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I often suffer from a sore throat or cough. Could it be to do with my work environment?
A sore throat, even being unable to speak at all, is common among call centre workers. It comes from handling dozens or even hundreds of calls a day, often under pressure, in a dry environment, without taking proper care of your voice.
Voice impairment (dysphonia) is an occupational illness affecting people for whom using their voice is an essential part of their job – this covers a wide range of jobs, but especially affects teachers and call centre workers.
A 2012 study by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) found that one in four call centre agents suffer voice problems, including voice loss, sore throats and breathlessness, because managers are failing to protect their health. Up to 60% of workers reported having difficulty making themselves heard against background noise and 41% said they had failed to be heard by the customer on the other end of the line. Researchers found that new starters, especially female workers, were at particularly high risk.