A Call Center Case Study: The Impact of Workstation Design and Work Tools on Performance
This case study speaks about a Midwest consumer retailer who owned a few call centers and wanted to analyze the relationship between performance of customer service representatives (CSRs) and workstation features in terms of comfort and facilities. For the research, two call centers were considered that were similar in technology, work and the demographics of employees. One of the call centers had higher panels than the other. A questionnaire was given to the total 385 employees, 89% of which were females. The questionnaire collected information about work environment including work tool/workstation adjustability, workstation support for various tasks and ambient environmental conditions such as lighting, acoustics and air quality. Self-reported data on job satisfaction, psychological stress, and job performance physical & visual discomfort was also collected from the CSRs. The results showed that poor air quality had adverse effect on the performance of individuals. Higher work panels aggravated the situation by enhancing visual and physical discomfort. Better interiors supported greater job satisfaction. Further, adjustable workstation features helped in lowering the stress in CSRs. The results of the experiments leads to the following conclusions - simple design modifications can have a great impact on the CSRs production. Panels greater than 64' enhance visual and physical discomfort. Proper vents for air circulation can improve the quality of the air. Finally, workstations must have adjustable features.