How to prepare and get through the graveyard shift
One of the major issues of working in the BPO industry, particularly in the call center sector, is its high turnover rate that's currently at 18 to 20 percent, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). DOLE cited work-related stress and lifestyle diseases due to working the graveyard shift as the main factor that causes high attrition among employees. Working the night shift, however, is necessary especially for call centers and BPO offices with 24/7 operations, since offshore employees and offices need to match the hours and time zones of foreign clients.
Not much difference with day shift working conditions
The call center's working conditions do not cause sickness; rather, it is the agent's unhealthy lifestyle, according to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP). Common health problems among employees are flu, hypertension, and cholesterol, which are usually because employees (like their day shift counterparts), possibly do not eat the right type of food, take vitamins, and exercise regularly. However, working the night shift still poses certain health risks. This study shows that it can ruin your biological clock and make you more prone to musculoskeletal, eyes, and voice disorders as well as insomnia.
What this means for employers and employees
Just like nurses, doctors, security guards, and other people who are active at night, BPO employees need to exert more effort in taking care of their health to succeed and last long in the industry.
At the same time, employers must also invest in ensuring a healthy workforce by providing facilities like clinics, gyms, and sleeping rooms and creating wellness programs in the office to ensure that their employees live a healthy life in and out in the office.
Here are some suggestions to help employees maintain productivity and survive the night shift:
Make sure your room is really bright when you wake up.
Being in a well-lighted room can help stop your body's production of melatonin and ensure you're energized for the night.
Tip: Use a lightbox (a light source used to treat seasonal affective disorder) to get better light quality.
Working out or doing at least 10 minutes of yoga or stretching can boost your energy. The best time to do this is before you start working in the office. It could give you the burst of energy you need, especially if you're the type who easily feels tired once it gets dark.
Tip: Eat a meal or snack at least two hours before your workout.
Start eating healthy.
Instead of ordering from fast food restaurants like McDonalds or Jollibee, cook your own food. Choose lean protein, eggs, vegetables, whole grains like brown rice and pasta.
Tip: Two of your meals should have a half-plate of vegetables, one quarter of lean protein, and one quarter a whole grain. Make sure you get two fruit servings a day.
Keep a water bottle by your side.
It's easy to confuse thirst with hunger; so if you just ate and you're feeling hungry again, just drink water.
Tip: Staying hydrated is necessary to keep your energy levels up while working at night, especially if you like drinking coffee.
Avoid morning light and go to sleep as soon as you can.
Wear sunglasses and make sure you get home as soon as you end your shift. Make your bedroom as dark as possible and switch on the AC to sleep well.
Tip: Ask your doctor about a melatonin supplement in case you really have trouble sleeping. Make sure you follow the correct dosage as it may cause nightmares if too much is consumed.
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