The Split-level Controversy

Call Center Environments

Induction vs Exhaust
Designing Call Center Environments

Traditionally, call centers are places where a lot of people occupy the same space answering phones, soliciting business, taking orders and/or troubleshooting consumer problems. The environment is extremely noisy and usually extremely Spartan in furnishings. The typical boiler room has half-height cubicle walls separating people who may have nothing more than a computer and a telephone with a headset. This surely isnít conducive to working an eight hour shift since there are no creature comforts. At Americon, we design work environments that are ergonomically sound and stimulate productivity.

There are a number of factors to consider when designing a call center workstation:

  • - Since call centers run multiple shifts, it is important that the workstation is totally adjustable for people of all sizes and shapes.
  • - All workstations must meet ADA requirements for the physically impaired.
  • - The workstation should promote spatiality in a crowded environment.
  • - Workstations should be adjustable from sit to stand to relieve the stress of being in one position for eight hours at a time.
  • - Above counter paper and manual storage should be mounted within armís reach.
  • - If there is a CPU, it is important that itís tucked away in a place that doesnít restrict leg room.
  • - A personal environmental system that controls heat to warm legs and a variable speed desktop fan is well worth the investment.
  • - All tools should be in armís reach and easily accessible while responding to or making a call.
  • - Some sort of lockable personal storage is also a desirable addition that makes the workstation feel like home.
  • - Sound absorbent fabrics barriers and headsets will help to reduce noise levels.
  • - Barriers between operators should be high enough to give privacy but low enough to communicate over the top.
  • - The ability of a supervisor to listen in on a separate headset to calls while the calltaker is working may pay dividends.
  • - The workstation should be rugged and designed to withstand day to day abuse.
  • - A durable 24◊7 adjustable chair is a necessity.

Each call center environment has it own ideosyncracies. So, you may find that a few of the above suggestions do not fit your needs or may be nice but don't fit your pocketbook. The goal is to make sure that every thing the calltaker needs is within arms length to minimize disruption during a call.

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