Background. Call centres (CCs) are among the most rapidly growing forms of workplaces in Sweden. The purpose of the study was to describe and compare working conditions between operators at internal and external CC companies and work tasks of different complexity.
Method. A questionnaire was answered by 1 183 operators, 848 women and 335 men, from 28 different CCs. The questionnaire covered background factors, employment, working hours and remuneration, call logging and monitoring, duties, computer work and workplace design during the previous month.
Results. Operators at external companies and operators with low-complexity work tasks were younger, more often employed by the hour and worked on a varying roster. They spent longer time on customer calls and had less varied tasks. Additional remuneration, call logging and monitoring were more common at external companies and among operators with low-complexity work tasks.
Conclusion. The working conditions varied between internal and external CCs. There was also a variation in working conditions between work tasks of different complexity. There were aspects of supervision style and organization of work at CCs, especially at external ones and those with low-complexity tasks that could introduce stress and lack of well being among the staff.
2008. Vol. 14, no 2, 177-194 p.