Saturday, 17 May 2008

Forced smiling is a health risk - study


Enforced smiling at work can seriously damage your health, German scientists claim - it wasn't commissioned by Gordon Brown as far as I know.

'Professional smilers', such as flight attendants, sales personnel, call centre operators, waiters, and others in contact with the public for extended periods of time, are at risk of seriously harming their health say researchers. Speaking personally for a second as somebody in one of the 'at risk' categories, call-centre flunky, I find its inclusion a bit of a mystery. Are there call centers that have videophone?? If not, then why are they 'at risk' from enforced smiling?? I won't even go into some of the faces I pull (nor, incidentally will I be naming where I work). Although I have been told that I need to be 'consistently positive' so I suppose the point about an enforced emotional state remains valid.

Professor Dieter Zapf, a researcher into human emotions who led the team of psychologists at Frankfurt University, said that fake friendliness led to depression, stress, and a lowering of the immune system. This in turn can trigger more serious ailments, such as high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, he claimed on Personnel Today. He added that;

"Every time a person is forced to repress his true feelings, there are negative consequences for his health."



Helen Duffett said...

Haven't they ever told you to "smile while you dial"? The listener can pick it up in your voice. Also, stand up when you want to finish the call..!

Darrell G said...

:) yes they have said that but what would make me smile would be decent pay, conditions and not being disciplined under the barbaric bradford system for being sick lol....i agree though, it can be picked up....

Carol said...

It makes perfect sense. So I guess comedians/actors/entertainers will also have the same risk, eh? Call center agents need to smile because the tone of your voice would reflect your facial expression. I managed a group of agents before and I asked them to always have a mirror in their workspace. This way, they won't forget to smile.