What You Need to Know About Call Center Furniture
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The call center is an important division of your organization. The people that run the call center and those who man the phones are some of your most valuable assets. At the same time, the call center is often the most costly division of the enterprise. To try and keep costs down as much as possible, it’s not uncommon to purchase call center furniture in bulk to meet the most basic of needs. The problem with this approach is that it really doesn’t meet the basic needs, and instead can cause more problems in the long run.
A recent post on CNET offered insight into this phenomenon, especially as it relates to the ergonomic workstation. For the call center, the agent tends to sit in the same spot all day long, answering calls, solving problems and identifying opportunities. They have a lot to do while sitting at a workstation. If the workstation isn’t designed for the optimal health of the agent, he or she may be bound for productivity-killing problems.
If an employee spends too much time in the same position, it starts to take its toll on the body. The aches and pains that start to set in are easy to brush aside, assuming they are nothing more than the result of a long work day. What they may be indicating, however, are bigger problems that if not addressed, can lead to chronic issues. If the call center cares about the productivity of its call center and the long-term health of its employees, the right approach is to evaluate its call center furniture.
In the process, an ergonomic consultation is a smart move. Short of having an ergonomic expert on-site, the next best thing is to consider the factors listed below:
Image via Shutterstock
Natural Posture – It’s important for a call center agent to find their natural posture. This generally requires scooting the chair away from the desk to sit comfortably. Such a move includes having both feet on the floor in front of the agent, hands in lap and shoulders relaxed with a little bit of lean toward the back.
Keyboard and Mouse – As the agent is most likely to use the keyboard and mouse more often than almost anything else in the call center, it’s important that both are positioned in such a way that elbows are kept at the sides and arms are at or below a 90-degree angle. This reduces strain. The height and tilt of the keyboard matters, so it should be adjusted according to the natural posture.
Screen – Setting the screen correctly can be as simple as arranging displays in order and setting the distance so that the neck doesn’t have to crane to view the screen. To be sure, the agent should sit back, extend an arm and see where the tips of the fingers land. If they land on the screen, the monitor is in the right place.
The Chair – This piece of call center furniture is perhaps the most important. It is meant to support the back, bottom and posture. To get the best chair, the purchasing manager needs to consider the shape, length and height. If an agent starts to sit in a funny position, it’s likely that the chair needs to be replaced.
Perhaps the most important advice for the call center agent is to remember to get up and move around. Sitting too long in any one place is not good for anyone. Regular activity in a different position is always a good idea.
Edited by Blaise McNamee