How to Fight the Stress of Call Centres

Working in a call centre often comes with a good dose of stress. Studies show that employees have higher rates of anxiety and emotional distress than the average worker. Here are some tips for spending more peaceful days.

Practise self-soothing techniques
There are several techniques that help reduce stress and can be practised between calls or when a call is irritating, says psychologist Cynthia Bêty. “The basic technique is called diaphragmatic breathing. It is taking a slow and deep breath. Inhaling is allowed to happen by itself but when exhaling, the air is very slowly completely emptied from the lungs. This breathing increases our tolerance to stress, regains control over our senses and refocuses on the present moment.”

After a particularly difficult call, the psychologist suggests taking a few minutes to clear your head. “You can use different approaches, such as a brief meditation or the technique of visualizing a quiet place. It is a matter of revisiting a place where you feel good, remembering different details that make it up, while taking a long and deep breath.”

Support makes all the difference
According to a report by the Shepell-fgi Research Group, for many employees working in call centres, much of the stress comes from lack of training. “When you don’t feel competent, self-confidence takes a hit,” explains Ms. Bêty. It is therefore important for companies to provide adequate training for their employees to deal with different situations.”

It is also essential that employees are aware of the resources that are put in place to help them. “For an employee, it’s important to feel that you can ask a superior for advice,” says the psychologist. And when you reach the limit of what you can do on a call, if you know you can transfer it to someone who is better equipped to deal with it, it reduces the level of stress. Regular team feedback on problematic calls can also help to ventilate a little and help to deal with more difficult situations.”

However, it is clear to Cynthia Bêty that if stress becomes too great and you start to experience insomnia or show symptoms of work-related depression, don’t hesitate to seek help by consulting your family doctor or the psychological support service for employees.
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