An empirical study of factors that contribute to the emotional and physical well-being of call centre agents

30 Jun 2020

Call centre work has been associated with involving high workload, being under performance monitoring, having low autonomy, doing repetitive tasks and requiring a minimal level of skills, and the work is also being performed in an open-plan work environment. The aim of the study was to determine whether certain factors within the work environment of call centres play a role on the emotional and physical well-being of call centre agents. The study also aimed to investigate whether there was a significant relationship between these factors and well-being. The study employed a quantitative research paradigm, and data were gathered by means of a structured questionnaire administered to a sample of call centre agents (n = 275) from four companies located in the Cape Metropole, South Africa. The main findings showed that factors in the work environment, such as a lack of skills variety, low autonomy, task identity, lack of social support, job demand, performance monitoring, temperature and air quality as well as workstation layout, contribute negatively to emotional (burnout and stress) and physical (optical and auditory health problems) well-being. The findings yielded statistically significant relations between these factors and emotional and physical well- being. One of the recommendations of the study is that call centre organisations should have supportive human resource policies in place that offer training and development, present promotion opportunities and promote supervisor support.