For all the beautiful photos you’ll see of leaves changing color in Vermont and harvest festivals and pumpkin pies, the fact remains that autumn can be a depressing time. The summer is over, the days are shorter, and in some parts of the country the temperatures are already dipping below freezing.
Coping with such changes can cast a pall over your call center, and affect agent performance – but only if you let it. Here are some ideas that can result in a more productive fall.
Daylight Savings Time
The one part of autumn that no one likes is setting the clocks back, which throws everyone’s internal clock off for a while, and offers one more hour of darkness at the end of the day. If the transition was rough on your agents this year, next year try to make it more gradual, by adjusting shifts incrementally – say, 15 minutes a day for the four days preceding the change. Lighting adjustments in the call center – especially those that mimic natural light – can help as well, and even prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Breaks are part of every call center shift, but can be more beneficial if agents are encouraged to spend at least part of that time outside. The crisp fall air is stimulating and will boost alertness for when they return to work, especially in the afternoon when attention to detail often begins to slip.
Emphasizing the fun parts of fall can make the season less depressing. Have a costume contest in the days leading up to Halloween. Offer free turkeys or pumpkin pies to agents who perform the best in November.
Autumn holiday decorations can make a call center more festive. Some new furniture, a fresh coat of paint and some plants (real ones, not the plastic variety) also contribute to a more pleasant work environment.
Plan Ahead for Cold and Flu Season
This tip benefits your agents and your customers as well. More of your employees will get sick this time of year. Recognize that it’s coming, give them the time off, and call upon your holiday file of backup and temporary agents to fill in before the Christmas season starts.