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What is Call Center Burnout And How to Overcome it

Feb 15, 2024 | Management

Any time a call center manager notices that their talented and skilled agents are not engaged in their work and are not meeting expectations, it’s a sign that call center burnout may be setting in.

Call center burnout becomes a big, unavoidable problem for many call centers when agents are physically or mentally stressed by excessive workloads or other factors.

This article will delve into the concept of call center burnout and how to overcome it to provide consistently excellent customer service without compromising call center agents.

What is Call Center Burnout


Call center Burnout occurs when call center agents get extremely tired and stressed after intense work without rest.

Generally, burnout can be experienced in almost every sector, but the call center can be complicated because they must keep taking calls and conversing even while going through burnout.

Call center burnout is not limited to physical, mental, and emotional stress alone; it can also be due to work pressure from a heavy workload, demanding customers, and lack of support from superiors or colleagues. Call center burnout can also come from chronic workload stress if the call center has not been successfully managed.

Call center burnout is characterized by a few dimensions. This includes energy exhaustion, increased mental distance from the customers, negativism or cynicism related to one’s responsibility at the call center, and reduced professional efficacy, which can cause fatigue and anxiety, affecting overall performance. Sometimes, call center burnout can affect the entire team.

Signs of Call Center Burnout

The sign of call center burnout is sometimes visible. Other agents and even customers might quickly notice it. Below are the key signs that tell you that burnout is already set in.

Feeling Exhausted All The Time

One might notice this odd exhaustion every single time. When you find out you get drained constantly, even after a very little or stress-free task, then it might be burnout. High demand from call centers can lead to constant exhaustion.

Lack of Concentration

Burnout is one thing that is responsible for the lack of concentration. When you keep making mistakes and not getting everything right, then it’s a lack of focus. Burnout sets in if you find it hard to concentrate at the call center and lose focus.

Getting Easily Frustrated

When burnout sets in, you might notice that little things get irritable. Dealing with demanding customers triggers that, and before you know it, you want to pause whatever you are doing because you are already so frustrated and want to stay put.

Losing Interest in Your Job

The job you have passion for and are even very good at suddenly becomes tiring and no longer interests you, which is another sign of burnout.

Call center burnout makes you want to lose interest in your job, especially when you don’t feel motivated or encouraged to do better.

Physical Signs

These are easily noticeable signs; other agents and customers noticed them, too. You might develop tension, headache, or even insomnia. These are ways of the body telling you you are pressured and exhausted.

Who Experience Call Center Burnout

Almost every member of the call center team is liable to experience call center burnout. Employees at all levels can experience call center burnout, starting from the manager, supervisor, support staff, and even customer service representative.

Everyone has a demanding task on their desk, and even call center agents who are skilled and good at their jobs are not spared from the issue.

When they begin to experience call center burnout, there will be low morale in the overall operation, reduced productivity, and low-quality customer service.

What Caused Call Center Burnout

What causes burnout in call centers? There can be many of them, and it depends on the individual. Below are some of what leads to call center burnout

Repetitive Task

Naturally, every human tends to be inspired by new challenges, but sometimes, in call centers, they go through the same routine for a very long period.

Of course, it gets tiring when nothing new happens. Call centers perform the same task over and over again, and of course, this makes agents feel under-stimulated and unmotivated in their operation, leading to call center burnout.

Difficult Customer

This is a prevalent cause of call center burnout. It can be very tiring and frustrating when customers are difficult to handle.

Trying to manage an angry or demanding customer is a challenge a call center encounters. If it keeps occurring, it might lead to mental stress, headaches, emotional stress, and even irritability. There is no doubt all these lead to burnout in call centers.

Poor Management

When there is effective management in the overall operations, there is a high chance of better performance.

The opposite of this is another cause of burnout in call centers. Some managers are significantly dominating in nature, leading to agents feeling devalued.

Heavy Workload

Nobody needs to be told that an intense workload is a source of stress. The stress here is the burnout. Call centers are among the result-driven workplaces.

Heavy workload in call centers increases call volume and escalates the number of cases. It is another cause of call center burnout.

The above listed are not the only causes of call center burnout. Other causes include role conflict, excessive monitoring, lack of control, and outdated technology. Burnout will immediately arise if cases like this continue to occur in call centers.

How to Prevent and Overcome Call Center Burnout


Call center work can be isolating since it involves staring at a computer screen all day with minimal interaction.

Promotion of more social connections between employees through team-building activities, group lunches, employee events committees, and mentor programs are ways to prevent burnout in call centers.

  • Promoting Social Connections: Encouraging team-building activities, group lunches, and mentor programs to foster connections and prevent burnout.

  • Extracurricular Activities: Allocating weekly time for activities to enhance collaboration and rapport among employees.

  • Office Redesign: Modifying the office layout to include open lounge areas with comfortable seating for better social interaction.

  • Recognition Programs: Implementing programs to acknowledge exceptional agents, fostering a culture of appreciation and motivation.

  • Weekly Acknowledgments: Team leaders spotlight agents’ accomplishments in meetings, enhancing motivation through recognition.

  • Employee Check-Ins: Regularly assessing employee satisfaction and identifying improvement areas to combat burnout.

  • Soliciting Employee Input: Gathering honest feedback on support needs and resources to prevent burnout, followed by actionable responses.

  • Visibility of Improvements: Communicating changes and improvements to all agents, reinforcing the commitment to their well-being and burnout prevention.

Keeping all agents informed on implemented changes builds trust and shows that leadership is responsive to agents’ well-being. This visibility into constant improvements reassures staff that preventing burnout is a priority.

Why You Should Address Call Centre Burnout Early

It is ideal to address customer burnout early so agents can feel energized and avoid the consequences.

There is a general saying that prevention is better than cure. As a manager or supervisor, you should prioritize addressing call center burnout before it escalates.

Mitigating the conditions that lead to burnout also helps retain top talent, bolsters morale, enhances employee engagement, and saves thousands in recruiting and retaining new staff.

It is obvious that energized employees provide better and more empathetic customer service. This brings about happier customers, promoting your brand positively through word-of-mouth and loyalty.

Tackle burnout now, or risk an empty, unmotivated work environment. The solutions lie in communication, compassion, and a culture that puts people first.

Though call volume targets and efficiency matter, managers must balance schedule needs with reasonable workloads, appropriate scheduling, and praise for staff who go above and beyond.


Call Center Burnout should be prevented in every way with immediate effect because it is not suitable for a call center. The underside of call center burnout is enormous, even if it does more harm because it can lead to bad operations and loss of customers.

In a situation where call center burnout has set in, the priority of that call center should be to overcome it at all costs. For call center agents, stress can build up from demanding performance quotas, complicated customer interactions, long working hours, and little control over high workloads.

Therefore, remediating measures like promoting social connections, enhanced work-life balance, redesigned office layout, and many others should be put in place to eliminate call center burnout.

To effectively prevent and manage burnout in your call center, consider partnering with Helport, a leading BPO call center that specializes in transforming call center operations with tailored solutions that reduce stress, increase agent engagement, and improve customer satisfaction. Don’t let burnout affect your team’s performance and morale. Visit Helport today to learn how our expertise can help you maintain a motivated and productive call center.


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