0160E: About Call Center Schedule Changes

Any job inevitably involves changes to your work schedules. And while most folks end up dreading overtime as the primary disruption to their sense of work-life balance, the call center world tends to be a bit more extreme. Beyond the potential for needing to stay at the office longer than originally projected, working in the BPO industry tends to involve more severe schedule changes that totally throw your sleeping habits out of whack.

It differs depending on your role of course. Someone involved in operations - typically agents and supervisors - can expect a more or less fixed schedule (or schedule range) that may change every so often. But they will always work within the hours of operation that the program that they support, and so that pretty much limits the range of options. So overtime is really their biggest foe - that and having work schedules on weekends.

As you move out of Operations into Support functions or more senior leadership roles, then your schedules really go crazy. This can mean moving from night to day (and vice-versa) for particular meetings, events or client-related activities. And this has been my "burden" of sorts for the past 7+ years now. I've often found myself needing to totally change my sleeping habits for a particular week (or even several times in one week) because of my obligations. It's certainly challenging and not something that you can ever get used to fully. Our bodies were just not built for that.

I'm not claiming this is unique to the industry, of course. I know that medical practioners deal with this sort of thing all the time and other service-driven industries. It's just a fact of life that we all have to cope with. Even if you work for yourself by running your own business, it doesn't mean that you're suddenly going to work fixed hours.

We do all this in the hopes of earning enough money to get the things that we want and thus not have to do these very same things in the future. It's a tricky goal, one that may not be easily achieved by any person in their lifetime. But one can only hope for the best and keep moving forward.