The call center industry is known for its mentally exhausting and stressful environment, with employees often dealing with irate men and women on the other end of the line. This makes it crucial for companies to tackle the problems that hinder productivity such as high turnover rate and absenteeism.
To compensate for the stressful environment facing workers in the call center industry, it is not uncommon for companies to focus on giving attractive salaries and other financial perks without giving much thought to a more holistic approach.
Wellness programs, flexible work arrangements, standing desks, and architectural office designs known to improve the employee’s mood or even quality of life are also critical if not more important than attractive salaries.
Case Study Involving a Texan Call Center
Researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health have conducted a study that can shed light on how to increase productivity in a call center.
The researchers monitored workers in stand-capable desks and found that they were 46 percent more productive than their colleagues who used the standard, seated workstation in six months.
The study monitored 167 employees between 2013 and 2014. Seventy-four workers were asked to use standing desks while the remaining acted as the control group and remained in their usual seating configuration throughout the day.
While it is difficult to quantify productivity, the researchers based it on the number of successful calls, which were defined as good communications in which the employees set new goals for their clients and scheduled them for a follow-up call.
Aside from increased call center productivity, the researchers found that workers who used stand-capable desks sat for about 1.6 hours less per day compared to their seated colleagues.
Reasons for Improved Call Center Efficiency and Productivity
The study did not delve into the exact reasons for significant increase in center productivity; however, lead author of the study Mark Benden said the finding is consistent with past research.
He cited one study in which high school students were required to use standing desks for a year; they were later examined using brain scans and other cognitive tests, which showed that on average they gained a 10 percent cognitive improvement.
Cognitive skills are critical in the nature of work in the call center industry. However, discomfort from excessive sitting and a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, and high levels of stress can most certainly prevent workers from reaching their full potential.
Benden said that the increased productivity in workers who used stand-capable desks could be attributed to improved energy levels from standing and moving around as well as the reduction of physical discomfort, which ultimately has an impact on their mood and how they communicate with clients over the phone.