Survey: British Call-Center Workers Call In Sick A lot

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New figures from the United Kingdom show that call-center workers are twice as likely to call in sick, compared with other sectors of British workers. The British government survey shows that nearly 5 percent of customer service workers had taken at least one day off in the previous week. The average is 2.5 percent. The high rate of sick days could explain long waits listening to repetitive hold music.

ARI SHAPIRO, host:

And our last word in business today is press 9 and call back tomorrow.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

New data from the U.K. shows that call center workers are twice as likely to call in sick, compared to employees in other industries.

SHAPIRO: It could be the stress of fielding complaints from angry customers.

MONTAGNE: It could be the boredom of sitting in front of a computer screen all day wearing a headset.

SHAPIRO: Whatever the reason, the British government survey shows that nearly five percent of customer service workers have taken a day off in the previous week. The national average is two and a half percent. That high rate of sick days could explain the long, leisurely afternoons we all get to spend listening to hold music. When a reporter called the Call Center Management Association to ask about this, he could only reach an answering machine. And that's the business news on Morning Edition from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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