Full-time Equivalent (FTE) Definition

What is a full-time equivalent, or FTE?

In the United States and parts of Europe, “FTE” simply refers to a full-time employee, i.e. someone who works 40 hours a week and generally receives benefits from the company at large. In the contact center world, FTE is typically a math equation meaning: the total scheduled person-hours divided by the number of hours per week that constitute full-time. So, if 35 hours/week constitutes full-time, and you have 700 person-hours scheduled that week, that’s 20 full-time equivalent or 700 divided by 35 = 20. This is a reliable measure of headcount and staffing and seasonality/demand needs.