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Working the call center night shift -- tips for agents

The trick to working the call center night shift is to get into a routine, says Donna Fluss in this expert tip.

I recently started as a trainee in a call center, and it's my first customer service position. I am working the night shift in the call center and have found this schedule to be difficult. Do you have any tips for call center agents who work the night shift?

We actually asked this question to call center agents who worked our 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. shift -- and they said that the trick was to get into a routine, just as if it were a normal day. This involved establishing working hours, sleeping hours and "everything else" hours. At the end of their shift, quite a number of our 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.'ers (or 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.'ers) went home and made breakfast for their families, then went to sleep. While it took some time when they started working those hours to "flip" their internal clock, they were fine as long as they maintained their structured schedule. When they switched back to a "normal" schedule, they took a few weeks to adjust again before becoming accustomed to the daytime hours.

Another trick to working a late shift is to keep busy. Our call center agents always asked us for extra work or training to fill off-peak hours, when it got quiet. Variations on this approach have become a "best practice" in many call centers.

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