Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Prevalence of Stress among Call Center Employees

Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Prevalence of Stress among Call Center Employees

Article excerpt

Stress is inevitable in an individual's life. It sometimes describes threats or challenges, other times our responses. Stress is not just a stimulus or a response. It is the process by which we appraise and cope with environmental threats and challenges (Myers & Myers, 2004). Stress refers to the uneasiness we feel when we are unable to handle the demands of everyday life (Adams & Bromley, 1998). Stress is common in everyday life; however its severity might vary depending upon the type of person, situation and the availability of support.

A vast majority of research body connects stress with the fast lifestyle of today's global world. Many researchers attribute this fast life style to the development of modern day technologies. According to these researchers the development of modem technology has forever altered the structure of our society and social life by increasing the speed with which we use to do things, thus adding to the stress (Hoffman, Novak, & Venkatesh, 2004).

Technology has not only affected our social life but it has changed the way we think about everything from our home to work, our lifestyle, values, and what's possible and impossible. It affects us in ways we can't even begin to articulate ((Murray, 1998). It has changed the way we live, though not for the better, since technology can not only cause stress to those who use it but also to those who fear it, resulting in techno-stress (Weil, 2003).

Techno-stress builds up because technology lets us do so much at the same time, enormous amounts of information is pouring in from all sides through computers, telephones, communicators etc and one ends up feeling overwhelmed and is unable to process the information overload. Technology along with increasing the speed, with which information is processed and acquired, has changed our perception of time and altered our internal clocks. Thereby speeding up our mentality and giving us unrealistic expectations of ourselves, causing fatigue and physical stress and encouraged more multitasking (juggling multiple thoughts and actions simultaneously), creating extra stress and anxiety (Weil, 2003)..

Like all other aspects of life technology has also greatly transformed today's global multicultural work settings. Machines to a large extent have replaced human work force, leaving only a small number of people juggling with complicated mechanical systems. While such technology has increased the efficiency with which people work, it has also added to the anxieties of work life in the form of information overload, heightened pressure for productivity, and a threatening sense of impermanence in the workplace. Thus, adding to the stress of employees all around the world.

Technology has converted our world into a global society where everything is accessible; as a result businesses are constantly competing to keep their place in the market further stressing their employees; who feel overwhelmed by the competing demands and pressures. As a result the stress of work turns in to a living nightmare of running faster and faster, from which they are unable to escape. They feel anxious while going to work, their motivation for work decreases, and they try to avoid the situation, thus increasing the rate of absenteeism and turnover.

The situation even worsens in technologically advanced call centers that are quickly springing up across the globe. As businesses have to cater to the needs of customers belonging to different parts of the worlds and have to compete to increase their market share they feel the need to be connected with their customers 24 hours a day 7 days a week (24/7). As a result the call center environment has become one of the most stressful areas in corporations today, and the stakes are high (Cryer, White & Cryer, 2003). Call centers are often compared with 18lh century "sweat shops" since the employees have to deal with a constant flow of customer calls 24/7. As a result stress has becomes a common concern for call center employees as well as management, due to high demands and constant monitoring (Agnew, n. …

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