Signs and Symptoms of Stress Need to be Detected Early to Prevent Contact Centre Burnout Happening

Signs and Symptoms of Stress Need to be Detected Early to Prevent Contact Centre Burnout Happening

With the rise of social media, consumers are becoming more demanding, yet contact centres are falling behind in customer service. Employees are pressured to work harder and longer hours with less support, creating high turnover rates and unhappy workers.

This unhappiness creates a whole new set of problems for business owners who rely on these employees to power their business and provide quality customer service.

This is especially true for contact centres that rely on contractors. Compressing the time frame of a project into shorter, more frequent bursts can cause burnout among workers who aren’t receiving enough support from management. 

Contractor turnover rates are high, which means they need to be replaced, trained and supported more frequently. This can take a lot of time and resources, which could be used towards supporting the customer service team.

Employees who are facing contact centre burnout may not deliver quality work or may even begin to sabotage the business itself, just to get revenge for how they feel about their situation. 

If you’re concerned that your contact centre employees are beginning to feel like they’re on the fast track to burnout, there are some telltale signs that you should be aware of.

Symptoms of contact centre burnout

A lack of motivation and interest in daily tasks

Employees who are struggling with burnout may simply stop caring about what they do at work, creating a lack of motivation.

A decrease in time spent at work

Employees who are burnt out may feel the need to escape from their situation or put as much distance between themselves and work as possible. This could lead them to begin arriving late, leaving early or simply putting in less effort into their daily tasks.

Decreased communication with management

Employees who are burnt out may feel stuck in a situation they can’t control, leading them to withdraw from communication with their supervisors and managers.

A decrease in quality of work

Burnout can cause employees to make more mistakes or create mistakes that would have been easily avoided if they were properly focused on their work.

A lack of interest or energy to perform well in meetings or training sessions:  Employees who are burnt out may not want to be at work, let alone participate in something that is meant to help them grow and improve themselves personally and professionally.

Frequent illnesses or a decrease in ability to cope with physical stress

Employees who are burnt out may feel tired all of the time and have a difficult time coping with physical stressors at work, such as standing for long periods or working in a hot or cold environment.

Moodiness or increased irritability

Burnout can cause employees to feel frustrated and emotional, even when something doesn’t necessarily warrant it.

Experiencing nightmares or sleep difficulties

Burnout can cause employees to feel stressed or anxious about their job, causing them to have difficulty sleeping at night.

Withdrawing from social situations with friends and family members

Employees who are burnt out may find that they no longer have the time to spend with friends or family, leading them to avoid social situations in general.

Increased conflict when interacting with supervisors, co-workers or even the public

Employees who are burnt out may feel frustrated when they’re told what to do and when to do it, causing them to act out when given instructions. They may also become frustrated to the point of actual anger when dealing with other employees, supervisors or customers.

Decreased productivity

Employees who are burnt out may simply no longer care about what they do at work, leading them to cut corners on their tasks and complete less work overall. They may also feel tired all of the time, which could make it difficult for them to focus on their work.

How can contract centres prevent employees from suffering from burnout?

Employees who are well rested and have their basic needs met are better equipped to deal with stress at work. Their ability to cope with work pressures and the stress that comes with it improves, which then reduces the risk of burnout.

Here are some tips on how contract centres can prevent burnout:

1) Don’t overload employees

Contract centres should monitor workloads and make sure they don’t get too high or push employees to their limits. If this doesn’t happen, those employees who are already stretched to the limit will suffer from burnout.

2) Give employees opportunities for development

Employees need to be encouraged and given opportunities for training so they can feel confident when doing their jobs. If they don’t, then they’ll become cynical and lose motivation.

3) Encourage teamwork

Employees should work together in teams. This allows them to support each other and avoid burnout.

4) Promote positive relationships

Managers should foster trusting and supportive team environments by encouraging open communication and encouraging staff to help each other out when needed.

5) Reward good performance

When employees do well, they should be rewarded for it. If not, then they will feel undervalued and unappreciated, which can lead to burnout.


It is important that contract centres are able to recognise when employees are getting burned out by their jobs. Employees who continually work in these sorts of environments have a higher chance of reaching burnout than those who do not work at contract centres.

Employers within contract centres must make a conscious effort to keep employees satisfied and productive. This is accomplished through proper scheduling, rotating jobs often, giving frequent feedback about how work is being done, and making the atmosphere fun for all employees.

About the author


Tom Bernes

Tom Bernes is the Editorial Director at The Next Hint Inc.

Prior to joining The Next Hint Inc, Tom had a hand in a number of online and print publications, including as chief copy editor and Government Technology Magazine as managing editor. He also did a stint in Sydney as group editor of RBI Australia's manufacturing group, which is when he also developed an affinity (a love, really) for cricket.

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