Solid Rock Consulting

Authored by: Juanita Coley

Guest Interview: Mark Williams

Hey there, WFM folks! Welcome to another edition of Tipsy Thursdays, where we talk everything about WFM, EX, and CX!
we’re diving into a topic that’s often overlooked but holds immense importance in the realm of contact center management: Occupancy, or OCC for short.
Let’s unpack what OCC is all about and explore its profound impacts on the Employee Experience (EX) within your organization.

So, what is OCC? 

Occupancy, often abbreviated as OCC, might sound like just another jargon thrown around in contact center management, but its significance goes beyond mere numbers.
Let’s delve into what OCC entails and how it influences the Employee Experience (EX) within your organization.

So, what exactly is OCC? At its core, Occupancy measures the workload of agents. It reflects how busy they are, whether they’re handling back-to-back calls or if they have
breathing room between each interaction. OCC considers staff time compared to productive time, including after-call work.

It’s crucial to differentiate OCC from utilization. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, utilization focuses on productive time versus the total time an
agent is on the clock, not specifically during calls. Understanding this difference is key to effectively managing agent workload.

Dispelling myths surrounding OCC is also essential for grasping its true impact. One common misconception is treating occupancy as a goal, aiming for 80% or 90% occupancy rates. In reality, Occupancy should be viewed as an output, influenced by factors like service level and handle times. It serves as an indicator of agent experience rather than a standalone objective. Moreover, pushing for high occupancy without considering agent well-being can lead to burnout. Instead, it should be treated as a limit, prompting a reassessment of staffing levels if it climbs too high. 

Another misconception is applying occupancy metrics to back-office spaces. Unlike in the contact center environment, where occupancy can be managed within a
certain threshold, exceeding 100% occupancy in back-office areas is impractical as it reflects the utilization of physical resources rather than agent workload.

Right! So how can I manage OCC effectively? 

Effectively managing OCC requires a strategic approach. Here are some tips to consider: 

  1. Track OCC closely. Just like monitoring service level and handle time, keeping a close eye on OCC is crucial. Daily, weekly, and monthly tracking can provide insights
    into staffing adequacy, potential areas for improvement, and opportunities for agent development.

  2. Understand OCC as an outcome. Rather than setting it as a primary goal, recognize OCC as a reflection of how effectively other metrics are managed.
    By prioritizing factors like service level and handle times, OCC naturally falls into place as an outcome of efficient operations.

In conclusion, OCC plays a significant role in shaping employee experience within contact centers. By understanding its nuances, dispelling myths, and adopting a
strategic approach to management, organizations can create a more balanced and supportive environment for their agents, ultimately enhancing overall employee
satisfaction and performance.

Want to explore more of this topic? Book a WFM Discovery Call HERE!

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Until next time. Go BE Great! Go Make Impact! 🙂 

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