Ms P was initially enjoying her stint with the BPO industry. The money was good. The environment was cool and weekend parties were a whole new experience till one day she felt unconscious and was bedridden for weeks.
The workload took its toll on her mental and physical health. The body clock took a jolt and she was unable to adjust to the extreme pressures. Thereafter she decided to quit.
Most of the youngsters are paying a heavy price for their lifestyles. Working at odd hours, and being cubicle bound for hours is certainly dangerous. Not just BPO but each demanding occupation has its own hazards and one needs to be careful about them.
However, there are a few call centre-specific issues that are making them more stress prone. The most important of the issues is working in shifts and its impact on the biological, psychological and the social life of the individual.
A psychologist suggests that because human body clock is unable to adjust itself to the day-night shift it is advisable to avoid consistent periods of working at night. Also, one should not have a sudden long shift change to which the body canâ€™t adapt.
To improve work efficiency during long shifts a team leader in one of the call centers suggests taking multiple breaks is an effective way to maintain concentration and efficiency. In these breaks, socializing with colleagues helps to relax, and also build team relationships.
Experts suggest having a good interpersonal relationship helps to develop team spirit. This also helps to de-stress. One should have a balanced diet, exercise on a regular basis, and use relaxation techniques. Having a healthy lifestyle is an effective way to keep the mind and body healthy.
Another way to balance the home-work interface, the individual needs to ensure that on weekends, he/she interacts with family and friends, spends time with them, and thereby doesnâ€™t lose touch with the main social network of the self. Also during the week, some basic communication with the family and friends needs to be initiated. Call them or use internet but stay in touch.
Call center employees should try and develop hobbies. They should try doing yoga and mediation. Most effective way is to spend time with oneself. Listening to music also helps. Bringing office tensions to home should be avoided and one must learn to balance work and home.
There is stress in all kinds of work, and there are problems in the life for everybody. Therefore it is important for all individuals to learn to handle them effectively, and have a positive approach in life.
The BPO business has quietly seen one of the biggest shifts since it started about a decade ago. Night-time work has come down from 100% to about 60% and many of the 500,000 employees in the $9-billion BPO industry work day shifts now.
Companies are working towards reducing midnight to 6:00 am shifts. This period sees the highest attrition and error rates. Typically, in a BPO, a day is divided into three eight-hour shifts with only the night shift being utilized. Now the work has spilled to the other two eight-hour shifts as well, during the day. This has resulted in fewer employees logging in at night.
While tasks requiring real-time client interaction will still be done at night, BPO companies will engage more people during the day, thanks to the thrust towards non-voice and transaction processing type of tasks. These include cash trading, statutory reporting for BFSI customers, managing billing and network operations for telecom clients, mortgage processing, finance & accounts, HR, Healthcare, insurance and legal processing tasks.