Millennial Office Workers vs Phone Anxiety

April 23, 2019


With Stress Awareness Month upon us, it’s only natural that we explore the things that increase our stress levels. We believe it’s important make every effort to support those around us, check in with ourselves and become wary of how our daily lives induce stress.


After reading a piece on The Guardian about why millennials are barely answering phones, Face for Business – a phone answering service based in Ormskirk decided to investigate further into the reasons why we’re anxious answering the telephone. Naturally it made sense to survey UK office workers who are mostly exposed to the telephone beyond any other nature of job.


Out of 500 respondents, they discovered the 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%)




Drilling this down however we discovered that the 179 millennials that took part in the survey were suffering from phone answering anxiety the most:


  • 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

    • Compared to their baby boomer colleagues (53%)

  • 61% will display physical, anxiety-induced behaviours when they’re the only ones in the office and the phone rings

    • Compared to their baby boomer colleagues (42%)



Whilst it’s all good and well having these statistics in front of us, they’re not particularly useful with an action plan. Below are suggestions that office managers can take on board in order to help millennial office workers adjust to the nerve-wrecking prospecting of answering the telephone:


  • Training

    • Provide adequate telephone training so that employees can comfortably deal with a variety of scenarios. Lack of training causes work-related stress, and phone handling shouldn’t be dismissed as part of your training program.

    • Run regular role-play exercises encompassed with difficult situations and work with the employee on any shortfalls you discover during these exercises. This way they’ll feel more prepared and less inclined to shy away from answering the phone.


  • Reinforce empowerment

    • Remind employees to recall successful conversations to enhance feelings of empowerment. There will be days where we deal with difficult conversations, however reminding your employees that they’ve dealt with similar situations in the past means they can navigate through them again.


  • Educate on mental health matters

    • Anxiety thrives when fear starts winning you over and avoidance becomes a regular pattern. Educate employees on anxious behaviours and provide a support network to help them feel relaxed and confident when answering the telephone.





      Author Bio:


Christina is a Copywriter for Face for Business – a telephone answering service that helps SMEs stay connected with their customers and ensures no calls do unmissed.

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