A study conducted on 375 ‘call handlers’ working in international call centres in Delhi-NCR shows that 77.6% of the employees had “some suspicion of insomnia or suspected insomnia”. It argues that “smoking, poor social support, heavy workload, lack of relaxation facility at office and prolonged travel time to office” were the “predictors” of sleep quality as measured by the Athens Insomnia Scale.
The study was conducted from November 2011 to April 2013, on employees aged between 18 and 39 years working in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida for longer than two months. It defines a “call handler” as “ a person working in an international call centre involved in customer service, whose job required him/her to spend a significant proportion of his/her working time responding to calls on the telephone whilst simultaneously using display screen equipment”.
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Of all the respondents, 59.5% had suspected insomnia, while 18.1% had some suspicion of insomnia, the study notes. Only 22.4% call handlers said they had no sleep problem. Additionally, 36.5% reported physical ailments with headache (63.5%) and backache (43.7%) being the most common problems.
Smoking was taken up by 44.3% call handlers, of whom 52.4% said they smoked because of stress. Most of them worked in night shifts (51.5%) or changing shifts (28.3%), with the mean working hours standing at 9.2.
Study: Sleep Quality of Call Handlers Employed in International Call Centres in National Capital Region of Delhi, India
Authors: J D Raja (Saveetha University, Chennai), S K Bhasin (University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi)