More than eight out of 10 call centre workers (83%) feel the high-pressure nature of their work is taking a toll on their mental health.
A poll of 252 workers for customer engagement software firm MaxContact found nearly two-thirds (62%) reporting high stress levels, nearly half (48%) anxiety and a similar percentage (46%) saying they felt “overwhelmed”.
In an industry already known for its high staff turnover, poor mental wellbeing was costing millions in lost productivity, the survey argued.
The vast majority (95%) said work-related mental wellbeing problems were making them less productive at work, losing on average six hours of work per month, or nine working days per year to poor mental wellbeing.
This was also translating into increased sick days, with staff report taking on average 2.78 sick days because of work-related mental wellbeing problems. This lost productivity is costing the industry £990m per year, the study estimated.
On the plus side, the research found more than half (52%) of employers in this sector had mental health first aiders in place.
Mental health and work
Offering this sort of support could also be beneficial in terms of employee retention. Three-quarters (75%) of the contact centre workers polled said they would be more likely to stay in their current role if their employer made a bigger concrete commitment to improving mental wellbeing in their workplaces.
Conversely, nearly half (46%) said they would consider another role in the contact centre industry if it was likely to be better for their mental health.
Ben Booth, chief executive of MaxContact, said, “We’re calling for businesses that employ contact centre workers to make mental wellbeing just as important as physical health and safety, with properly trained mental health first aiders in every organisation. It’s not just the right thing to do, it makes total business sense.”