Managers of Customer Service Workers Will Be Sick About Absence Levels


I wrote last year about an increase in stress levels, depression, heart disease and other Western-style ills among employees of India's outsourcing companies. Many experts fault the boring and/or stressful nature of the work, which also often involves long and/or erratic hours.


Some of the same factors probably come into play in the UK, where a report published by the Office for National Statistics showed that customer service workers, such as those in call centers, were more likely than employees in any profession to take sick days. Almost 5 percent of customer service employees took at least one day off in the week before they were surveyed, reports the Financial Times, nearly double the national average of 2.5 percent.


Other interesting statistics from the report: Employees in the public sector were 22 percent more likely than their private-sector counterparts to call in sick. Women had an absence rate of 2.9 percent, vs. 2.4 percent for men. The absence rate for those employed by companies with fewer than 25 workers is 2.3 percent, vs. a rate of 2.8 percent for those working at companies with 500 or more employees. The highest levels of absence were seen in 16-to-24-year-old men and 25-to-34-year-old women.


A total of 5.8 million work days were lost to sickness or injury over the past year, according to the ONS.