A recent article in the The Hindu, the online edition of India’s National Newspaper, caught my eye in that it mentions sleep — specifically, sleep deprivation and insomnia. Those working in IT call centers and BPO’s can suffer from these sleep problems for the following reasons:

  • They keep odd hours to be able to service the US.  (They are often better from a health perspective when working with companies from the UK, based on time zone differences.)

When they deprive themselves of sleep, we see several things happen — everything from cognitive dysfunction (They answer questions poorly, and do not come up with creative solutions.) to health problems (Mainly, immunosupression — they get sick more easily since they cannot fight disease — and this means higher absenteeism.)

  • They drink caffeine throughout the night to stay awake. This causes several problems, from autonomic nervous system side effects (the jitters) to not being able to relax once they are off of work.

In the past year, N. Ramakrishnan, director of the Nithra Institute of Sleep Sciences, claims to have treated over 200 people in the IT/BPO sector of India for sleeplessness.

So the next time you are speaking to a customer service rep and you think they may be talking to you from another country, consider the possibility that they could also be giving you a sleep deprived answer to your problem!