Health challenges for young employees in BPO sector

December 24, 2011: The young Indians employed in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector are reported to have health issues. This observation was made in a recent study that was carried out in this sector by the doctors of the Safdarjung hospital. Those employees working on the shifts demonstrated abnormal sleeping timings and duration. This has resulted in increase in the instances of depression, hypertension, anxiety and a rise in accidents or near accident conditions on the roads. In addition to this, this group was found to be addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, and hot and cold beverages when compared to others in the same age group.

Even though shifts are present in other sectors such as aviation, hospitality, journalism and hospitals, the mental stress as a result of work is found to be more in the BPO industry. In the case of other sectors with graveyard shifts, the work schedules are leaner and needs only fewer employees when compared to the BPO sector. The BPO industry on the other hand serves the global market and so requires more employees to work in such graveyard shifts.

It is said that the various companies in the industry have taken serious steps to overcome the problem. The effort ranges from initiating a work life balance routine among employees to requesting clients to close the day two hours early. The companies have been searching for out of the box options to not just work better, but also to maintain their manpower healthy.

To help the employees with a friendly approach, an employee assistance programme with professional outfits was introduced which offers different services that are related to the field of human behavior.

Most of the health problems arising out of shifts are case dependent. The Shiftwork Maladaption Syndrome (SMS) is a cluster of signs and symptoms that are observed in workers who are intolerant to shifts. In this case, the condition of the employees becomes worse when they are continually exposed to shifts. The problems that arise from this include sleep deprivation to marital or relationship issues. The best approach to solve this is to take proper rest and get recreational. The employees working in graveyard shifts should get enough sleep, maintain a proper diet, have a good friends circle and should also spent time on social media. This can bring about notable differences in one’s life.

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