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Stress Exhaustion and Work Performance of Married Call Center Agents

By

Adobas, Loraine A. Sabanal, Andr Gil I.

RATIONALE OF THE STUDY Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger whether its real or imagined, the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the fight-orflight reaction, or the stress response. The stress response is the bodys way of protection Each person handles stress differently, one person can thrive in a situation that creates great distress for another. Exhaustion, defined as extreme physical tiredness and loss of strength due to a lack of food and sleep, overwork, and stress. It causes the sufferer to be constantly tired and physically worn out.

Stress

exhaustion

is

combination

of

physical

and emotional exhaustion that is the result of prolonged high stress situations. Combined with lack of rest, exhaustion can be highly debilitating. People who suffer from this condition feel overwhelmed by the events around them. Many also experience feelings of frustration and helplessness. If not addressed, it can lead to additional health problems. Stress exhaustion also affects work performance. Making the right decision can be very difficult for an individual who is suffering from exhaustion. Marriage and work are so closely interdependent in the experience of the vast majority of the people. These two realities are so connected with each other that often times, married couples have difficulties to manage which results to varied problems from children rearing to broken marriages.

One of the interesting jobs married individuals usually go into nowadays are call center jobs. Although other work requires a graveyard shift, it gives their employees a considerable economic gain without being conscious of your educational attainment. Married individuals who were not able to pursue their studies can work in call centers as long as you have a good English proficiency.

Call centers have existed for decades but have only really mushroomed in the last five years or so. Call center agents experience high levels of stress exhaustion. Call center agents experience dissonance when they are required to act pleasant with clients when they feel entirely otherwise. This increases anxiety, burnout,

depression, and psychosomatic complaints.

The researchers are 3rd year students taking up Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Cebu Sacred Heart College. We intend to have this study because we find it relevant since Call Center (BPO Industry) has become phenomenal. It has been instilled in our minds that there are naturally positive and negative sides of things and events so we delved into making a research to seek for the downside particularly on stress exhaustion and work performance of the call center agents working in this industry. Also, this study is in line with our requirements on our subject, Nursing Research.

THEORETICAL BACKGROUND This study will be anchored on the theory of Hans Selye (1956, 1974), a Hungarian endocrinologist, who identified physiologic aspects of stress, which he labeled the general adaptation syndrome with. He used laboratory animals to assess biologic system changes, the stages of body's physical response to pain, heat, toxins, and restraint, and later the mind's emotional response to real or perceived stressors. He determined three stages of reaction of stress (Shiela L. Videbeck 2001). This study also uses Selyes Optimal levels of stress model as basis.

Review of Related Literature

The following were identified as the negative effects of a call center job that requires a 24/7 schedule: limited time spent with family and friends, low satisfaction level in terms of sexual

relationships of spouses, existence of flings, difficulty in managing errands and household chores, poor communication and interaction with the spouse, and poor health . "The daily experience of repetitive, intensive and stressful work, frequently results in employee "burnout". In other words, exhaustion. No doubt Call Center is a growing business today and a source of employment for many Filipinos. This simply shows how many laborers they catered; a lot of family whose breadwinner is a call center agent relies on call centers for their daily sustenance. But more than economic gain there are hidden struggles and problems that call center agents face especially with marital and family issues.

Statement of the Problem The main purpose of this study is to study the quality of relationship between stress exhaustion and work performance of married call center agents in IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City based on the following categories ; economic, social, emotional, physical and spiritual needs.

Specifically, the research study aimed to answer the following questions : 1. What is the profile of call center agents as to : a) age b) sex c) length of marriage d) number of children e) age of children f) work of the spouse

2. What are the extent of stress exhaustion of call center work on marriage in the following aspects as: a) Economic needs b) Social needs c) Emotional needs d) Physical needs e) Spiritual needs

3. How does the job of a call center agent affect the following : a) Work Performance b) Marriage ( relationship with spouse )

4. What are the perceived ways by call center agents to reduce stress caused by call center job in order to maintain/ improve healthy marriage ?

Statement of Null Hypothesis The following hypotheses were formulated: 1. There is no significant difference on the extent of stress exhaustion of call center job on marriage of call center agents based on the (a) economic, (b) social, (c) emotional, (d) physical, and (e) spiritual needs of the respondents. 2. There is no significant difference on marriage and values call center agents upheld most based on (a) economic gain, (b) social relationship, (c) emotional security (d) physical well being and (e) spiritual growth of the respondents. 3. There is no significant difference on call center agents

understanding on how his/her work as a call center agent affects her performance and marriage. 4. There is no significant difference on call center agents perception on stress with call center work in relation to marriage.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

RESEARCH DESIGN The researchers are using a non-experimental design,

descriptive type. RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT Call centers in IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City

RESEARCH RESPONDENTS The subjects of the study are call center agents who work in different call centers particularly from Convergys Inc., Qualfon Inc., Stream Global Services Inc. and Xlibris Publishing, Inc.

RESEARCH INSTRUMENT Questionnaires formed by the researchers were used in data gathering which contains the profile of the respondents such as age, gender, civil status. Some parts of the questionnaire asks them to supply answers on how they are affected by stress at work as married call center agents.

RESEARCH PROCEDURE Data Gathering : A letter of transmittal was presented to the Dean of the College of Nursing of Cebu Sacred Heart College, Talisay City, Cebu asking permission to conduct this research. As the letter was approved, the survey was conducted. Respondents were given ample instructions and time in answering the tool. Responses on each situation were tabulated and results were calculated.

Treatment of Data : The statistical tool and technique used to ensure a valid and systematic percentage. The percentage will be computed using the formula: P = F x 100 N presentation. Analysis and interpretation of data is

Where : P= Percentage F= Frequency N= No. of Respondents 100= Constant Value to be multiplied

APPENDIX C Research Tool I.Demographic Data : Age : Sex : Length of marriage : Work of Spouse : Number of children : Age of children :

II: Problem- Type Questionnaire LEGEND: 3- Agree 2- Partly Agree 1- Disagree INSTRUCTION: Answer the following questions by checking the corresponding choices below given. Queries I am financially contented with the job I have. I am confident that I have a good performance as a call center agent. Agree 3 Partly Agree 2 Disagree 1

On my point of view, I am working in an employee-

friendly company. I am impressed of my

immediate performance leader. My immediate conducts coaching agents. Hitting the

supervisors as a team

supervisor one-on-one

sessions

for

the

target

for

scorecards is easy. I am well appreciated of my contribution to the team. I receive incentives for outstanding performance on top of my regular monthly salary. I enjoy the company of my friends in the office. We often have buildings to team

strengthen

camaraderie. I have the plan of staying as a call center agent for a long time.

I have the plan of working in the company I am working in right now for a long time.

am

not

pressured

in

meeting the scorecards for maintaining good performance. There is no hard in balancing my time at work and at home. I and my spouse often talk about together the we finances decide and on

budget for expenses. My spouse and I argue on financial matters. I and my spouse find an opportunity to spend time together such as on weekends. As a couple, we attend to any family occasions. As a couple, I and husband regularly go my to

church together or attend to church activities.