Like many of the nation’s employers during the pandemic, a Tri-Cities employer is set to vacate its Sullivan County office after the COVID-19 pandemic sped up its transition to remote work.
This spring, roadside assistance and accident management company Agero will close the doors to its Tri-Cities Contact Center in Blountville, according to Agero public relations manager Kate Patty. The office’s workforce will be transitioned to 100% remote work.
“Over the past two years, our contact center teams have proven day in and day out that they’re able and eager to deliver outstanding service to clients while working remotely,” Krey Flanary, site director at Agero’s Tri-Cities location, said.
According to Flanary, before COVID, Agero was seeing “an increase in desire” to work from home as the company was already in the midst of “strategizing a flexible, semi-remote working model.”
“The onset of the pandemic accelerated this,” Flanary said.
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Within weeks, workers transitioned to a fully-remote working environment.
“This included providing the necessary equipment, IT, infrastructure and professional support to get over 550 associates up and running from home,” Flanary said.
Flanary said the company developed resources to assist workers seeking help balancing their work life and home life, and has set up “dedicated IT help channels” while working with associates on ways to “stay engaged” with coworkers.
“We soon learned that not only do our associates work well remotely, but also enjoy it,” Flanary said.
Agero was well aware of the work from home trend prior to the pandemic, according to Patty.
“We knew that that was the way in which the future of workforce was going (with) people being able to be more flexible and work from home in a semi-hybrid environment,” Patty said.
In addition to closing its Blountville office, Agero plans to transition its Tucson, Arizona Contact Center to fully remote later this year, Patty said. The company will keep its Massachusetts headquarters open, its corporate office in San Francisco and its Clarksville, Tennessee Contact Center, will all operate on a hybrid work environment basis.
“These changes are not materially impacting headcount, and we look forward to further growth with a more diverse workforce across the U.S.,” Patty said.
According to Patty, Agero has around 500 employees in the Tri-Cities area. The Clarksville location employs more than 500 workers.
The landlord of Agero’s Tri-Cities location is “actively pursuing other tenants,” Patty said.