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Virtual Call Center Home Office Requirements

Does your home office have what it takes to become a virtual call center?

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Virtual Call Center Job - Woman with Phone Headset
Samuel Roberts/Getty
When setting up a virtual call center to work from home as a telephone customer service rep or sales agent, you need your own home office equipment to get started. So as you consider the issues of starting a virtual call center, the home office requirements will likely top your list of concerns.

Companies hiring for virtual call center jobs have different requirements for office equipment. But usually, the virtual call center agent must provide and maintain computer and phone equipment, software and phone services.

Technical/Office Requirements

As a general guide, these are some of the technical requirements that may be expected for a home-based call center. Each company's specific requirements will differ.

  • Desktop PC. Laptop PCs or Macintosh computers are often not allowed. Computer often must have:
    • 1Ghz-2Ghz processor
    • Windows XP or Vista operating system (Newer isn't always better; some companies aren't set up to use Vista.)
    • 512MB-1GB of RAM
    • Sound card, speakers
    • 15-17" monitor
    • Virus and spyware protection software and a working firewall. Windows firewall be fine, but sometimes purchase of another spyware software is required.
    • Software programs that may be required includes Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word and Excel), WinZip and/or Adobe Acrobat reader.
  • Broadband Internet connection. DSL and cable are usually allowed but satellite, dial-up and wireless Internet connections are usually not. A wireless network inside the home is sometimes allowed.
  • Land line phone service. Cell, VOIP (i.e Vonage) and cable phones are not usually acceptable. Many companies require that this be a dedicated phone line separate from your home phone. Calling features on the phone line, such as call waiting, call blocking and voice mail, are often not allowed or must be disabled.
  • Corded telephone (with buttons not on the handset). Plus a corded (not wireless) telephone headset with a noise-canceling microphone is often required.
  • Instant message account. Services like AIM or Yahoo Messenger are sometimes required but are free to download.
  • Skype. Occasionally this is required but it is free.
  • Email account. Some companies require specific provider.
  • Web browser. Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher is usually required but a few companies prefer Modzilla Firefox.
  • Printer. Not all companies require printers.
  • Quiet, private work space. Some require your workspace be in a separate room with a door and even a lock.
Some equipment that could be required but typically isn't: paper shredder, locked file cabinet, fax and back-up battery power supply.

 

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