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Telework Examples of Success

Increasingly business is adopting telecommuting as a business strategy. Just look at how Dataserv, Precision Tune, and ChimneySweeps utilized telework to reduced employee turnover, increase customer service, and boost productivity.

Dataserv

Dataserv, Inc., now merged with WANG, is a technology maintenance provider for high tech companies. Dataserv, Inc. call center operates 24-hour a day, 7 day a week. The call center typically has had 64 full time dispatchers, a job which typically has a high employee turnover rate per year (over 30%). One major reason for Dataserv having a home-based workforce was to increase employee retention.

Dataserv, Inc. hired four full-time dispatchers with disabilities to work from home. The company duplicated all office equipment and telecommunications in each person's home and ensured that it was an ergonomic set up. These telecommuters initially were trained at the company for 2-3 weeks and regularly returned to the corporate site for staff meetings and training. They dispatched customer calls and requests to a large number of field engineers throughout the U.S.

During a 3-foot snowstorm at the corporate site in Minnesota, none of the in-house dispatchers were able to get to work and the telecommuting employees took all customer calls straight for 30 hours. This ended up being a disaster recovery program for the company, in addition to increasing employee retention.

The company put the pictures of the four off-site workers on a wall in the call center. Coworkers keep in touch on a regular basis. One of these dispatchers, after 3 years of employment with Dataserv, Inc., was named Employee of the Year.

Precision Tune

Precision Tune, a company that specializes in automobile "tune-ups", wanted to implement a customer follow-up service and found an innovative way to accomplish it. Three contractual workers were hired to perform customer service follow-up calls for several Precision Tune locations in the Twin Cities. Precision Tune did not have occupancy space for the employees. Precision Tune worked with The Minneapolis Rehabilitation Center (MRC) to address the issues related to the customer service program.

The Minneapolis Rehabilitation Center (MRC) became the employer and hired the individuals as temporary employees. The customer service representatives worked out of their homes. They provided customer follow-up service for 20 to 30 hours per week. After 6 months, Precision Tune hired the employees as permanent because they did not want to lose this employee skill base and knowledge of the customers.

ChimneySweeps

A sole proprietor, who provided furnace and air conditioning maintenance services, hired an individual with arthritis to schedule his appointments and handle customer phone calls. He would forward his office line to her home after 9:00 a.m. each day until 5:00 p.m. She also handled some of the weekend calls on a regular basis. This was the perfect solution for the proprietor because he was not able to take calls while he was working on other projects and she also informed him of emergency calls. She was able to provide full call coverage to maintain his business customers.

For More Information Contact:

Jane Anderson
Midwest Institute for Telecommuting Education (MITE)
1900 Chicago Ave.,
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone (612) 879-5409
FAX (612) 879-5400

Helen Kilian
MRC FlexWork Computer Training Program
1900 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone: (612) 879-5455
TDD: (612) 879-5519