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Thread: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

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    Diamond Member Corzhens's Avatar
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    Default Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    The call center is one unique industry because majority of the employees are in another country. The main complaint of the call center agents here is the time difference of our country vis-a-vis the host country. Usually the daytime there is night time here and there are hosts that start work before midnight and ends at dawn. The impact on the health of those employees should be given emphasis because they get sick mostly because of the shift schedules.

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    Default Re: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    I agree. I haven't worked at a call center office before but have many friends and relatives that did over the years and I heard lots of stories. I think some of them have resident physicians but I guess that is more for just emergencies and probably the more general sense of staying healthy is still left up to the employees themselves.

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    Bronze Member joshposh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    People don't get sick because of being up in the early morning hours. They get sick because of bacteria and viruses. There is nothing scientific about being up late at night that will get you sick unless it is below zero weather. In the Philippines they believe weird superstitions and non factual events to explain sicknesses.

    If anything, a call center agent is exposed to 100 plus operators in the same room and therefore are exposed to possible transfer of sickness from other employees. It's just like when you are on a plane for 10 hours. You will get something from someone else that is coughing on the plane.

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    Default Re: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    Well, if you change the working hours for call center employees frequently, then their health will definitely suffer. However, if a call center keeps an employee on only set working hours, chances are that they won't get sick unless they catch something. So, the key is to keep the working hours consistent. The human body clock is not meant to change hours every week.

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    Diamond Member Corzhens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    Quote Originally Posted by djchain View Post
    Well, if you change the working hours for call center employees frequently, then their health will definitely suffer. However, if a call center keeps an employee on only set working hours, chances are that they won't get sick unless they catch something. So, the key is to keep the working hours consistent. The human body clock is not meant to change hours every week.
    That is the issue in the so called rotation of shifts because some call center agents are asked to work for 16 hours straight when the agent for the next shift is not coming. That means he gets only a few hours of rest and then work again for 8 hours. With the changing of shifts, it is a minimum of 2 weeks to make it comfortable to adjust to the new work schedule. But again, when some agents wouldn't come to work then some have to take over the chore regardless of the shift they were assigned in.

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    Default Re: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    I don't see the reason why the workers would become ill because of shift schedules. The shift system has been around in other industries long before there were call centres and the workers have been able to cope with the changes all along. In the call centre business the shift rotation usually last for a period of two weeks.Therefore, there is usually frequent relief from any particular shift.

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    Default Re: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    The reason why most call center agents get sick is mainly because of their lifestyle and stress. I have worked in a BPO before and I've seen more of these. Most of the agents got sick because of night shifts which caused them to be anemic. Staying up late up to morning (regularly) can cause low blood pressure. Some had UTI's because of not urinating and holding it for a long period of time because of the queuing calls. Most call center agents have a not-so-good lifestyle as well. They go out and drink right after duty, especially during pay day. They smoke a lot at work because of too much stress from customers and callers. They drink tons of coffees and energy drink which aren't really liver friendly. Not to mention that we sit the entire shift, not unless you would stand up or stretch.

    So there can be a lot of reasons as to why some if not all got sick while in a BPO because of these. But I guess it also depends on the individual if they'll take care of themselves or not.

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    Default Re: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    This calls for concern having to break the night working. Looks like working against the order of nature and may have some health implications on the employee. For example, people with episodes or issues of occasional high blood pressure may really need time to rest and sleep at night. Night work may pose a threat to the health of these kinds of people. Employers should understand these while outsourcing jobs

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    Default Re: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    The Reason why I did not try working in call centers is because of this. Staying awake until dawn is bad enough for the body, what more if you would be stressed while taking calls around this time? Most agents that I know are too stressed out, overweight and have health problems.

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    Default Re: Health issues of outsourced call center agents

    I worked as a call center agent for two months or so during my early career and as OP rightly pointed out it will adversely affect our health. We were having night shifts as the customers were from foreign countries. Sleep is an important function for over all well being of your health. If you can't sleep well, like a computer you are prone to over heat which result in a lot of issues.

    Yes, there is enough time to sleep in day time but as you know when other people are still active in the house a peaceful sleep is not possible. Sleep is only effective if can do it at a stretch and if something disturbs you like outside noises you are not going to get the benefit. If you are short of sleep it's like a bank balance which gets accumulated over time. That's why I left the call center job as I was not able to take it anymore.

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