When it comes to providing excellent customer service, there is one thing for certain – it takes dedication. That dedication can take a toll on the agents and support team simply because of the amount of time spent in front of a computer, typically sitting at a desk. The best thing an agent, or any professional, can do is break up the routine and stop sitting for extended periods.
Why Does It Matter?
We’ve been performing office jobs for some time now, so aren’t our bodies used to all the sitting? No! The human body is not meant to sit for hours on end. Even after a short period of time, sitting causes the body harm through pressure on the spine, blood pooling in the legs, and tension in the neck and back.
Often the most common culprit is poor posture. That is why ergonomics are so important. Taking the time ensure your desk and chair fit you well, your monitor is aligned properly and you have a natural reach for your keyboard and mouse will go a long way to alleviate tension in the neck, shoulders and arms. But that is only the beginning. You have to make a point to take breaks and give your body an opportunity to increase blood flow. Otherwise, you’ll stay tense, sore and spend more time at the chiropractor. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate the tension and associated back pain that often comes with prolonged sitting.
Particularly for the agent that works from home, there is no reason to have a typical desk. There are many options for changing up the traditional desk that requires hours of sitting, including a standing desk, a treadmill at your desk, and even exercise equipment close by. In addition, there are exercise balls and exercise ball chairs now to help you exercise your core and improve balance.
Stop and Stretch
Take a few minutes every hour to stand up, stretch and move positions. There are many stretching exercises that can be done right at your desk, even inside your cubicle. Set a reminder so you don’t forget. And yes sometimes your workload does not allow for you to stretch right then, but many of the following exercises are so simple, you can do them between transactions:
- Stand up and sit down – don’t use your hands to help you up and down. Simply stand up and sit down repeatedly. This is one you can do even on the phone.
- Shrug your shoulders – even though your mom probably told you not to, shrugging your shoulders helps release tension in the neck and shoulders. This one can be done quickly and again without interrupting your work flow.
- Work your hands and arms – regardless of the type of transaction, typing is going to be part of any agent’s job. Clench your fists then stretch your fingers. Make circles in the air, the reverse. Shake your hands. Stretch your hands out in front of you and then stretch your arms. Any motion you can make to get the blood flowing will help.
- Remember the lower body – try stretching your legs under your desk by holding them straight and then flexing and pointing your toes.
To improve your range of motion, get back some much needed blood flow, and frankly clear your mind, it’s important to step away from your desk. Take lunch away as much as possible. Take a short stroll around your home or office just to get some blood flow going. If possible, stand up and walk around during phone calls (if you don’t need to take notes).
It’s important to take care of yourself so you can stay healthy. Keeping tension at bay will make your day-to-day tasks much more pleasant!