Leino T., Ristimäki T., Huuhtanen P.
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
In this paper, the key psychological question concerning new technology is the good usability of computer applications. The key question arises from the fact that, although we nowadays often use computers in our work, the work is always work with the mind or by the mind ( Hollnagel 1997). This means that computer applications should be optimal from the user's point of view, so that the user can carry out the required tasks successfully and without difficulty. ( Mitchell & al. 1997, Izso & Zijstra 1997).
Most of the empirical studies on psychological well-being at work have shown that control over one's work and social support improve psychological wellbeing ( Karasek 1979). Previous studies have nevertheless shown that in work environments where information technology and computers are important, the good usability of computer applications can improve the worker's psychological well-being and job satisfaction ( Harrison & al. 1994, Izso & Zijstra 1997).
In Call Center work the customer service employees use the latest information and telecommunication technology. They provide a variety of sales, marketing and information services remotely by telephone connected to computer applications ( Richardson and Marshall 1996). There is no face-to-face contact with the customer. The employee is able to discuss, on the phone the best possibilities to solve the customer's problems. The action that the customer service employee then takes, depends on the employee's understanding of the customer's problem and possibilities to find a solution by using the application quickly for finding all the information needed.