Coping strategies and health among call centre operators
Date of this Version
One of the most demanding jobs that modern workers have to cope with is that of working in busy, noisy, call centres and coping with the requests, complaints, and often the frustration and rudeness of customers. This chapter reports on the results of a study on how Australian call centre operators survive such a hectic job. The study of 65 internet respondents emphasised the stresses they faced; the coping strategies that call centre employees used ’at work and at home’ indicated that they were under considerable stress and pressure at work. The results indicated that individuals used similar coping strategies overall in both home and work domains; however, ’improving relationships’ and ’seeking relaxing diversions’ were more common styles in handling stress at home. In the work domain, the coping style of ’self-blame’ was related to increased doctors’ visits, whereas in the home and work domains ’self-blame, worry and working hard’, related to ’taking days off’, or separating oneself from the situation, were most evident. The main implications from the study were that effective coping strategies were definitely needed to cope with the stresses within the call centre environment. Employers could benefit from utilising these findings in selection processes and conduct training programs that emphasise skills development in some of the more useful coping strategies and skills that have been indicated in this study to be more likely to be valuable.
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