Customer Experience News & Trends

Why agents turn to booze, coffee and chocolate on the job

Employees guzzle coffee, munch on chocolate and hit happy hour as soon as possible when they face this one issue at work.


When bored, agents will likely go for a sugar or caffeine fix on the job and head to the bar for happy hour when the day is done, according to recent research from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom.

Only about 25% of workers in the study suffer from boredom “most of the time.” But many employees said they’re bored at least some of time — which can be caused in any workplace by:

  • undemanding work
  • uninteresting work
  • repetitive tasks

Those who are bored are often stressed and absent and want to leave their current job. They may even take risks at work — such as stealing or vandalizing — just to stimulate themselves, researchers found.

We know contact center work is demanding and seems to be never ending, but agents may face boredom from time to time because of monotony or a slower period.

To help agents avoid boredom on the job, challenge them more often.

  • Encourage them to use your self-training options during down time (even better, require a certain number of hours they must clock on it each month).
  • Offer cross-training opportunities so they can try new jobs and stretch their abilities.
  • Get them involved in leadership. Ask agents to lead department meetings and training sessions on a rotating basis.

And if boredom still sets in from time to time, help agents avoid the unhealthy habits of the caffeine-sugar-alcohol cycle by stocking your vending machines with low-fat, high-protein snacks such as fruit and nuts. Keep bottled water and juices handy (even better, offer them for free). Organize post-work walks or hikes so agents hit the track, not the bar.

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