12/22/2003

Call centre early warning system for stressed staff

Call-centres are a fast growing industry. As well as being highly efficient,
however, these workplaces are known hotbeds of stress and tension. "Stress is
the number one problem in call-centres," agree call-centre manager and
employees.

A newly developed computer system monitors call centre stress levels and can
automatically reduce the pressure on overwrought workers.
The new system, called Angelo, constantly measures workers' heart rates and
perspiration. It controls the number of calls each worker receives and can
issue an early warning if it detects undue stress. Angelo monitors the heart
rate through a sensor attached to the ear. Another sensor attached to a
worker's finger measures skin conductivity to produce a perspiration estimate.

The system compares readings to psychological profiles produced from earlier
psychometric testing. It decides whether a worker is suffering from
above-normal anxiety and if worker is stressed-out, it tries to calm them down.

It does this by automatically reducing the number of calls or emails put
through each hour. It can also advise them to take a break or warn a supervisor
that they may be close to breaking point. The system is even hooked up to a
building's air conditioning and ventilation and can control a room's
temperature to help cool workers down.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work