Science-backed stress management tips to help your agents unwind

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Stress management is just one of the many challenges that contact center agents struggle with. If not managed properly, stress can detrimentally affect one's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It may cause sleep disorders, cardiac problems, depression, and other alarming health issues. Because of this, contact center agents who are continuously stressed tend to underperform, or worse, quit their jobs.

Contact center managers as well as HR specialists are thus responsible for promoting health and wellness programs to their agents. This will ensure that agents can perform their jobs well while staying healthy. Here are some scientifically proven ways to help your agents combat and manage stress.

1.   Organize regular exercise programs.

Call center work mostly involves sitting for eight hours with brief breaks in between. This adds to agents' stress, as their motion is very much limited during office hours. As a solution, exercise programs such as aerobics, zumba, yoga, and walking/jogging sessions may be organized to get your agents moving. According to the Stress Management Society in UK, exercise not only lowers an individual's risk for physiological complications. Exercising also triggers the release of endorphins, more commonly known as happy hormones. It also helps relax tense muscles and alleviates neck and back pains, which are common among contact center agents.

2.   Provide free soothing drinks.

Each of us probably has a go-to drink whenever we are stressed out. Some people resort to coffee, while others may prefer hot chocolate or tea. However, science is biased toward herbal teas when it comes to relieving stress. Examples of teas that are effective in stress relief are mint, chamomile, ginseng, lavender, and black tea. These types of tea can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and level of cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone. This makes them ideal for people who constantly experience stress, such as contact center agents.

3.   Offer massage services.

The Mayo Clinic recognizes massage as a complementary and alternative medicine that has beneficial effects for complications caused by stress, such as anxiety, digestive disorders, muscle pain and tension, and insomnia. Contact centers can thus team up with massage clinics or offer discounted massage services from reliable therapists in order to help their agents relax and unwind. Once in a while, massage clinics may also be invited to company events and celebrations.

4.   Encourage agents to join clubs.

Fun clubs, such as photography or book clubs, may be organized within contact center companies. Hobby-focused clubs within the company can help bring together employees with similar interests while helping them fight stress. In fact, engaging in one's hobbies is listed by the American Institute of Stress as an effective way to beat stress. Aside from this, it can also bring people closer to a social support team.

By providing contact center agents with efficient, science-backed health and wellness programs, they may find it easier to deal with stress and maximize their skills during working hours. Effective stress management techniques can drive employees’ productivity and boost the company’s performance in the long run.