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What is an Annuity? (And Can it Get You Out of Debt?

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Annuities are insurance products that are usually used to enhance your retirement’s financial goals and plans. Overall, in terms of financial security, annuities are among the most powerful tools available.

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Unlike other retirement vehicles, annuities guarantee a lifetime income. As such, they’re a probably way to supplement other retirement income streams like a 401(k), IRA, and Social Security. But, is it possible to use an annuity to pay off your debt?

The short answer? Yes. In fact, when it comes to annuities, you can use them to purchase a home or business. What’s more, you can use the cash from your annuity to;

  • Pay off medical bills. Expenses associated with medical treatment are one of the most common and unexpected expenses a person may encounter. In fact, medical debt is the most common reason for personal bankruptcies in the United States.
  • Eliminate credit card debt. A typical U.S. household owes $6,270 in credit card debt. If you have a mortgage, car payment, and student loan, it’s not difficult to find yourself stuck in a debt cycle.
  • Settle student loans. Borrowers with federal loans owe an average of $36,510 per person.
  • Fund a divorce. Getting divorced isn’t just emotionally draining, it’s also financially devastating for both parties. Besides feeling you’re out of pocket financially, there are legal fees, child support payments, and perhaps even therapy costs.

At the same time, annuities have been designed to be long-term investments. As such, financial penalties may be imposed if you cash out your annuity early. So, this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.

The good news? If you want to get out of debt, there might be ways to do so without facing hefty fees.

A Rapid Annuity Recap

In order to understand how money can be taken out of an annuity, let’s first have a quick overview of what an annuity is. Essentially, an annuity is a self-funded pension.

To buy an annuity, you deposit money with an insurance company. These payments can either be with a lump sum payment or through a series of monthly payments. And, the annuity company reimburses you later after it has grown significantly.

Annuities come in a variety of types, each offering unique characteristics for individuals with varying financial circumstances. Furthermore, your withdrawal method will depend on what type of annuity you have.

The following is a quick overview of annuities and their payout schedules;

  • Immediate annuities. You begin receiving payments as soon as you purchase them. Typically, they benefit retirees who have already retired or are very close to retiring.
  • Deferred annuities. Over time, you will earn interest on your money before receiving it. After the term expires, you can choose to enter a new guaranteed term, annuitize, or cash out.

Annuities also let you choose how you want your money to grow;

  • Fixed annuities. This type of annuity provides a minimum guarantee of interest. The value of your account will grow according to your selected term with this annuity. A fixed annuity is considered the safest and most predictable option.
  • Variable annuities. Rates are based on stock market performance. Generally, these are invested in mutual funds and can be riskier than fixed annuities. It’s even possible to lose money with this type.
  • Fixed indexed annuities. This is a hybrid of a variable and a fixed annuity. Typically, they pay an interest rate that is based on the performance of your chosen market index, along with a minimum interest rate fix — typically 0%. As a result, you’ll never lose any of your premium. However, you might not have any gains either

It’s not usually possible to withdraw money from immediate annuities before a specific period of time. Once you pay the insurance company the lump sum payment, they will pay you back in a monthly stream of income for a specific timeframe. After selecting, this can’t be changed. Because of their inability to be cashed out early, immediate annuities are not subject to early withdrawal rules.

It is, however, feasible to withdraw money before they start paying you back with most deferred annuities. And, this is true whether if the annuity is fixed, variable, or fixed index. Therefore, early withdrawals from annuities like these are subject to these rules.

With that out of the way, let’s examine the three ways you can take money out of your annuity.

Make an Early Withdrawl

If you plan to withdraw money from an annuity, make sure you review its rules and federal law first. To illustrate, if you withdraw before you reach age 59 ½, Uncle Sam will charge you a 10% early withdrawal penalty. Also, this will be in addition to the regular income tax on your investment earnings. It’s important to know that the amount you contributed to your annuity will not be taxed.

You probably will have to pay the insurer a surrender charge if you withdraw from your annuity within the first five to seven years after purchasing it. Withdrawal charges typically are 7% of your withdrawal amount after just one year. However, they gradually decline by one percentage point each year until they reach zero after years seven and eight.

Moreover, certain annuities can come with a 20% surrender charge upon initial purchase. However, be sure to check your plan’s terms, because some annuities allow withdrawals of up to 10% without any surrender charges.

Does this mean you’ll always be penalized if you make an early withdrawal? Not necessarily.

In certain circumstances, some insurance companies will waive surrender charges. As an example, you can purchase a waiver of surrender charges (WSC) rider. If you are suffering from a chronic, terminal illness, or are confined to a nursing home, the rider allows you to access your funds penalty-free.

Additionally, some annuity contracts include free annuity withdrawal provisions. In this situation, you’re permitted to withdraw a portion of your fund each year without being charged surrender fees. The typical amount is 10% of the total value of your annuity contract.

But, if you want to avoid penalties altogether, you should wait until the surrender period expires.

Sell Your Annuity For Cash

If you want to sell your annuity, you have three options: a partial sale, a complete sale, or a lump sum sale. But, how do they compare?

Partial annuity sale.

Your payments from your annuity are sold for a set length of time. Let’s say you have a life annuity that covers you for the rest of your life, and you’re 40. It’s possible for you to sell the payments for five years. You will, however, continue to receive periodic annuity payments after that five-year period ends.

With this option, you don’t permanently forfeit annuity payments. Rather, you put them on hold so that you can get immediate cash. When you retire, you can still get money from the annuity to help you meet your current financial needs.

Lump-sum sale.

This is similar to the sale of a partial interest. The annuity can still provide payments to you in the future. In this case, however, you sell a lump sum of the annuity payout you are entitled to receive, not your annuity payments. Therefore, if you owe $25,000 on a student loan, for example, you could sell that amount of benefits in one lump sum.

With this option, you can decide how much cash you’ll receive and how much will be paid out. You may get a lower payout amount with a partial sale, depending on how many payments you skip. And, you’re assigned an exact dollar amount that you wish to receive in cash when you sell a lump sum.

Entirety sale.

Finally, when you sell an annuity in its entirety, you give up your remaining interest in it. Due to this, the remaining payments from the contract are all paid in one shot, without any future installments. Selling your annuity this way is easy since no lump sum or partial payment terms need to be negotiated.

You should choose the right option based on your current and future needs for cash. An entirety sale could help you meet other financial goals if you’ve saved enough money for retirement, for instance. A partial or lump sum sale, however, could maintain your annuity income stream once you retire if you got a late start on saving.

Also, be aware that there’s a legal process involved when selling an annuity. As such, you soul speak with your financial advisor and research companies that buy annuities. Taking these steps ensures that you’re making the right and legal financial move and are getting a fair price on your annuity.

One more thing. This process will take roughly four weeks.

Annuity sale cautions.

There are a couple of precautions to be aware of if you sell your annuity.

The first issue is that you may face tax consequences. Annuity payments, such as those received when you receive a guaranteed income annuity, would be subject to ordinary income tax when you receive them. So, you would owe the same amount of tax as if you were receiving a regular distribution.

Another consideration? The fees you’ll have to pay. Usually, this is the discount rate. To profit from a transaction, buyers charge a fee in return for upfront cash. Among other factors, predicted future interest rates affect the discount rate.

Finally, you might have better options to weigh. For example, 401(k) plans, whole life insurance policies, and personal loans are often less expensive alternatives. While the annuity is in its accumulation phase, small, penalty-free withdrawals may be permitted. Moreover, tax consultants recommend consulting with a tax adviser before making any decisions since a sale will have tax implications.

Take Out an Annuity Loan

When an annuity holder takes a loan against the value of his/her contract, it’s known as an annuity loan. By using this method, people can access funds without cashing out their annuities, which may expose them to taxes and penalties.

When can you take out an annuity loan?

Deferred annuities require the annuitant to pay regular payments to their insurance company in order to purchase the annuity contract as a whole. A fixed amount of money will be paid to that person each month once they reach retirement age, which again is currently 59 ½.

However, individuals can borrow against the cash value of their annuity contracts before they reach retirement age, but the loan must be repaid-with interest over a set period of time. In most cases, this five years.

How does the loan process work?

Before annuity loans can be initiated by the borrower, a request must be submitted to the insurer. Once the loan is approved, the borrower/annuity holder receives a lump sum. And, payments must continue to be made until the balance is repaid.

Generally, annuity providers will allow their clients to borrow 50% of their annuity value. It’s important to research the available options since each annuity provider has its own terms and conditions.

What are the advantages of borrowing against your annuity?

An annuity loan comes with the benefit of avoiding surrender charges. When an annuity contract is opened, it carries a surrender charge if it is canceled within a specified time period. Any gains accrued through the use of the annuity can sometimes be erased by surrender charges. On the other hand, annuity loans do not require surrender charges.

Moreover, the borrower does not have to pay taxes or pay early distribution penalties. If the annuity holder sold their annuity before they reached age 59 1/2, they would have to pay a 10% penalty for “early distribution.” Again, there will be tax consequences of selling the annuity. But, you can avoid these charges by taking out an annuity loan.

What are the disadvantages?

There are some drawbacks to an annuity loan, even though it can be a convenient way to get cash quickly. The borrower can be subject to an early distribution penalty, usually 10%, if he/she doesn’t repay the loan within the specified time frame. In addition, a borrower may lose out on potential earnings if they borrow money against an annuity. Borrowing money against an annuity may also hinder the capital growth of the investment.

The Bottom Line

While it is possible to use your annuity to get out of debt, this should be considered a last resort. After all, there are penalties and tax ramifications involved. Moreover, this could deplete your retirement savings making it more difficult to enjoy your golden years.

With that in mind, if you want to get out of debt, you should calculate your debt and devise a plan. One example would be the snowball method where you tackle your smallest debt first. Once paid off, you can throw those savings onto your next debt obligation.

You should also create a budget and stick to it. It’s a simple and effective way to reduce unnecessary spending. Once again, the money you save can be put towards your debt. Another suggestion would be negotiating better rates with your creditors. And, if you’re able, consider tapping into another income source, like a part-time job or side hustle.

The post What is an Annuity? (And Can it Get You Out of Debt? appeared first on Due.

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Why graphic novels are lucrative IP for Web3: From MEFaverse to metaverse

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Marvel’s multi-billion dollar IP enterprise is eating up the film and streaming market — but the metaverse is offering new opportunities and creating a whole new market.

Marvel is valued at nearly $6 billion for films alone, $40 billion for streaming and about $3 billion for consumer products, according to a 2021 Forbes analysis. While the media giant dominates the lion’s share of graphic novel IP in entertainment within film and streaming, the metaverse offers new opportunities for graphic novel IP. The ‘metaverse in entertainment’ market share is expected to increase to $28.92 billion by 2026. 

The entertainment market is essentially expanding with the creation of the metaverse, therefore presenting opportunities to replicate the lucrative success that Marvel has enjoyed. But what made Marvel so popular, and why is the multiverse primed for the metaverse? 

Since the inception of the metaverse as a concept, some of the earliest explorations have included the creation — and adaptation of — graphic novels for this new virtual environment. From Method Man’s comic book MEFaverse, to the adaptation of Dan LuVisi’s iconic Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter, to Killtopia catering to Japan’s ‘Otaku’ community of manga and animé fans.

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But why is graphic novel IP so attractive to directors writing for a digital medium with interactive audiences? And what opportunities are potentially being left on the table? To understand the attraction of graphic novel IP, we only need to look at the formula of success that Marvel and DC have built. 

