Un mundo en el teléfono

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A World on the Phone
Experiences of call centre workers around the globe

A world on the phone
Experiences of call centre workers around the globe

A Report for UNI Global Union Written by Andrew Bibby September 2009

A world on the phone – Experiences of call centre workers around the globe

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Contents
Introduction...............................................................................................................................................................5 Around the world ......................................................................................................................................................6 Helping customers – the rewards of call centre work..............................................................................................8 Finding our way: Call centre career paths ................................................................................................................8 Give and Take: Fair Flexibility ..................................................................................................................................8 Give me a break.......................................................................................................................................................9 Health comes first ...................................................................................................................................................10 Stress, stress, stress..............................................................................................................................................10 Stronger Together ................................................................................................................................................... 11 Some resources .....................................................................................................................................................12

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A world on thephone
Experiences of call centre workers around the globe
Introduction Call centres have become a part of everyday life. Buying and selling goods, arranging travel, sorting out finances or fixing IT problems are among the many tasks which are more and more often done by phone. Hundreds of thousands of people today work in an occupation which, fifteen years ago, was almost unheard of. We’vetalked to twelve call centres workers, from across the globe. They live in different societies and cultures, but have much in common. They share a pride in the professionalism they want to bring to their job, and the satisfaction which comes from helping callers. Their work processes are similar and their working time is controlled by the same automated call distribution (ACD) technology systems. Butwhile working processes are similar, working conditions can differ enormously. Some centres provide good conditions for their staff, but others are driven by unrealistic performance targets, where human beings are subservient to the technology, where work is stressful or even dangerous, and where it’s hard to deliver a quality service. This is unacceptable. UNI Global Union has long beencampaigning for all call centre workers to provide decent work. This report, through the voices of the people who work daily in call centres, suggests ways to achieve this.

A world on the phone – Experiences of call centre workers around the globe

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Around the world Anna Bloomquist lives in Everett, a town in Washington state, USA. Her employer is a major telecom company. She deals with businesscustomers who have problems with their mobile phones. Cléia da Silva, 19, lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. She’s worked for three months in a call centre run by an international call centre subsidiary of a major European telecom company. Sidney Ribeiro previously worked in a range of jobs including that of a bank clerk. He was unemployed at the time he first took a call centre job and now...
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