Roseburg, Ore., May 20, 2022 – FCR, the premier provider of customer experience and business process solutions, reaffirmed its commitment today to bring jobs to the community of Butte and the entire Montana region.
In March of 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic began to impact the entire country, FCR made a strategic decision to pivot its workforce from a brick-and-mortar operation to a work-from-home model, ensuring the safety of its employees while protecting the jobs of those working in the contact center.
“We were the first on-premise outsourcer to make the switch. We got ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic and pivoted quickly, moving 80% of our workforce from the contact center to the home in three weeks. We eventually moved 97% of our employees to work-from-home within the next month,” said Matthew Achak, President and founder of FCR. He added, “We kept the contact centers open for the handful of people who could not work-from-home due to lack of high-speed internet access or a quiet space to work from. Our goal was to keep our customer service operations running smoothly for our clients while protecting our colleagues from becoming ill from Covid-19. We eventually planned to re-enter the site in 2022 at some point.”
As the pandemic dragged on for the next two years, FCR found its work-from-home model beneficial for the company and its employees. “We noticed our colleagues were happier, more productive, and we had better attendance with the work-from-home model. We would reach out to our employees informally in meetings and company-wide surveys, and each time the results would come back the same. When more than 90% of our employees indicated they’d rather work from home, we listened more closely to them. We found a way to make this our new operational model, at least for the foreseeable future.”
With the vast majority of its employees working from home and showing no interest in coming back on site, FCR made the tough decision to close a handful of building locations in both Montana and Oregon, including in the Butte Plaza Mall, but maintained its workforce and has continued to hire for work-from-home positions in those locations.
“It broke my heart, but it didn’t make sense for us to continue to operate and pay tens of thousands of dollars on physical buildings each month that were sitting empty most of the time and – especially with no clear picture of when or even if we would return to normal pre-pandemic normal,” Achak said. He added, “We are now operating in a new normal, and it means more work-from-home jobs and less focus on building out large contact centers in general.”
The reduced operating costs have allowed FCR to reinvest in its employees with better pay, benefits, and resources and have allowed it to expand to other areas as well. The company currently employs more than 200 people in Montana, with nearly half of those people living in the city of Butte and the surrounding areas.
“The location of where we work may have changed from a physical office building to working from home, but FCR is still operating in Butte and other areas in Montana, and it’s still where we want to be,” said Achak. He added, “We now have people working from all over the state, from Kalispell to Missoula, Butte to Helena, Great Falls to Billings, and everywhere in between. Without moving to a work-from-home model, we couldn’t have accomplished that because building a center in each location would have been cost-prohibitive. We’ll continue to hire for work-from-home positions in Butte and the state of Montana because they have great towns with hard-working people who deliver great customer service for our clients.”
FCR is currently preparing for additional hiring during the fall when companies prepare for seasonal hiring for the holidays and will include Butte and other areas in Montana in that hiring plan.