It’s September, which means it is National Yoga Month! I’d like to kick off the month with my thoughts on promoting agent wellness, specifically through the ancient practice of yoga. Regardless of what industry you are in, contact center agents have one of the most demanding and stressful jobs in the world. I have worked for many years in the contact center industry and know first-hand how challenging it can be. While I was able to turn a job as a call center representative into a career of consulting for the omni-channel contact center, I cannot help but look back and reflect on my early years as an agent. The high stress I carried as an agent inevitably followed me even at the executive and owner/operator level because I was constantly in a “work work work” mentality.
Why Contact Center Agents are Stressed
Contact center agents must juggle many different roles throughout the day. Some of these may include:
- Adherence to detailed processes, standards, and procedures.
- Meeting quality control criteria and the passing of periodic audits.
- Being calm under pressure at all times, especially when dealing with difficult customers.
- Meeting professional targets for sales or leads.
- Essaying workloads that can be overwhelming at times.
- Having to work all-night schedules.
- Having to finish calls within specific time limits.
The results can be devastating to the mental, emotional, and physical health of customer service agents. Stress can impact health by causing headaches, shoulder, neck, and back pains, stomach upsets, blurred vision, and increased sensitivity to light. When stress starts to take its toll on employees, it is common to see emotional exhaustion, tiredness, a decrease in performance and productivity, and an increase in workplace absenteeism. As an employer, you will find that employees are not as happy, functional, or productive and your business suffers as a result.
How Yoga Benefits Agents
Yoga is an all-in-one physical, emotional, and spiritual practice with powerful effects. Agents who suffer from neck and back pain will find that the yoga asanas (postures) work very effectively for pain relief.
Yoga can improve your state of health and make you feel more refreshed and energized to face your day. On a spiritual and emotional level, yoga can help you feel more at ease and help you accommodate your daily stressors with more ease and grace.
How a Dedicated Yoga Practice Can Help Your Business
One interesting study from the CDC Foundation shows that productivity losses linked to absenteeism costs employees $225.8 billion per year! The health challenges that people face now include chronic pain, diabetes, obesity, fatigue and stress. When you encourage your agents to practice yoga or some other type of wellness activity, you can contribute to their happiness, job satisfaction and health. This can result in happy and healthy agents, who tend to be more productive employees. Productivity boosts the efficiency and profitability of your business. Happy agents are willing to take on challenges and go beyond expectations to fulfill the needs of both the customer and the company.
More and more companies are encouraging their employees to make work-life balance a priority. Offering yoga classes in-house or encouraging your employees to do yoga are great ways to not only create happier employees but to also boost business revenue.
About Replenish Yoga and Wellness
I started Replenish Yoga and Wellness with the intention of sharing the profound benefits of yoga. Having worked as a successful contact center executive for many years, I knew all too well the stressful demands of modern living. Yoga has had a powerful effect in helping me rediscover my happiest and most joyful state.
Learn more about our classes, upcoming wellness retreats, as well as our 200-hour teacher training program here. If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods, grab a mat and let’s do some yoga. Your first class at my studio is on me!