My call centre is all open plan. There are no divides between each person. We sit on bays that have 3 arms – a bit like the Isle of Man legs. There are 4 people on each arm. Then there is a team manager and a team coach, both of who sit at the end of one of the arms. There are roughly 35 bays on our floor – we’re on the top floor. In the middle is a big operations kiosk.
To say the place is noisy is an understatement. Some days you can’t hear yourself think never mind hearing the customers. And if anyone decides to stand behind you and chat, or if the person next to you decides to talk to someone on the other bay but couldn’t be bothered to walk over to them, well you’ve had it! In that situation it’s normally best to take off the head phones and sit and wait till they’ve moved on.
Worst of all is the managers. They just aren’t bothered if we’re on the phones or not. They stand behind us yelling that there are calls in the queue, or they’ll yell for someone to go see them, or they’ll decide to have meetings in the middle of the floor and will start clapping and cheering as loud as possible. They’re very annoying.
Being open plan also means that you get to see everything. Nothing is private. I’ve seen all sorts of things: people picking their nose; people scratching their bum; guys scratching their balls; women with their skirts in their nickers – I’m pretty sure there are some who don’t wear nickers. It’s not a pretty sight.