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BPO Health Concern: Shifting Schedules

Why shifting schedules should be a concern by BPO employees?

Human beings should be awake and working during the day then sleep after the sun sets. That is a belief that exists in the status quo and there is a basic scientific explanation that backs it up. However, as a species that is known to be the most adaptive, we are able to modify how our body works even in the course of shifting schedules. Depending on the circumstances and demands we can work during the night and sleep during the day. That situation is true for most call center agents and BPO employees.

While being human gives us limitless advantages of working anytime we want, we should be concerned about its effects on our body especially when frequent shifting schedules become your regular endeavor.

One of the first concerns of those who are considering to work in a call center is how are they going to sleep during the day. Sleeping is a very important part of our body’s routine. It does not only revive our body’s energy after a long day’s work but also repairs it.

Your Body Clock and Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)

 A person cannot sleep due to shifting schedule
Image taken from webmd.com http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/

Depending on the company’s nature, an employee can be assigned to different schedules at a given time forcing your sleeping moments to take place during the day, night or even afternoon.

The body’s “biological clock,” or 24-hour cycle (circadian rhythm), can be affected by light or darkness, which can make the body think it is time to sleep or wake up.

Not all individuals can adapt to switching schedules that means others have trouble sleeping when the sun is up. SWSD is characterized by insomnia and excessive sleepiness.

According to Business Insider: Sleep loss is a major problem in our 24/7 culture. Here are 10 out of 25 unfortunate risks of partial and total sleep deprivation:

1. Irritability
2. Headaches
3. Inability to Learn
4. Weight Gain
5. Poor vision
6. Distraction
7. Slowness
8. Impaired Speech
9. Unhappiness and Depression
10. Memory Problems

Read more…

It isn’t surprising that many call center agents are suffering from SWSD.

Even if you work through the whole night and a rising sun means you need to sleep, your body clock may consider the latter to be the proper time to work. It then changes your drowsy atmosphere to a dynamic feeling, giving you more energy for you to consume. Most call center employees use this moments to do some chores like pay their bills or get their laundry done without noticing that they have been awake for more than 16 hours granting them less time to sleep before their next duty.

Not reaching the prescribe hours of sleep can make you more irritable and less able to concentrate thus affecting your performance at work. Sleep deprivation can also decrease one’s immune system making you more susceptible to widespread diseases. It also puts your heart at risk provided that your heart works for longer hours.

Caffeine and Energy Drinks

When the night seduces your body to sleep but your responsibilities at work stay piled up what you normally do is to take a cup of joe for extra energy. At the same time, drinking coffee during your late night work hours will increase your sleep deficit since it gives you a high level of alertness during the day.

Working straight for long hours without sleep and taking energy drinks is also associated with deaths related to heart failures.


Time Management

A happy call center agent

One should not be discouraged to work in the BPO industry because managing your time is the only key to shifting schedules. As a call center agent or an employee of a BPO company, you must be looking for ways how to get enough sleep and counting the hours before you doze off is a good idea to keep track of it especially that you don’t have the sun to tell you.

Even if you feel depressed on having no social life because you are working in an industry without a stable schedule, you should realize that your health is one of your top priority. Situating your recreational activities during weekends or your day off is a better way than squeezing them during workdays at the expense of your sleep.

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