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Three-quarters of workers in customer-facing roles say they feel overworked, underappreciated and at risk of burnout, according to a study.
The poll of 750 UK workers in customer-facing roles by software firm MaxContact found 72% felt either burnt out already or at imminent risk of being so.
This rose to 83% of those working in contact centres, with MaxContact warning this could mean the sector will soon be facing a similar talent crisis to the 2021 HGV driver shortage if those workers decide to leave.
Nearly half (49%) said they disliked their job and would be looking to move in the near future, rising to 62% of contact centre workers, the poll added.
Among other findings, more than half (52%) of those polled said their workload had increased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic, and 43% were coping with long working hours.
Nearly nine out of 10 (88%) said the responsibilities within their existing role had expanded since the beginning of the pandemic, but without an accompanying pay rise or promotion.
On average, staff had taken on between one- and two-people’s work in addition to their own, with 10% even stretched to the capacity of three or more people.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) said their company valued customer experience over employee wellbeing and 84% felt under pressure from management to deliver quantity over quality when it came to interactions with customers.
While just over half (54%) were aware of mental health support initiatives at their workplace, only 32% of them said their managers followed these ‘all the time’.
Ben Booth, chief executive of MaxContact, said: “For those on the phone to customers every day, two years of working alone at the kitchen table, mounting workloads and li
Nic Paton is consulting editor of OHW+. One of the country's foremost workplace health journalists, Nic has written for OHW+ and Occupational Health & Wellbeing since 2001, and edited the magazine from 2018.