5 Tips For Call Centers During Cold Season

sneeze_wide-d53305fbfb91fb1d12d5c3b99d322959432f2309-s6-c30You know the story:

You work in a call center. The guy in the cubicle on the other side of the room coughs. The next day, he disappears out of the office for a day or two. Then, the person next to him coughs and suddenly, they disappear too. The coughs fall like dominoes through the cubicles and finally, you’re the one hacking and now you’re calling out sick, stuck in bed with an aching cold.

The sounds of sniffles, achooes and coughs in a call center present the soundtrack of, well, winter time (yes, even in sunny San Diego). It’s not one we like to listen to but it’s one we should not ignore. We are stuck in close proximity with each other, sharing friendly conversations and icky germs. Each sneeze becomes the sound of doomsday:

WHO WILL GET SICK NEXT?!

Working in a call center and getting sick well, totally sucks!

Sometimes, even the healthiest of people (yeah, YOU!) catch a cold or the flu. I personally find I get sick once a year, usually around January. I started to feel an itchy throat last Wednesday, ignored it on purposed, trying to convince myself I was NOT getting sick. I worked from home Thursday, but could hardly keep things going with how horrible I felt. I then fell into bed that evening and didn’t get out until Saturday morning. Yuck!

So, while we may not be able to prevent the germiest of germs from infiltrating the close quarters of the call center, there are several ways we can at least keep them at bay for a bit longer:

  1. Scrub A Dub! Wash your hands! Keep antibacterial hand sanitizer around and encourage people to use it…and often! We keep bottles of this around the office and customer service reps also have some on their desk to use.
  2. Tidy Up! Make sure your team keeps their desk areas free of dust and trash. It may even help to have a professional cleaner do a deep clean once a month or more to rid the entire space of germs.
  3. Take Good Care! Proactive care, that is. Obviously, this is a basic one but I had to throw it in. This doesn’t mean you will not ever get sick if you’re staying healthy by exercising, taking vitamins and eating all your fruits and veggies…but when you do catch the cold, it can help you kick it a bit faster.
  4. Air Mail! If you have the ability to bring an air purifier to the small spaces in the office, do it! It may help send the threat of potential sickness far, far away.
  5. Steer Clear: Consider giving your team the option to telecommute when they are ill. This way, they’ll keep the illness within the boundaries of their own walls instead of bringing it to work and sharing it with everyone else. Sharing isn’t always caring!

So, be well my call center friends! While you may catch a cold this season, I do hope it’s short lived and you have the time to rest and eat lots of chicken noodle soup and have hot tea delivered to you as you lay in bed, resting up.

And, I’d love to hear how YOU stay healthy during cold season. Please do share!

[custom_author=jenny]

 

Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *