Telephobia Is On The Rise!
- Date: Monday 20th May 2019
- PDF: Download
You may not have heard of ‘Telephobia’ – the fear of making phone calls, in and outside of work.
But the condition is real, and cases are increasing, particularly amongst Millennials.
In times of texting, WhatsApp and social media, it seems the new generation of career-builders are becoming more fearful of holding a conversation, with main reasons cited as:
- Not knowing how to deal with a request
- Anxiety about ‘freezing’
- Thoughts that the person at the other end thinks negatively of them
- Sounding ‘strange’ when they speak
In a recent survey of 500 office workers, 62% admitted to avoiding phone calls at work, with many of them admitting that this has had, or will have, a career limiting impact.
76% of Millennials experience anxiety when they hear a phone ring and 61% will present with anxiety related symptoms if they are left in the office on their own to answer the phones.
Something most of us take for granted obviously has a staggering effect on many of our workers. So, what can you do to help combat telephobia?
- Be clear in your job description! If answering the phone is a fundamental part of someone’s role, you must make that clear from the very start
- Focus on communication! By speaking to the individual about their fears and asking permission to share this information with co-workers, you can create a nurturing environment, rather than ending up with colleagues talking about individuals behind their back
- Offer mental health support through your Mental Health First Aiders
- Create quiet corners for individuals to hold calls in. Sometimes it can feel awkward to be overheard by the rest of the office so creating booths or providing break-out zones can help lower anxieties
- Encourage individuals to apply anxiety management techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises etc.
Source: Manuela Grossmann