Call Centers Agents and their Health Issues
The call center has been established as an industry in corporate world of Pakistan only over the last ten years. This industry has given thousands of unemployed graduates an opportunity to start their career without any particular work experience.
Particularly in Pakistan where unemployment rate is very high, fresh graduates take this opportunity as sunshine towards their bright future. This job is not only easily accessible but also does not have any boundaries in entrance.
Job seekers also take this opportunity as a first step towards the corporate world, but unfortunately only few happens to be successful. Most of them remain stucked in this job forever.
Following article, in my opinion, stands valid for both the call centers, serving local customers or abroad customers.
Furthermore they face number of health issues like:
- Burnout stress syndrome
- Pressure building
- Ear problems
- Heart diseases
- musculoskeletal disorders
- Loss of sleep
- Lack of social activities
- Stomach problems
And some other psychological factors like:
- Self De-motivation
Now let’s discuss the above mentioned problems and the reasons causing them in detail.
Working environment in call centers
Long hours of work, permanent night shifts, incredibly high work targets, loss of identity are the major reason that threatens the employees of call center in Pakistan. The odd timings and nature of work in call center makes an agent work on a chair for 9 hrs, continuously taking calls and reading a pre-scripted document to gain the customer around the globe.
His every day performance is calculated and is appraised accordingly. A little distraction messes up with his work. All his senses are continuously in action and not only this, the stress he has to face while working could not be measures.
Health issues caused by the working conditions
- Computer vision syndrome (CVS): according to Wikipedia it is a temporary condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time. Some symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, eye strain, dry, irritated eyes, and difficulty refocusing the eyes.
This is a common problem faced by call center agent since the system designed is according to the technology not the employees’ health.
- Digestive disorders: the employees of call center have also complained about stomach related problem.
- Losing their voice: it is also suspected that the employees due to frequent speaking are also facing the possibility of losing their voice. For example cough irritation, breathing difficulties and etc.
- BOSS stands for burnout stress syndrome: as we have already discussed that call center employees have to face continuous work pressure this ultimately result to stress.
- Heart diseases: the stress also effects heart of the employee and also leads to sleep disorderness.
- Ear disease: due to sudden high frequency noise, ear of an employee also damages. This may cause permanent deafness.
- Muscular pain: body pain is a common complaint by call center agents.
- Social life is also effect affected: due to irregular timings the most important thing that is affected of employee is their social life. An employee especially working at night sleeps at morning so that lessens employee’s social meetings with his friends and family.
The employees of customer care have to deal with different type of customers which include some polite customers while others are really aggressive.
The most difficult and tough part for an employee is to deal with an angry customer. Customer when not satisfied with the service of the company or when they don’t wanted to be disturbed they normally get very aggressive. A customer care representative has to not only satisfy a customer but also has to tolerate the abusive languages. He/she tries to remain calm irrespective of how bad he/she is feeling
This result to demotivation and stress in an employee. He feels disrespected and humiliated.
Things that Cell Center Agents Should Get:
- Healthy Working Environment.
- High & Equally Reward structure.
- Fitness Assessments and fitness clubs.
- Health recreational centers.
- Transparent incentive and reward policies.
- Flexible working hours.
- Especial trainings for night shift call center agents.
- Periodically checkups of ENT.
- Flexible office infrastructure.
- Promotion channels & highly self motivated schemes for call center agents.
- Giveaways programmes and call center agents personal brandings.
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