As staff at BT call centres contemplate strike action this week, new research reveals how four out of five UK call centre agents dislike the atmosphere at work.
According to research commissioned by Cincom Systems, only four per cent of call centre agents like the working hours of call centre work, with more than 75 per cent of agents claiming they work in excess of 35 hours a week.
The research, conducted by Benchmark Research, also revealed that 65 per cent of agents do not have qualifications specific to the job and almost three quarters interviewed said they were expected to take overseas calls even though they could not speak another language.
The research's findings has been reinforced by the announcement from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) earlier this week that more than 4,000 call centre agents at BT call centres plan to take action on Monday in the first of a series of one day strikes.
The CWU said the strikes have been called to highlight the discontent call centre workers felt in oppressive working conditions.
Gavin Bradbury, marketing manager at Cincom Systems, said: "From the research it is clear that the conditions of call centres need to be improved. Call centre workers are often electronically monitored, this can make agents feel like their performance is being checked and can be intimidating."
"The most important part of call centres is undoubtedly people, although improved technology can help the agents," Bradbury continued. "Companies needed to invest in proper training or invest in systems which can make life easier for agents."
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