The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Anxiety For Whom The Bell Tolls

Younger office workers are scared of answering the phone
07 May 2019 | Updated 09 May 2019
 

The results of a survey of UK office workers suggests that many of them are becoming increasingly anxious about answering the phone at work.

Fear of making or taking calls, also known as ‘Telephobia’. Jill Isenstadt, interviewed by the BBC, is the vice president of coaching for a company called Joyable. She noticed they had clients whoaw careers were being held back by an anxiety over interacting with others over the phone. Isenstadt said:  “For a lot of people, getting on the phone is a particularly complex interaction. You have to think of things on the fly and you have to respond to what someone is saying to you.”

The survey was undertaken by telephone answering service, Face for Business with the company clearly having a vested interest in digging deeper.

Out of 500 respondents, 62% of office based employees have reasons for experiencing call-related anxiety before answering the phone. The top reasons workers gave for feeling the fear were concerns about not knowing how to deal with a query (33%); anxiety about 'freezing' on the phone (15%); thoughts that the person on the other end could think negatively of them (9%); and sounding strange when they speak (5%).

The survey’s open-text responses detailed anxieties around confrontation, being overheard, having no paper trail to backup conversations and fear that they wouldn’t be able to understand the caller on the line.

Sara Parker, Marketing Manager at Face for Business, said: “Businesses really need to make a human and emotional connection with their prospects. Ergo, employees shouldn’t really hide behind technologies such as email -–they need to start building relationships and trust.”

 

The Guardian

However, phone anxiety seems to be getting worse in the millennial demographic. Daisy Buchanan over at The Guardian recently wrote that millennials feel 'ambushed' by an incoming call because it comes across as intrusive, especially as millennials have grown up with digitised and less direct forms of conversation. Buchanan concluded 'it’s only natural phone calls feel alien’.

The survey uncovered that millennials – those born between 1981-1996, are the most ‘telephobic’ and go out of their way to avoid answering office phone calls.

 

Key points:

  • 76% of millennials experience anxiety-induced thoughts when they hear the phone ring, compared to their baby boomer colleagues (40%).

  • 72% feel anxious about answering a colleague’s phone

  • 61% will display physical, anxiety-induced behaviours when they’re the only ones in the office and the phone rings.

Picture: Younger office workers are scared of answering the phone at work - especially if it's not for them.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 07 May 2019

Share



Related Articles

Using The Workplace To Defeat Rising Mental Health

The continued blur in work/life balance has contributed to unprecedented levels of poor mental health among young people in the UK, writes  Lloyd Coldrick. Gone...

 Read Full Article
Survey Stresses State Of Stress In Society

A new Acas report has shown that two thirds of UK workers have felt stressed or anxious about work over the past year. Acas commissioned YouGov to ask employees in...

 Read Full Article
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Daylight-starved office workers crave better lighting in the darkest working weeks of the year. But with sunrise at 8:01am on December 21st 2018 and sunset at 3:52pm...

 Read Full Article
The Lighthouse Family

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and the Considerate Constructors Scheme have launched a new initiative to help support the mental health in the construction...

 Read Full Article
Sitemark Launches Home Working Wellness Assessment Tool

Sitemark, the independent benchmarking service for the FM industry, has launched a working from home wellness assessment tool to support businesses and employees. A...

 Read Full Article
Men’s Health Week 2020 – The Pressures Of Working In The Building Sector

It’s Men’s Health Week 2020, and Terry Sharp, President of the BCIA, discusses the pressure on mental health in the building controls sector and how it may...

 Read Full Article
Corporate Mental Health & Wellbeing In Challenging Times

Psychotherapist Noam Sagi explains some of his thoughts regarding mental health in corporate environments, in relation to COVID-19. Noam Sagi is a psychotherapist,...

 Read Full Article
Lone Working, Mental Health and Guidance For Employers

SOCOTEC, a UK provider of testing, inspection and compliance services is providing advice for employers on the recently updated HSE guidance document on lone...

 Read Full Article
Protecting Your Employees’ Mental Health

April is Stress Awareness Month, and people working across every industry are experiencing a significant increase in pressure. Flexible working campaigner Anna...

 Read Full Article
British Safety Council Offers Free Mental Health Courses

To help protect the workforce from the risks associated with Coronavirus, The British Safety Council (BSC) is offering several courses for free until 12 April. As...

 Read Full Article