Occupancy Rate (which is sometimes referred to as Utilization) helps you to understand how much of an agent's time is spent on Support-related activities vs. non-support activities within their paid time. Industry-standard is at 75-85%.
Simplified Example: If an agent is paid for 40 hours per week, and spends 30 hours working on tickets, then that agent's occupancy rate would be 75%. (30/40 = 75%)
Now that we understand what Occupancy Rate is measuring let's dive into the specifics of how it works:
Formula: [(Ticket, Chat, & Voice Time + Productive General Tasks) / (Working Time)] = Occupancy Rate
Now, let's break down the elements of the formula above so we can understand how it is calculated:
Tickets, Chats, & Voice:
This is time spent against support activities. The time within Zendesk Support, Chat, and Talk is automatically tracked.
Productive General Tasks:
You may mark General Tasks as Productive Time. General Tasks marked as Productive Time count towards Occupancy in the same way that a normal support activity would.
Example: QA time is marked as a Productive General Task. An agent spends 4 hours working on tickets, 1 hour working on chat, and 1 hour working on QA. This makes their productive time a total of 6 hours. An agent's working time is 8 hours. This makes their Occupancy Rate 75%.
Working Time is the total amount of a time that an agent is paid for. Working Time is calculated by taking the agent's Total Time and subtracting any unpaid activities, such as Lunch. You can configure which tasks are excluded from Occupancy via General Tasks.
What is a good Occupancy Rate percentage to target?
This varies a lot based on your support organization, but generally, we recommend an occupancy rate target between 75-85%. The reason for the range is due to a variety of factors including how busy your agents are, how many non-support activities agents are scheduled for, and, how strict you want to be in terms of minimizing downtime.
Common uses of Occupancy Rate
Occupancy Rate is a critical metric to measure accurately within your support organization. It will help you to accurately create staffing plans by understanding the percentage of time allocated to support activities. Additionally, it can help to shine a light on areas where there are opportunities for improvement, such as lowering support costs by increasing the Occupancy rate.
Downfalls of Occupancy Rate
The only downfall of the Occupancy Rate is that it should never be the only metric you look at because it doesn't tell the entire story. For example, you could have a very high occupancy rate but your productivity was low, or, customer satisfaction was poor. Thus, it's important to look at the Occupancy Rate in the context of productivity & satisfaction metrics in order to understand the entire picture.