Article.

    CSP Tips and Qualities of a Successful Client Support Professional

    csp-tips

    Succeed as a Client Support Professional with these helpful CSP tips!

    CSP Tips 1 – Self Motivation

    Working from home is very rewarding, but it does take discipline. Assist A Boss is here to support you all day, but we cannot make you work if do not want to work. It is on you to answer the phones, respond to emails and/or assist online customers via web support. Servicing the clients is your bread and butter and how you earn money. You must be self-motivated. There is no one hovering over your shoulder to make sure that your work gets done.

    CSP Tips #2 – Punctual and Dependable

    The reality here, is there are going to be more distractions in your home office, but that doesn’t have to change your work ethic or how you get work done. Even if you are working from your sofa, you are still working. Prepare yourself each day by “arriving” to work on time, eating lunch or dinner on a tight schedule and managing your time throughout the day. You choose your schedule, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to stick to the schedule that YOU chose.

    CSP Tips #3 – Turn Bad into Good

    This is a customer service position and you are engaging and interacting with real customers. While we wish that all of our customers are pleasant, they are not. You cannot have the good without the bad – it just comes with the territory – but it’s imperative that you are positive and optimistic and remain professional and capable of providing a high level of service regardless of the situation. We are not implying that you have to succumb to verbal abuse, but you do need the ability to turn your customer’s frown upside down.

    In summary, our most successful agents exhibit the following qualities:

    • Self-motivated
    • Punctual and dependable
    • Professional and capable of providing a high level of service
    • Positive and optimistic

    CSP 101 Certification Course

    CSP 101

    CSP 101 is the Arise Basic Certification Course. It qualifies you as a Client Support Professional (CSP) and gives you the foundation to successfully understand the relationship between Arise and the Independent Business Owners. It will also teach you how to succeed as a CSP, obtain service hours and service revenue and how to choose a client that is right for you.

    Completing CSP 101

    You can complete CSP 101 in as little as one day. Once you start you have 7 days to complete CSP 101 and a maximum of 2 attempts to pass with a 73% or higher. If you do not pass CSP 101, you will not be able to continue with the Admissions process and your profile will be inactivated.

    As a matter of fact, if you fail any part of the Admissions process, you will be notified via email and your profile will no longer be active. You won’t be able to create another profile and you will be unable to service clients on behalf of the Assist A Boss Team.

    Cost

    If you are a student or affiliated with the military (active duty, veteran or spouse), you can receive CSP 101 for FREE ($99 value). Just email a copy of your student ID to student@arise.com or proof of military affiliation to military@arise.com. Please be sure to include your full name and CSP ID in the email.

    For all others, CSP 101 costs $99 but is frequently on sale for $19.99. You can certainly wait until CSP 101 goes on sale; however, the sooner you complete CSP 101, the sooner you can secure your seat in a training class. Seats go quickly!

    Taking the Background Check

    background check

    The background check is part of the Arise Admissions Process and costs $7.95. You typically receive the results from your background check within 48 – 72 hours after submission.

    If you have been waiting longer than two days, send an email to admissions@admissions.arise.com or chat with an Admissions Specialist.

    Background Check Disqualifiers

    We are unable to do business with individuals that have been convicted, pled guilty or pled no contest to any felony, or certain misdemeanor charges, including but not limited to:

    • theft,
    • fraud,
    • drug,
    • violence
    • or similar situations.

    In addition, certain Arise clients require background checks in order to access their systems and interact with their customers. Should your background report reveal that you have an disqualifying criminal history you will not be permitted to continue and your profile inactivated.

    Background Check Process

    Just like the voice assessment, the background check is also conducted in two parts:

    • Phase 1 includes a national/instant criminal history report and a SSN Trace + Past Address history report.
    • Phase 2 begins after you have fully enrolled in a client opportunity certification course. This phase of the background check includes a county criminal history report for each county you have resided in the last 7 years. By phase two you would have passed already CSP101 and paid for the certification course. Assist A Boss will not refund any associated costs should you fail phase two of the background check.

    The background check DOES NOT include a credit report.