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A productivity study involving employees from 100 companies in a wide variety of industries shows that 8 out of 10 employees using a Jabra headset experienced increased productivity. The majority of respondents worked with support or customer service just as contact centers do.

The findings are important because increased productivity means that a contact center's profit grows. The workforce simply generates more payback on the same cost base. How much the value of each employee increases will depend on the specific company, but the study indicates that the productivity increase is permanent.
The study involved employees who had used headsets for up to one year:
• 8 out of 10 employees did become more productive by replacing their handset with a headset
• Better work processes and much higher personal comfort pave the way for improved customer relations, employee satisfaction and thus reduced staff turnover
• Increased productivity means higher earnings
• Wireless headsets increase productivity more than corded headsets due to a more efficient way of working
• Younger staff prefer the added comfort and mobility of a wireless headset
Hung up by Phones
According to the study, 8 out of 10 employees are on the phone for more than 2 hours every day and for many employees the amount of time spent on the phone is much higher, namely up to 4-8 hours per day. Not surprisingly, employees see the phone as their second most important tool only surpassed by the PC.

Phone centric work offers two major challenges. Firstly, it is straining for the body to hold the handset for longer periods. Secondly, the handset literally ties the employee to the phone, disabling an entire hand and making the phone a limiting factor of efficiency and mobility. This is a problem because many tasks require that you can communicate on the phone while operating your PC. 6 out of 10 employees in the productivity study state that solving their tasks involves operating the PC while talking on the phone. In this case, it is quite obvious that the employee with one hand tied to a handset becomes less effective.
Learn from the Pros
Among the 85% who experienced increased efficiency were journalists, managers, sales personnel, administrative workers, and craftsmen. They emphasize both the possibility of solving tasks simultaneously, the higher comfort they experience by not having to cradle the handset between the head and the shoulder in order to free the second hand. In short, they appreciate that the headset is better suited for their purpose, so they do not have to adapt straining postures or type with one hand, keeping customers waiting on the phone and queuing up on the switchboard.
What is New?
You might feel inclined to ask the question "what does the productivity study show that we did not already know?" The short answer is basically only one thing - but a very important one - namely that many more managers and agents could be more efficient and valuable to their company if they were provided with a headset - and preferably a wireless headset.

As a result of the enhanced level of digitalization more and more managers and agents solve a number of tasks that involve phone communication and operating a PC or even moving around in the contact center at the same time. In both cases, they become more efficient if not restrained by the handset or by a corded headset, but instead can move and speak freely working "task centric" not "phone centric".
How is this Possible?
The study shows three primary drivers of productivity
provided by headsets:
• Flexibility increases - The employee can move much more freely and has full use of both hands. Furthermore, phone communication becomes a natural part of the other processes in the job like operating the PC. This means that you can solve many more tasks while talking on the phone. The study shows that 8 out of 10 feel more efficient and the feeling of being more efficient is very beneficial for managers and employees' ability to do well and have high self confidence and motivation in the job.

• Work life quality increases - Many have adapted their motion patterns and work routines to the phone handset and its apparent limitations. This results in uncomfortable and often harmful postures that can inflict headaches and pain in the neck and the shoulders, when you try to solve more tasks at the same time, e.g. when the handset is cradled between head and shoulder in order to free both hands for typing. The headset is a known "pattern-breaker" that removes these hazards without introducing new ones. To the user this means a safer and more comfortable work day with less pain and strain and improved ergonomics and raised comfort levels have a positive influence on performance.

In a recent user study focusing on ergono-mics, discomforts diminished significantly for half of the persons who changed from handset to headset and for 1 out of 4, neck and back pains totally disappeared.

• Customer service improves - With a wireless headset you not only free your hands but are also able to get up and move around. This freedom expands task-solving capabilities when you can go and pick up a binder or talk to a colleague for advice. It also allows you to move both the upper and lower body more freely, which is ergonomically beneficial. This paves the way for a more motivated and service-minded work day and a likely reduction in turnover rates.
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April 24, 2014