As we spend a large majority of our lives in the workplace, making it as harmonious as possible and learning to manage tough situations is important not only for productivity, but also for our mental and physical well-being.
Continuous stress in the call center work environment can cause low morale and go as far as causing staff burnout, leading employees to completely shut down and being unable to work.
In a fast-paced and demanding world, learning to manage stress has become part of our daily lives. Yet, it's still not talked about enough and many employees feel that letting their managers know how stressed they really are can be seen as a sign of weakness and vulnerability.
Below we’ll share methods to reduce stress in a call center work environment for both staff and management so everyone can find a balance to work happily together.
Reducing stress on a personal level
Define your priorities
It’s easy to get caught up in work. If you feel that you don’t get to spend much time with friends and family anymore, perhaps it’s time to reassess your situation and put things in context.
This could mean making a decision to set clear limits of play time, work time, family time, etc., speaking to your manager about your workload and responsibilities or even considering a new position.
Find ways to destress
Stress in a call center work environment can be challenging to handle at times. Therefore, it’s important to find an outlet to channel our negative energy and recharge our batteries to avoid feeling drained and demotivated.
Whether it be meditation, exercise, happy hour with friends or time well-spent with a loved one or pet, find what works for you and engage in that activity on a regular basis.
Take care of your health
Stress can wreak havoc on the body, especially if it’s weak and vulnerable. Reduce stress by ensuring a healthy body. This means good sleep, nutritious food, and regular exercise. Taking care of your health goes in conjunction with making yourself a priority.
Make time to eat well, and have a fixed schedule to hit the sheets to get your 7-8 hours of sleep.
Reducing stress within the call center
Create a priority to-do list
Thinking about the thousand of things you have to do can be intimidating and can even cause severe procrastination. Before you even begin working, start your morning by creating a to-do list in order of importance.
Break down big projects in smaller achievable tasks. It makes our work more manageable and you’ll get a strange sense of accomplishment as you cross each task off your list.
Close your email
If you’re one of those people that receive hundreds of emails, your email account can be as distracting as leaving Facebook open. Seeing emails pour in not only distract from the priorities you’ve set yourself but can actually become a form of stress and pressure.
Close your email and set aside time periods during the day during which you allow yourself to respond to emails. Ideally, respond when you have worked down a good chunk of your to-do list.
Give yourself a break
Good work deserves to be rewarded. The mind can only focus for so long, and after a while, no matter how hard we stare at our screen, it seems we’re can’t move faster than 2 m.p.h.
Take frequent breaks, preferably after you have accomplished a task or goal and before you tackle a new one. Playing a game, talking to a colleague over a cup of coffee, or walking outside to get some fresh air are all great ways to reenergize the mind.
Be realistic about your goals
Whether they are the goals your manager has defined for you, or personal works goals you’ve set for yourself, be sure they are challenging, but also realistic.
If you feel your manager has set hard to attain goals, talk to them about it and look into coaching and training opportunities or even reassessing the goals to better match your skill set.
Remember, goals are made to motivate you, and not to make you feel incompetent or bored.
We never want to pass up an opportunity or promotion and so we often try to please as many people as we can. Although it sounds awesome being that person that says ‘yes’ to every challenge, it can backfire in many ways.
First off, we might loose on precious sleep, health and time saved for other priorities, leading to an increase in stress. Second, we might not be able to handle the quantity of work and provide late or low-quality results which could potentially harm our reputation.
Look on the bright side
By nature, negative events tend to stick to us more. And although within our 24-hour day, not everything might be rainbows and unicorns, by focusing on the good, not taking things personally and thinking of the positive takeaways, we can redirect the way we see things.
Our brain is our most powerful tool and can change our mindset and outlook on different situations. If you have a hard time thinking of positive thoughts after a nasty customer complaint, poor feedback or results, take 5 minutes to focus and write down the positive learnings that the experience can bring you in the future.
Every time an unwanted experience arises, ask yourself, "How can I use this to improve myself?”
Reducing stress in your call center work environment will make you a better and happier employee as well as a healthier and more fulfilled friend, partner and family member. Remember, if you believe and respect yourself, others will too.