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5 Ways Customer-facing Staff Can Manage Stress

Anyone in a front line position will come up against moments of stress. Stress is commonly a result of work overload but, often it is a by-product of always wanting to do the best they can for their customers. That is as true for our Liberty and illumin customers as it is for Softlink IC’s Customer Support representatives.

So, we canvassed our Support Team Members and some of our customers, and came up with a few ways they manage to reduce their stress levels and remain productive.

Exercise

This one may be hard to believe, but apparently, exercise is quite an effective stress releaser!

For some, exercise is playing a sport, for example, tennis, cricket or martial arts. We all, not just the Support team, make sure our Technical Services Manager Sarah Thompson stays as stress-free as possible. She can flip a mountain… seriously.

Our customers also agreed that sport – from netball to water aerobics – is an excellent way for them to manage stress.

Many of our Support Team exercise at work by using a ball instead of a chair or using a standing desk in the office. Some of our customers do the same but add the point that they spend a lot of time running around helping their users find material.

Taking up a Hobby

Some of our customers and some of our Support team firmly believe having a hobby is a great way to ease stress. It is a way to do something just for fun. The Australian Government’s Department of Health has a website on it as does The American Institute of Stress.

According to an international study carried out by researchers at University College London, Princeton, and Stony Brook Universities, published in the Lancet and summarised on the NHS News website, having a hobby can even add years to your life.

It could be an adrenalin rush type of hobby. Some like parachuting or hang gliding, hobbies could also be viewed as exercising. For others, belonging to a book or gardening club, or being a volunteer, is an outlet for relieving their stress.

Whatever your hobbies are, they work. If you don’t have an activity or interest that is a hobby, the advice is to get one!

Humour

Laughing is proven to reduce stress. But, did you know it also keeps your heart well, uses a few calories and gives your immune system a little boost? Given the benefits, we should all find opportunities to have a bit of a laugh even when our jobs can be stressful.

Fun television shows, movies, books, and comics can all provide opportunities to laugh. So can relationships you have with colleagues and those working for any business you collaborate with.

Both Softlink IC’s Support Representatives and our customers face challenging situations. While they all have many things in common, as do most collaborators, one of the best is the number of opportunities they take to have a laugh.

Our Support team know and trust each other and our customers – it is a collaboration. When you know a bit about each, other finding things to laugh and joke about is more natural and so beneficial!

Staying Organised

Staying organised, whether as a Support Team member or a customer means there is less room for error or for missing critical issues that can raise stress levels.

Being organised means everyone is more efficient and productive. In most instances, problems are solved more quickly. That is as true for our customers as it is for our Support team members.

Limit the Temptation to Multitask

Most of us think that we can do more than one thing at a time. Depending on the situation, that is entirely possible of course. But, quite often it is a less productive way to manage tasks and a more stressful way to operate!

For our customers and Support Team members, there is always a lot to do, but multi-tasking often isn’t the most effective way of solving problems or managing workloads.

Sometimes it’s not possible to work through tasks undeterred by anything else that may come up. Sometimes the need to prioritise “on the fly” is necessary. For example, a critical issue arises while they are in the middle of completing a task.

Some propose that to stop what you are doing to attend to the critical issue before continuing with the previous task is multi-tasking. In reality, it’s not. It is enabling you to prioritise which is not the same.

Work doesn’t have to be stressful every second of your working day even for inherently stressful jobs. There is always time for a laugh, a chat or a bit of exercise. Keeping order when chaos threatens and doing one thing at a time from start to finish whenever possible also helps. Ah, the ideal world is fantastic, isn’t it!

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