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As a contact center manager, I know how frustrating it can be for agents when they are tethered to their phone for hours at a time dealing with both nice and some very challenging customers. I am always on the lookout for effective ways to help agents manage stress and stay energized. Can you suggest any non-disruptive “workstation exercises” that agents can perform to relax and reinvigorate them throughout their shift?

As a contact center manager, I know how frustrating it can be for agents when they are tethered to their phone for hours at a time dealing with both nice and some very challenging customers. I am always on the lookout for effective ways to help agents manage stress and stay energized. Can you suggest any non-disruptive “workstation exercises” that agents can perform to relax and reinvigorate them throughout their shift?

5/6/2011

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Question
As a contact center manager, I know how frustrating it can be for agents when they are tethered to their phone for hours at a time dealing with both nice and some very challenging customers. I am always on the lookout for effective ways to help agents manage stress and stay energized. Can you suggest any non-disruptive “workstation exercises” that agents can perform to relax and reinvigorate them throughout their shift?

Answer

While agents have a very demanding and sedentary job, it is still possible to achieve some sort of stress relief during the work day. It’s a good idea to remind agents to stretch their muscles and rest their eyes periodically when sitting for long periods of time in front of a computer, and it’s important to maintain good posture throughout the shift, as well. This will help prevent back and neck pain. When possible, allow agents to take 30 to 60 seconds every so often for some kind of activity or movement such as standing, stretching or walking.

Below are some additional recommendations to help agents feel less stressed, more energetic and better able to perform their function as agents each day.

Workstation Exercises:

  • Raise both arms straight above your head with palms facing forward. Take turns reaching one arm up higher than the other by tilting your pelvis. Repeat 10 times on each side.
  • To stretch your neck and provide some relief from stiffness, hang your head down forward and hold for a few seconds. Then tilt your head back and hold for a few seconds. Next let your head fall to your right shoulder and hold the stretch for a few moments. Roll your head counterclockwise. Repeat 2 times. Now let your head fall to your left shoulder. Hold the stretch for a few seconds. Roll your head clockwise. Repeat 2 times.
  • To stretch your back and strengthen your biceps, place your hand on your desk and hold on. Slowly push your chair back and lower your head until it is between your arms and you are looking at the floor. Then slowly pull yourself back in again. Repeat 10 times.
  • To provide some relief for your back and torso, turn your body to the right and hold your right knee with your left hand while grabbing the back of your chair with your right hand. Hold for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • Sitting up straight and facing forward, try to pinch your shoulder blades together. Hold and then relax. Repeat 3 times.
  • To relieve tension in the legs, lift one leg off the seat while sitting in your chair, extend it straight out and hold for two seconds. Then lower your foot until it almost touches the floor and hold for several seconds. Switch. Repeat 10 times for each leg.
  • Sitting tall in your chair, lean forward, bending at the waist while extending your right leg out and allowing just the heel to touch the floor. Bend forward toward the right until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat on other side. Perform 5 stretches on each side.

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