With the fear of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) rising, many call center services providers are seeking permission from their clients to allow agents to work from home.

Thousands of call center workers are already working remotely in China, the epicenter of the epidemic. With the virus spreading to other parts of the world, BPOs are thinking about replicating the arrangement in other countries as well.

Teleperformance has told Indian news daily The Economic Times that it is in discussion with some of its clients to allow teleworking.

Around 2,000 of its call center agents are already working from home in China and 1,400 agents in the United States. The number of agents teleworking is increasing in many major call center service providers, such as Sitel, StarTek, and Sykes, according to the report.

Meanwhile, BPO industry lobby groups in India and the Philippines have urged IT companies and outsourcing services providers to consider introducing remote working arrangements.

The IT-BPO Association of the Philippines has urged its member firms to “ensure that necessary steps are taken to keep the workforce safe.”

Employees in many IT companies are also resorting to teleworking. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has told Indian newswire PTI that it had asked its employees in Italy to work from home.

HCL Tech and Cognizant are also following suit. Cognizant has shuttered one of its delivery centers in the Indian city of Hyderabad, asking employees to work from home.

coronavirus Hyderabad India Italy Philippines Teleperformance work-from-home