The term “adherence” or “adherence to schedule” is a contact center term that refers to how well agents adhere to their schedules. Adherence as a metric can include both how much time contact center agents were available to take calls during their shifts, including the time spent handling calls and the time spent waiting for calls to arrive (also called “availability”), and when they were available to take calls (also called compliance or adherence).
As contact centers become more omnichannel, adherence has grown to include metrics related to agent availability to handle chats and emails.
Adherence doesn't measure whether a contact center has the appropriate amount of staffing at any given time – instead, it measures how closely agents adhere to the schedules imposed by the contact center.
Reporting for adherence typically requires the use of some work force management or scheduling software as the source of the schedule data (you need schedule data to know whether agents are adhering to the schedule).
Adherence is often inversely related to occupancy (as adherence improves, the occupancy may go down).