3. The Hidden Costs of Absenteeism

Call centers (whether in one physical location or a remote configuration of workers from home) are finely tuned operations whose economic outcomes often depend on very precise optimization of staff levels against anticipated call volume.1 Other similar operations include retail stores and restaurants. When an employee is unexpectedly absent in a call center, it may mean that calls are missed, that other workers must adjust and will do their jobs less effectively, or that a buffer of extra workers must be employed or kept on call to offset the effects of absence. What is it worth to reduce such absences? What costs can be avoided, and what is the likely effect of organizational investments designed to reduce ...

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