As many workers have noticed and bemoaned the fact, the typical call center center cubicle is on the smaller side compared to other individual office workstations. Since employees don’t generally have files or paperwork and really only “need” room for a phone headset and computer, companies tend to pack them in like sardines. There’s a definite financial upside at first glance – more workers can fit in an office space, meaning you are using your square footage to maximum capability – but is it wise?
The downsides of the cubicle farm is that employees often feel cramped as as if the people they work for don’t see them as human. Add to that that 24/7 call centers often require workers to share space, and the lack of personalization may feel dehumanizing. In an industry that already suffers from astronomic turnover rates, finding ways to increase worker satisfaction can often be the only way to bring a truly positive impact to your company’s bottom line.
The number one irritant in a cubicle environment is the noise level. There are several ways to address this issue. One is by addressing the layout of the center; telemarketing workstations are often set up in two rows facing toward a central spine to save space. This means employees are facing one another and subject to all of the noise from each other’s cubicles. You can readily decrease this issue by installing dividers that extend the cubicle upwards, removing the visual and audible distractions. Panels that feature noise dampening materials can improve this method, and help make each workstation a little less noisy.
For shared workstations, privacy panels aren’t all that’s needed – workers also need some separation from the other people who share their space. Offer chair covers, and have strict rules of cubicle use and cleanup between each workers’ shift – include non-allergenic cleaning supplies at each cubicle and put rules into place concerning what is allowed in a cubicle and what is not – including food.
Making your call center employees happier is the key to better employee retention and a reduced turnover rate – which can lower training costs and result in higher productivity!