Optimising workplace health programmes using organisational culture: Post-COVID perspectives from managers and workplace health experts from the UK contact centre industry

Jillian Manner*, Belinda Steffan, Ruth Jepson, Graham Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Contact centre workers experience disproportionately low physical activity levels and high sedentary behaviour levels, as well as an increased risk of negative occupational health outcomes such as anxiety and depression. Organisational culture factors such as strict work schedules and pressure to maintain productivity often impede the effectiveness of programmes to reduce these health risks. Despite its significance, organisational culture is often overlooked during the development and implementation of workplace health programmes due to its conceptually complex nature. The COVID-19 pandemic further complicated organisational culture-related associations to workplace health programmes in contact centres. This study investigated how organisational culture influences the existence and effectiveness of workplace health programmes in contact centres and if/how COVID-19 disrupted these associations. Fifteen interviews were conducted with contact centre managers and workplace health experts between February and June 2021. Findings indicate that employee well-being is increasingly being prioritised within contact centres, especially post-pandemic, and that there is a legacy of COVID-19 to learn from the spotlight that was placed on employee well-being during the pandemic to improve workplace conditions for contact centre employees. Further, to maximise effectiveness and support positive organisational culture change, these findings should be considered during well-being programme planning, delivery, implementation and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
Early online date21 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • workplace wellbeing
  • workplace health
  • organisational culture
  • psychosocial climate
  • productivity
  • occupational health and safety

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