Customer service jobs come with high levels of stress made worse by shifting schedules. Contact centers usually operate 24/7 to cater to international markets. Because of these, agents might not get enough sleep and rest after their shift ends and during their rest days.
That’s because the human body is programmed to follow the same sleeping pattern every day. This makes agents prone to sleepiness, fatigue, and other health problems, all of which may hamper their performance and productivity. These also affect the quality of services they provide, and this doesn’t look good for customer satisfaction.
Sure, customer support reps get break times within the workday, but these breaks sometimes aren’t enough to help agents deal with stress and fatigue.
One solution is to encourage your agents to take a nap during their break. However, this habit is often frowned upon in the workplace, since it’s usually viewed as an irresponsible or lazy behavior. At the office, employees are expected to perform to the best of their abilities since their working hours are paid for. That means staying awake and alert at all times.
But the truth is, employees who love taking naps during work downtimes may be onto something.
Power naps are said to work better than caffeine in terms of waking the brain up and keeping it focused. Not only that, it refreshes the mind and serves as a soft restart that improves a person’s alertness and mood. It’s recommended to aim for a nap time of 10 minutes, as it’s seen to improve cognitive performance and reduce fatigue—effects that are observable for as long as 155 minutes upon waking up. Fifteen- to 20-minute naps are also recommended for even better outcomes.
If you insist on caffeine intake, downing a cup before a 15-minute nap will reboot your brain and help you stay awake, alert, and functional.
So after a filling meal, encourage agents to take a nap to help them be more productive for the rest of the day. With a refreshed mind, they can deal with irate customers better, make smarter decisions, and solve complex problems more easily. With an improved mood, agents are less likely to add tension to an already tension-filled conversation. They can become more proactive as they talk to clients, and this can increase customer satisfaction.
A lot of contact centers now have designated nap rooms and lounges in their offices. Many are beginning to see the benefits of napping at the office because it helps customer service representatives manage their stress and perform better in the workplace.
This policy should be carried out with discernment, of course. Come on, tell your agents to put that 15-minute break to good use by taking a well-deserved power nap.