Call centers use many metrics to evaluate and improve their agent’s efficiency and productivity. The occupancy rate is one such metric that determines how busy their agents are, whether their contact center is understaffed or overstaffed and the effectiveness of their service. 

What Is Occupancy Rate?

The occupancy rate refers to the percentage of time that advisors spend doing call-related activities. It includes the talk time, holds time, and after-call work, such as data entry and sending emails. 

How to Calculate Call Center Occupancy Rate?

Call center occupancy rate formula:

Occupancy = (Time spent on call-related activity / Total logged-in time) X 100


  • Time spent on call-related activity = Total talk time + Total hold time + Total after-call work time
  • Total Logged-in time = The time spent in the system (between sign in and sign out)


Here’s an example to help you better understand how to calculate the occupancy rate for two agents: 

AgentsSigned InSigned OutTotal Logged-in Time (mins)Total Talk Time (mins)Total Hold Time (mins)Total After-Call Work Time (mins)Total Handling Time (mins)

Occupancy for Agent 1: (258/300) X 100 = 86.0% 

Occupancy for Agent 2: (266/306) X 100 = 86.92%

Overall Occupancy Rate: (524/606) X100 = 86.46%

Try to maintain your agents’ occupancy rate between 85-90%. A number less than that could lead to a reduction in customer satisfaction, and a number more than that could lead to agent burnout. 

How to Optimize Call Center Occupancy Rate?

1- Monitor Call Volume At Different Times

The amount of incoming calls varies throughout the day. There will be both peak and quiet hours. By monitoring call volume across hours and days, you will be better able to determine the appropriate staffing level for both busy and quiet periods. 

2- Hold Cross-Training Programs

Blended agents boost call center occupancy rates by handling both inbound and outbound calls. But, to make handling inbound and outbound calls effective, you will need to hold training programs for the agents. It would teach them about the best practices for both types of calls and prepare them to handle more calls during quiet hours. 

Hiring Remote Agents

3- Reduce the Number of Agents

Overstaffing is one of the biggest reasons for a low occupancy rate. Analyze the number of calls received in the last three months to determine an approximate number of the calls you are likely to receive in the coming months. You can then reduce the number of agents accordingly to maintain higher occupancy rates throughout the call center. 

4- Consider Partial Outsourcing or Hiring Remote Agents

It might not be easy to attend all the calls during peak hours. If you rush agents to complete the calls quickly and hop onto another, it might hurt the customer satisfaction rate. Thus, consider outsourcing or hiring remote agents to handle additional calls during peak hours. It ensures the occupancy rate is maximum for each employee without compromising the service quality. 


Maintaining a good occupancy rate improves the overall productivity of the call center and increases customer satisfaction. Use the four steps mentioned above to optimize your call center occupancy rate. 

How do you optimize the occupancy rate in your contact center? Did we miss any of the ways to optimize the call center occupancy rate? Let us know in the comments.  

Updated : July 20, 2021


Read The Most Well Researched & Insightful Articles From CallHippo Team

Request a Demo


Get Started Now!

Share This