The Biggest & Best Portal to the Professional Property, Workplace and Built Environment Community

Friday, 19 July

Anxiety For Whom The Bell Tolls

Younger office workers are scared of answering the phone

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

Share



Related Articles

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
Flex At 25 - Just Flexing Its Muscles

Flexible working space and co-working space is still one the rise all over the world but the concept is at least 25 years old - so ThisWeekinFM decided to look back at...

 Read Full Article
Corp's Values

Tavistock Relationships, has won the contract to deliver a new three-year pilot mental health centre in the City of London. The City of London Corporation’s...

 Read Full Article
Tips On Joining The Net Zero Revolution

Net Zero by 2050 means businesses will have to change the way they operate - choosing to work with green-minded suppliers and cutting energy use are prime examples....

 Read Full Article
Tax Demands Transformation Starting With Soft FM

HM Revenue and Customs has awarded contracts for soft FM services including cleaning, waste, porterage, meeting room management, mail and food services worth £15...

 Read Full Article
A Talent For Finding Happiness

Britain’s Got Talent finalist Dave McPartlin has joined in the search for the nation’s happiest workers and workplaces. The National Happiness Awards, are...

 Read Full Article
Brighton Rocks - New Homes & Major Business Space Planned

What is being described as a 'once in a generation development’ has received the go-ahead. The New Monks Farm development in Lancing and a development at...

 Read Full Article
Flexi Work - Booty: 'It's In The Eye Of The Beholder'

Tony Booty says companies should look around carefully and grab some data before embarking on flexible working office schemes. Booty is a director at Abintra which...

 Read Full Article