Can working in a Call Center lead to depression? (+3 coping tips)

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Page last updated: 26/10/2022

Can working in a Call Center lead to depression? (+3 coping tips)

This article will center on how it feels to work in a call center. It will explain why people working there can become depressed, and what are ways for people to prevent it, and cope with being depressed as they work in a call center.

Can working in a Call center lead to depression? 

Yes, working in a call center can lead a person to become depressed. This is because this line of work tends to be an extremely stressful one. They can often have to deal with callers that tend to not be the most polite ones.

Aside from that, they usually have productivity goals that are often too intense and are constantly evaluated by who is calling and their bosses. They should always keep that calm tone of voice, and even when the caller becomes rude, they are not allowed to answer back, they should keep giving the information in the most caring way possible.

There may also be trouble because their roles are not often clear, and they may be asked to do more than they were hired for. An environment in which it is difficult to communicate with their bosses can also be a reason why they develop depression.

All of that tends to add up with the call center employee, and it can begin to take a toll on them emotionally, even leading them to feel depressed. If they are exposed to this unhealthy environment for a prolonged period, symptoms of depression may begin to rise. 

The call center employee may feel like they don’t have any more energy. They can feel too tired, or completely drained. They can also begin to have a more negative thought pattern, especially to things that are related to their job. 

This can cause them to distance themselves from it, and it is when they can begin to isolate themselves, have high rates of absenteeism, and also begin to have trouble in their productivity, make more mistakes, and even have trouble in their relationships. 

Depression can lead them to experience intense physical pain, loss of appetite, and insomnia. They can also lose all pleasure in what they are doing, and become more irritable. 

It can cause them to feel helpless, hopeless, and even overwhelmed. People may begin to dread going to work when their depression is related to this environment. And this can happen to any call center employee. Of course, the person’s emotional background plays a role in that.

So people that have already been depressed, or that have a genetic predisposition to it, can have a higher chance of getting depressed. But the companies should care for all of their employees in an attempt to prevent them from getting depressed.

And there are some ways one can do that. Here is how you, as a call center employee, and your company can deal with being depressed.

How can the call center company help the employees? 

If you have a call center company, here is what you can do. The first thing is to recognize how depression may feel. This will help you understand which employees need more help. It will also allow your company to understand how depression has been present, and what programs to deal with it that you can create.

Offering support is extremely important, making clear what you expect from them, and how they should work, is the best way to adjust everyone’s view of the job. Aside from that, try to invest in the best technology you can. This can be a great help to your employees.

Having clear communication, and adjusting the workload will also do wonders for preventing them from becoming depressed. A healthy work environment equals a healthy employee.

Can working in a Call Center lead to depression? (+3 coping tips)

How can I cope with depression if I work in a call center?

If you work in a call center, and you feel depressed, here are some ways you can cope. 

Share with your colleagues 

Sharing how you are feeling with people that are going through the same situation can be a great comfort. They will most likely know what you mean, and they may even be feeling the same. 

By sharing you can develop new possibilities and strategies to deal with what is happening. And you may feel less alone in your suffering.

See if it is possible to grow in the company 

Many call center companies usually have other areas of work. Try to understand what is there in the company you work in, and how you can apply to other spots. See what are the requirements, what other job opportunities you are interested in, and begin chasing new possibilities.

Find some balance 

Having some balance between work and personal life will only do you good. Understand what are your work hours, and what you should accomplish in that period. But keep in mind that once it is done, you need to focus on yourself, your well-being, and your relationships outside of work.

Understand what is your role 

Reading your contract and your job prescription will go a long way. You should keep in mind what you were hired to do since it will give you some sense of structure. If your boss asks more of you, you can try and talk to them about what is needed of you, and what work you are doing extra.

Be open to help

But you may also want to keep in mind that if you are asked different things at work, it can be a chance for you to show more of yourself. This can lead not only to learning new abilities, but also can open the possibility of future promotion. You just need to learn how to balance this.

Discover what is the extra mile you can do that will be seen as positive to your superiors, and what are the ones that will just drain you even more.

Keep your area organized 

When you work at a call center, you will most likely have your workspace. Leaving it organized will go a long way to help you feel better at work. It may also make your work easier since you will have everything you need right by you. 

Take some time off 

Having some time off, be it on vacation, or even just some days to chill at home will help you recharge. So create a routine that will allow you to have some time off when possible. This will surely help you to come back more energized and motivated.

Exercise 

Exercising is a great way to cope with depression. It helps you release stress and improves your mood because of the rush of endorphins you get afterward. If you still don’t exercise, you may even start with a short walk.

Focus on the good you have done

When you work in a call center you can start to focus more on what went wrong. It may be easier to remember the clients you couldn’t help, or that were rude to you. But try to keep in mind the ones you managed to help. 

There likely were more of those, than the negative experiences. So try to look from that perspective.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can working in a Call Center make me depressed? 

Why do people quit working in call centers? 

They usually quit because they don’t feel valued enough, this can be in work relationships, or even financially. They can also quit if they feel that the company doesn’t give them enough tools to do a good job. 

The lack of technology will prevent them from doing a good job. Having a negative work environment can also be a reason why they quit. It can be because of a negative experience with a boss, or a coworker that complains too much.

What does burnout feel like? 

When a person is burned out, they will avoid or even procrastinate doing their responsibilities, it can be that they take longer to do things. Aside from that, they can begin to isolate themselves from others. 

A person with burnout can start to use food, alcohol, or even drugs as a way to cope. And they can start to take their frustrations on others. They can start to skip work or get late to work.

What are the stages of burnout?

Burnout can happen in some stages. The first one is the honeymoon phase. This means a moment in which you can feel like everything is perfect. You may feel incredibly energized and may want to go beyond your limits to prove yourself.

There is another phase of onset stress. In that period the person can begin to feel a little anxious, and more irritated. In this phase, the person may neglect their self-care. After that, there is the phase of chronic stress, which means you didn’t manage to decrease your stress levels during the onset phase.

In this phase, you can begin to experience outbursts, and you may begin to miss deadlines, or even skip work. You may begin to drink too much alcohol as a way to avoid your responsibilities. 

After that, there is the proper burnout phase. In that, the person loses track completely of their self-care, their physical symptoms will be worse, and they may not feel so motivated.

And when burnout becomes habitual burnout, it means that the burnout has become a part of your life. The symptoms become chronic, and you can become isolated and avoid doing things.

What is the hardest part of running a call center? 

There are many challenges to running a call center. One can be dealing with employees that are not satisfied with what they are doing. Another side of dissatisfaction is one of the clients. And finally dealing with all the tools and technology that are involved in call centers can be difficult.

Is crying a nervous breakdown?

Not necessarily, crying can be a way of putting your emotions out, it can even be a positive. It is a form of externalizing your emotions. But in some cases, it can be a sign of mental breakdown. 

When it happens more often than what you have been used to, and it seems to happen in the most strange times, it can be a sign of a mental breakdown.

Conclusion 

This article explained how working in a call center queue is so stressful that it leads people to develop depression. The article also showed what are ways to prevent that from happening, and cope with it as you feel depressed.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.

References

https://www.zendesk.com/blog/call-center-burnout/