The traditional, literal definition of a call center is “a centralized location where calls are answered or made.” However, with today’s advanced technology, a call center no longer needs to be in a centralized location, but there are still some compelling reasons why it should be. Consider these benefits of having your corporate call center located in one centralized place: Easier to Manage: Dealing with a multi-location call center requires a special management skill set that few managers possess. And even for those who can effectively manage a distributed workforce, there is an added level of complexity that does not exist in a centralized operation. Most managers can best manage what they see and since they can only be in one place at a time, they can only effectively manage one location at a time. The other sites may flounder when the manager isn’t there. This “management by walking around” is the default style for most managers. Keeping the call center in one place capitalizes on this management strength. Greater Synergy: People feed off the energy of others when they are physically located in the same space. This synergy is much harder to achieve between employees working in dispersed working environments. Your collocated call center staff will form a tight-knit community that can best occur when they all work in one office environment. Maximum Efficiency: In theory a call center is equally effective regardless of the number of locations. In practice, however, a one-location operation is still going to be the most efficient. In large part this is because coworkers are most likely and able to help those who they are sitting next to. We see this often when one agent has a question about a call or how to accomplish a specialized task using the call center software. Left to their own, agents will try to do the best they can, but with peer help nearby, they are apt to tap into it. Other efficiencies come from being able to better coordinate breaks and help cover for one another. These outcomes are largely lost in multi-location operations. Lower Costs: The operating and infrastructure expenses for a call center are less in a single location operation. There is only one space to rent, build, or buy. Plus there is no duplication of technology, which includes high-speed internet access, telephony connections, local network, servers, ancillary hardware, and system software. You save money when you only need to buy these things one time. Single location call centers are a boon to management, synergy, efficiency, and cost containment. Always seek to keep your call center centralized and only deviate from this when there is a compelling reason to do so. Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier consultancy for corporate call centers, whose team possesses decades of relevant business and call center experience. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.