Customer Experience News & Trends

Who’s more stressed — agents or managers?

Whose stress level in the contact center is higher — agents’ or managers’? New research reveals the answer, and we’ve included tips on curbing the stress.

Turns out, agents need that stress ball at work and high ball after hours.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that:

  • Leaders had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than employees, and
  • Leaders scored lower on anxiety questionnaires.

What’s up with that?

Researchers feel control is the key issue. Everyone in a contact center faces stress — and lots of it. But the more control a person has over his or her day-to-day responsibilities and duties, the less stressed he or she is likely to be.

When it comes down to it, bosses tend to have more flexibility when it comes to when they arrive, break from and leave work. Plus, they have more control over when and how they complete tasks.

To help everyone curb stress, try these tips:

  • Stay flexible. We know you have to meet service levels, so staffing is a huge priority. Still, many contact centers have success with rewarding agents with the privilege to select most of their shifts. Also consider work-from-home as a reward. Some contact centers keep it as simple as giving agents laptops and having them input data at home a few days a week.
  • Ease up. Give agents ways to relax on their breaks. Equip a quiet room with dim lighting, comfortable chairs and soft music. Encourage them to use any break time to relax, rather than run errands, get on social networks or gossip.
  • Bring in the relaxation. In the busy season, bring a masseuse on site to give 15-minute chair massages.

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