Recently, there have been a lot of companies under fire because of immature or burned-out employees insulting their customers. I’m sure you’ve heard some of the stories and they’re really not worth repeating.

When you’re in front of a computer or a telephone, you’re in the position of power, but as Peter Parker’s uncle once said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” You might be forced to help a challenging customer that tests your patience, but before you step over the line by abusing your access to proprietary information or lashing out at a customer, the team here at FuseDesk would like to remind you of a few ways you can reduce stress during the work day so you can continue to offer your customers the friendly, helpful support they’ve come to expect!

Take Your Breaks

Common sense, right? And yet many customer support reps get so sucked into the job that they forfeit their right to tinkle at will. Or they consider staying at their desk to check email a break.

When we say take a break, we mean get away from the online help desk, go outside and take a walk. If you spend your whole day under the fluorescent lights without any fresh air or a change of scenery, pent-up energy and stress could take its toll on you. For your mental health, walk away and take those designated breaks. Indulge in your much-deserved free time, exhale, go scream in your car, sprint around the block, blast your favorite song in your ear buds and find ways to release your stress. Fifteen minutes is plenty of time to relax and rejuvenate for your next set of calls or emails.

Pick up a Stress Ball

Maybe you’re having one of those weeks in which your breaks alone aren’t cutting it. It may seem cliché or silly, but those little cushy stress balls can really help! When you feel like punching your fist through a wall, remember that A. that will hurt and B. upper management would probably frown upon that. So pick up a stress ball and squish the heck out of that instead!

Or, find other ways to keep your hands busy, like doodling on a note pad. As long as your stress-relieving hobby isn’t interfering with your work, bothering your coworkers or negatively affecting the customer, then we say go for it! Anything to improve your mood and relax you so you continue treating your customers with the utmost respect and kindness.

Ask Not What You Can Do For Your Company

If stress on the job (or even at home) is starting to affect your health, then it’s time to talk to your boss. Many companies have Employee Assistance programs that include complimentary therapy sessions, support groups and hotlines to help you talk out your feelings and stress with a great listener who may be able to offer some helpful advice.

If your company doesn’t offer these types of programs, discuss taking some time off with your manager. Your job is not worth losing your cool over and you’ve got to protect the company at all costs. So if you feel like you’re going to blow, step away from the computer, cool off and ask for help.

Accentuate the Positive

Managers and supervisors, there’s an opportunity for you to help your customer support reps here too. Whenever a rep resolves a particularly challenging issue, make sure you give them the praise that is due for tackling that stressful situation head-on. Make their efforts known and use them as an example for other customer support reps. Put them on your office wall of fame or give them an extra break – just be sure to show them that their extra efforts have been worthwhile.

Remember, your job in costumer support is inherently more stressful than that of the general population. But while you have a responsibility to take care of customers, you also need to take care of yourself. So take your breaks – and just for the record, reading this article does not constitute a break! Now go on, get outta here!