The call center term “occupancy” is the percentage of time call center agents spend handling incoming calls or completing other work associated with those calls, compared to the total logged-in time. “Occupancy” may also be used to refer to other “productive” time, such as handling chats, emails, etc.
Occupancy is a measure of the utilization of resources and is an important metric to make sure that call center staff are being used efficiently.
Inbound and outbound call centers track occupancy to measure how productive their call center agents are. Occupancy generally refers to the productive time spent by an agent (handling inbound calls, making outbound calls, handling chats, SMS messages, emails, etc.).
Occupancy reports and analytics are often provided as standard ACD reports, but with the increased use of agents who handle chat, email and SMS, occupancy reports are more commonly provided from work force management systems (which aggregate agent occupancy data from different channels).
Occupancy is related to schedule adherence. As schedule adherence improves, occupancy may decrease.
Here's a simple example to help you think of “occupancy”. If a call center agent spends 45 minutes of an hour (or 75% of the time) answering calls or handling related activities, the occupancy rate for that agent would be 75%.
While a high occupancy rate may seem like a good thing from an efficiency standpoint, it's also important to avoid overworking agents. Constantly handling calls with no downtime can lead to agent burnout and decreased quality of service. Therefore, it's key to strike a balance between occupancy and providing agents with sufficient time for breaks and rest.