4 . Crime and lawlessness – now documented at record levels – in major U . S . cities like New York , Los Angeles , Philadelphia , Chicago , and St . Louis are another man-made risk .
These risks are often under the radar screen and not talked about publicly by fleeing companies . But nonetheless they are an increasingly pivotal factor in a company ’ s decision whether to expand locally or relocate to a location where its workforce feels more safe and secure .
5 . The recent U . S . Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v . Wade and women ’ s right to an abortion is an emerging factor now playing out in the contact center location equation .
In the battle for labor in the post-pandemic Great Resignation period , look for contact centers to play all their recruiting cards , including more remote work options , offices equipped with all the comforts of home , and even public stances on contentious political issues like abortion .
Contact centers with their heavy reliance on women and with their typically higher rates of turnover , will find themselves very much in the crosshairs with the emergence of abortion access as a site selection determinant .
At this early point , the major fallout that we are seeing is coming from states like New Jersey and Illinois with their proactive governors – Phil Murphy in New Jersey and J . B . Pritzker in Illinois - aggressively reaching out to companies and incorporating abortion rights into their promotion narratives .
These blue states are seeking to attract new companies from red states in the Sunbelt , especially Texas , which have been on a run attracting new corporate investment and jobs from other blue states like California and New York , and also Illinois , since 2020 .
... WOMEN ’ S RIGHT TO AN ABORTION IS AN EMERGING FACTOR NOW PLAYING OUT IN THE CONTACT CENTER LOCATION EQUATION .
-JOHN H . BOYD
1 . COVID-19 . Forced closures due to the pandemic .
2 . Blackouts . The mass power outages in Texas during the freeze was eye-opening .
3 . Weather . Extreme weather has become much more prevalent . There seems to be much more extreme weather conditions including tornadoes , etc .
4 . Hurricanes / Typhoons . U . S . hurricanes and typhoons in the Philippines are concerning to clients .
WHAT STEPS SHOULD COMPANIES TAKE IN SELECT- ING AND FITTING OUT THEIR CONTACT CENTER BUILDINGS TO LIMIT THE IMPACT OF DISASTERS ?
We are seeing more and more retrofitting of existing contact center space to include more cubicles . There also is a trend away from open space that has dominated office architecture for most of the past 20 years or so .
Also , our clients are actively undertaking modifications to their contact center heating , ventilation , and air conditioning ( HVAC ) systems to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus by purifying air , improving ventilation , and managing airflows .
With recent power outages and rolling blackouts occurring in places like California and Texas , backup power systems are getting more and more attention , as are a number of cloudbased backup contact center solutions allowing users to run applications from virtual servers .
Contact centers should look at enhanced HVAC systems . Also , larger workstations with slightly higher partitions and touchless door entry . The days of 2x4 workstations are gone ; we are seeing 4x5 workstations and also standup desks to be closer to the new normal .
Backup generators are the primary item to protect power that our clients require . A generator needs to be large enough to support running both the mechanical / electrical of the building and the workstations . It is typically a $ 100,000- $ 250,000 cost depending on the size of the center . Contact centers also need UPS systems .
The other item is dual fiber from separate providers and dual power from separate substations . They provide multiple and redundant channels and capacity for business continuity and demand growth and spikes .
Having more than one provider supplies backup in case their network goes does , which happened in Canada recently with Rogers Communications ( Ed . Note : see sidebar ). Smaller call centers typically don ’ t plan for this level of redundancy , but the larger 300-plus seat call centers typically do .
The Rogers outage [ Ed . Note : see box page 10 ] is a great example of why you need that . Think about the massive amounts of lost revenue generated from call centers doing sales functions such as eCommerce , reservations , sales , etc .
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