TRAVEL firms with call centres should allow staff to take breaks after difficult customer calls to minimise workplace stress, according to the Health and Safety Executive.
The body estimates stress costs UK businesses £3.7 billion a year through sick days, recruitment costs following resignations due to stress, and compensation claims.
ASB Law partner and head of employment Rebecca Thornley-Gibson said the target-driven culture and dull call centre environment, along with the repetitive nature of the work, can increase stress among staff.
She recommended a complete overhaul of the culture to allow more teamwork and interaction between colleagues.
However, Thornley-Gibson said difficult calls could be the biggest cause of stress, and suggested staff are allowed to regain their composure following such conversations.
“The public are not very nice sometimes and some calls can be difficult. Often call-centre operators have to pick up again straight away to deal with another call,” she said.
Health and Safety Executive online:hse.gov.uk