I have worked in telesales for a good few years now and currently run an inbound and outbound call centre. Many moons ago or at least it feels like it I began my career as a telesales agent. Having sat both sides of the table I can see the food issue from the agents angle and of course management point of view.
As a manager now, I do allow my staff to eat at their desk the untidiness annoys me at times and I occasionally make my annoyance felt but it is all easily cleaned and we soon settle back into call centre life.
Yes I agree with others that the staff get two 15 minute breaks and a 60 minute lunch hour but eating at their desk isnt just about filling their faces.
Agents if allowed will eat for many reasons,To stave off hunger To pass the timeTo make themselves feel betterand of course because they can
Having worked in numerous centres it doesnt help when agents are told no and management and admin are sat scoffing at their desks.
Call centre staff are often the heart of the company what happens in the call centre determines the success of the entire business, Yet at times this is easily forgotten.
Their jobs can be soul destroying they are spoken to as if they were worthless individuals and not worth a breath. Told by Joe Public to go and get a proper job called all sorts of names, belittled and humilated….and you would deny them the right to console themselves in a cup of tea or a sandwich?
Personally I couldnt and dont. I have walked in their shoes and done their job they deserve a hot drink and they deserve the right to choose for themselves whether to eat at their desk or not.
When agents are given a choice you will find that 95% of them will act responsibly around expensive equipment with fluids and food.
Yes it can get messy and you have to stay on top of the situation but as a manager i am responsible for the retention of staff and their well being. My staff are happy, long serving, responsible and extremely productive. They deserve the right to choose for themselves.