Given the 24/7 operation hours, it’s common for call center agents to face various health concerns— especially those working the graveyard shift. Open Access BPO offers a handful of tips to help call center agents avoid health detriments at work.
Night shift work is common in the call center industry. It has also been associated with a list of health problems including mood and sleep disorders and increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. For a night shift agent working in a 24/7 call center, adapting to a new sleep schedule and staying awake and alert all night are the biggest obstacles he or she needs to overcome.
This schedule therefore requires call center agents to make significant adjustments to their daily routine and activities. It’s not only important to observe some practices to stay alert at work but also to avoid the negative health effects of shift work.
Here are some tips that agents can follow to prevent health problems brought by working on the graveyard shift:
1. Set a sleeping schedule
Working at night can interrupt your normal sleep pattern. Hence, you have to reschedule your sleep in order to create a new pattern that your body will be accustomed to. Stick to a particular time when going to bed and waking up. By disciplining yourself to go to bed the same time daily, you can fall asleep more easily and still have six to eight hours of sleep every day.
2. Modify sleeping environment
Try to spare yourself a good day’s rest by making your room conducive for undisturbed rest even during the day. Draw the blinds or curtains to make sure sunlight is completely shut out, or use eye covers. Turning off your mobile phone would also help. Then ask the people who live with you to avoid making noises that can disrupt your sleep.
3. Drink coffee wisely
Most call center agents on night shift rely on caffeinated beverages to maintain alertness throughout their shift. Although there is nothing wrong with using caffeine as a way of improving one’s alertness, it is also important not to overdo it. Drinking too much coffee can also have negative effects such as palpitations, hyperacidity, insomnia, and restlessness.
4. Make healthier food choices
Because a call center job entails sitting in front of the computer the entire shift, most agents adopt the habit of eating snacks from time to time. It’s important to watch what you’re eating since your sedentary lifestyle doesn’t let you burn much calories. One way is to avoid chocolates and chips, or opt for snacks and meals with a lower calorie count. It’s best to eat light meals that are low in sugar and fat but high in fiber and protein.
Incorporating a bit of exercise and physical activity into your daily routine can help you in several ways. Not only does it prevent you from gaining undesirable weight, but it also helps you boost your energy levels. You can take a walk to the pantry, climb a set of stairs, or do some stretching at your station.
6. Monitor your health
Working on night shift can affect 24/7 call center agents physically and mentally. Since you are predisposed to health risks, it is important that you take care of your body by making sure you are not falling behind. Visit your doctor and have an annual medical check-up done even if you are not suffering from any symptoms.
It’s common for call center agents who are on graveyard shift to not have enough quality sleep. Because of this, serious health problems may arise. Health should always be the priority. It is therefore important for night shift agents to follow these tips in order to prevent themselves from facing such health detriments in the future.