BPO employees face health risk

The Indian outsourcing industry is facing a steep rise in the attrition rate. A survey highlighted the fact that one of the main reasons for the high attrition rate is the "stress factor". It also revealed that 83 per cent of employees have sleeping disorders. Moreover, 8.5 per cent are reported to have been suffering from ear problems, 14.9 per cent from digestive disorders and 10.6 per cent have been victims of eye-related problems. This survey came as a severe blow to the industry which is seen as one of the largest revenue generating industries in recent times.

Rukmini Bora, manager, human resource, WNS says, "We are aware of the attrition rate due to health problems. Hence, we have designed a special criteria for recruitment where we focus more on the candidate's health and only after confirming that he would be able to handle the hectic shifts, we recruit him. However, most BPOs don't consider this an issue." Long working hours, high working targets are a few factors that increase stress levels. Employees also opine there are also psychological problems concerning job satisfaction and inability to meet expectations that fuels depression. Toby, associate manager, Vertex says, "It would be advisable for people not to set his expectations too high."

According to psychologist Gaurav Gupta, "Everything has a flip side to it and the same applies to the BPO industry. On one hand, they are a boost to the country's economy, however on the other, their ‘follow the sun' concept is giving rise to health-related disorders."

Many BPOs have come up with different relief measures to help their employees. Wipro, has psychologists on board to help their employees. BPOs in the capital have come up with gyms and recreational activities for their employees to bust stress and are hopeful that they will soon be able to tackle this crisis.

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