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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Home agents have appeal

When I visited Kim Perez, a virtual home agent with Live Ops, something she said appealed to me. Perez works a flexible schedule, so do I. But what's appealing about her job answering customer service calls from home, is when she takes her headset off, she's done with work! No e-mails to follow up, no phone calls to return, no editors or interviews to get back to later. She doesn't have the benefits I do -- vacation, access to reasonably priced insurance - but she also doesn't have the commute, the wear-and-tear on her car and wardrobe costs.

Perez has a nice telephone voice and a good temperament for customer service. She deals politely with the grouches who don't want to hear the entire script she must read them when they call to order a product. As a home agent, she sets her own hours. The minutes she spends on the phone and her reliability in working the schedule she commits to will determine her pay -- as much as $15 an hour. Perez has been doing the job for three years and by now, knows the pros and cons. For her, it has been a great way to work from home, make money and have some flexibility. Yes, I make more money per hour than Perez but she seems less stressed, for me that has appeal!

(Kim Perez is an agent for LiveOps, go to to see her video)


Anonymous TheErgoLady said...

Working from home will hopefully be a steady trend for many employees and business owners. Working from home can be a benefit or a complete “PAIN”. With the growth of the virtual agents, work at home moms/dads and entrepreneurs working at their computer more hours they need to be aware of other issues that could possibly decrease their productivity, result in discomfort and high medical costs. Having an “ergonomically” correct office is as important as having great problem solving and customer service skills. Many new virtual agents, business owners or mobile workers don't understand the impact of working at the kitchen table and in their dining room’s chair or cradling the phone between their neck and shoulders can be just as threatening as loosing the client. Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back, neck and shoulder pains can be a result of an improper setup. Many agents and work at home individuals can configure an injury free workstation with these simple tips:
1. Sitting at the kitchen table is a “No-No”: Sit at a desk and in an adjustable chair.
2. Avoid banging on the keyboard: Use light strokes
3. Fast is not important: Slow your typing speed to avoid simple mistakes to prevent the repetitive motion of typing
4. Don’t do the TWIST: Avoid twisting the wrists outward or at awkward angles.
Let your fingers and hands float across your keys.
5. Do I have to sit still? Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods.
Stand and "wiggle"
6. Pain in your neck: Avoid twisting and turning your neck to read documents. Place documents in an up right position as close to your monitor as possible.
7. Don't be uptight: Sit with your shoulders relaxed and at your side. Avoid hijacking your shoulders and reaching outward with your elbows/forearms for your armrests.
8. Seeing clearly: Clean your monitor daily or once a week. Your monitor should be at least your arm distance away and in front of you.
9. Stretching is Key: We all warm up our cars in the winter time. Let’s get warmed up with a few simple stretches for your wrists, hands, arms, neck, legs and back to start your day.
I hope that this information helps you stay safe, pain free and comfortable. You can contact me for any additional information or request a free download “How to setup your workstation”. Sign up for The Ergo Lady Tips by visiting our site

10:13 PM  

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