High Level of Stress
Unlike other industries where products are tangible, in the call center the person performing the service cannot be separated from the service that is the product itself. Call center services therefore are perishable, so any unattended call represents lost opportunities to make a sale.27 To ensure efficiency, some call centers enforce a policy on the average call handling time per customer. This means that an agent may not spend more than five minutes with a customer. The limited interaction with customers is mostly controlled by automatic distribution systems and the customer service representatives have little control over when to speak or who to speak to.28 The timing of shifts and breaks is also strictly observed. The women interviewees have two breaks of 15 minutes each and an hour lunch break every day. Failure to adhere to this policy results in a poor performance evaluation. The strict adherence to time means the workers may not be able to leave their seats without their supervisor’s permission.
Notably, there are many call centers that provide some health and wellness facilities for the workers to avail during their free time but many of the workers opt to rest rather than work out. Che hopes to find time to work out in the company gym but because of fatigue and lack of sleep, she prefers to just go home and rest.