Stress is a natural consequence of work. Even people who seem to have the easiest jobs experience a certain degree of stress in their workplace. Highly stressful work, such as in a call center, can impact the performance and level of job satisfaction of your outsourced staff.
But, a job in an outsourcing company does not have to be a health risk for your staff. Here are six tips on how business owners and managers of a BPO or KPO company can reduce stress in the workplace.
1. Create a comfortable work environment for your outsourced staff.
Back pain and repetitive strain injury are common among office employees, especially those working in IT-BPO companies. Office work may not be as strenuous as physical work, such as in construction and logistics. But, the long hours of sitting and working in front of a computer can wreak havoc on one's body. That's why sitting on ergonomic chairs that provide good lower-back support and using tables that are not too high or too low can ease the physical stress on employees.
Make sure your outsourced staff are comfortable with the lighting and temperature in the office. Workplace studies have shown that people sitting by a window with access to natural daylight and fresh air went on to have improved concentration levels and focus and better morale. Consequently, they perform better than people who work in places with insufficient light and that are either too hot or too cold.
2. Reduce the impact of background noise on your outsourced staff.
Dealing with the general public on a day-to-day basis already has a negative effect on the morale and performance of your staff. Don't make it harder for them to do their job with a noisy workplace. Offices that make use of padded walls and cubicles with chest-level dividers are conducive to work.
But, if you're trying to lower costs, then a long table with substantial space in between employees is your best option. This setup is great for collaborative work, especially for teams. However, the interaction can be a bit too much for some people. To help them concentrate on their work, give these people noise-canceling headphones that will effectively muffle environmental noise, such as beeping printers and ringing phones.
4. Provide a steady flow of good coffee to your outsourced staff.
Office workers are known for their coffee-drinking habits. Coffee helps them maintain focus and keep their energy.
Staff who like their coffee brewed, with richer aroma and flavor than coffee in vending machines, will take time to walk to the nearest Starbucks and buy an iced latte or frappuccino in a venti cup. Keep them in the office longer with free coffee or tea.
5. Make sure your employees continue to learn as they take on challenging work.
Oversimplification is dangerous for IT-BPO employees. Repetition of the mundane tasks will lead to boredom, and consequently to decreased motivation and job satisfaction. It's important that employers provide challenging, creative work to their employees.
For example, strict adherence to scripts for every activity takes away the spontaneity of a conversation with a customer. As a result, workers have little room to work with a creative spiel and practice discretion in decision-making. Without autonomy, call center workers feel they have no control over the outcome of their work and they can feel disengaged, frustrated, stressed and worthless because of it.
6. Emphasize the importance of family in your company.
Customer service reps are busiest during the holiday season. Working the phones on Christmas day is anxiety-inducing, plus it negatively affects their relationships with their friends, family and romantic partners. In this case, a flexible work schedule will be the perfect Christmas gift for your employees.
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