An ever-expanding world

Marvel’s IP is not one story, but a universe that continues to expand. Recent editions to Marvel’s onscreen world include She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Ms. Marvel and the upcoming Secret Invasion. The stories that come to life in film and TV are often based on specific heroes within that universe — or, more aptly, the multiverse.

In film, appearance-altering costumes, special FX make-up and visual FX (VFX) enable directors to cast different actors to play the same character in the franchise. The most popular and talented actors, with the strongest following in the target demographic for the box office, can have their turn playing the hero. In fact, actors no longer need to sign long-haul multi-movie contracts with Marvel.

The metaverse offers even more creative diversity. Graphic novel characters can be customizable according to the themes of different concept artists, and the same character can travel through a manga world into one that’s photorealistic. Perhaps a good interpretation is Dr. Strange’s journey through the multiverses, as we see him enter a variety of differently stylized worlds until he eventually finds himself surreally realized as a colorful gelatinous shape. 

One of the key differentiators between a virtual world and a game within the metaverse — or what will be the metaverse — is this interoperability, the way in which an avatar could be used in different virtual worlds. The way avatars are translated stylistically in those different worlds is a key focus for metaverse builders. And it’s something Marvel has been doing well for some time. People love the graphic novel style of Marvel films and how they not only pay homage to the original art form but also amplify the movie experience with state-of-the-art VFX. 

For example, LMS: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter is being translated for the metaverse after amassing a core fanbase. LMS is simultaneously a scrapbook-style graphic novel, a character bible for the anti-hero Gabriel and an introduction to the colorful yet deadly world of ‘New Amerika’. Initially released as a series of artworks, LMS soon gathered a solid fanbase that demanded more of Dan LuVisi’s world. The rights to LMS were bought by Section 9, which approached metaverse-as-a-service company Sequin AR with the idea of creating an LMS metaverse. With a rich world and a pre-existing community, Sequin believed LMS was the perfect property for a metaverse environment. 

The attractiveness of graphic novel IP

Sequin AR’s CEO Rob DeFranco explains why the graphic novel IP was so attractive: “The world that Dan created is vivid, imaginative, and full of pop-culture references with a sharp satirical tone that makes it a model property for the metaverse. There is a big community already in place for LMS. For example, a Comic-Con special edition toy of Gabriel, created by the popular brand Funko, sold out on the first day of the convention. Since the book first launched 10 years ago, there has been a cultural shift in how we interact with the properties we love.” 

Graphic novels rely on captivating imagery, along with compelling stories. The community building the metaverse is a blend of creatives, technologists and storytellers, similar to the teams that produce the Marvel universe. For example, the team behind Method Man’s MEFaverse includes Method Man himself, and renowned graphics artist Jonathan Winbush of Winbush Immersive, with Xsens motion tracking technology helping them translate real-life movement into the digital world. It’s no coincidence that Winbush built his own brand as a creator from his time working at Marvel. 

“The trajectory of the NFT/Web3 space as a whole, in my opinion, only has one direction to go: up,” says Method Man. “I see no reason why it wouldn’t, as brands and individuals realize the unique opportunities and potential this space offers, as well as the utility it provides. That said, my hope is that it can continue to grow while remaining mindful of values such as inclusivity and positivity, which are both pillars of the MEFaverse community.”

The metaverse and the story of good vs. evil 

The metaverse has the potential to be many things, good or bad. Most metaverse evangelists also acknowledge how human influence tends to invade — and sometimes spoil — the utopian promise of future technology.

For example, Aragorn Meulendijks, Chief Metaverse Officer (CMO) from Your Open Metaverse, a distributed metaverse for streaming Web3 content, recently shared his candid thoughts on Elaine Pringle Schwitter’s HeadsTalk Podcast. According to Meulendijks, the mission for those building the metaverse needs to align with the reality of flawed human nature. This sentiment is omnipresent in Marvel; the premise of superhero films is that good and evil always exist in tandem, and even heroes are flawed. 

While there are inevitable flaws, the multiverse can also be employed altruistically. Representation and connection are frequent themes in graphic novels, often speaking to those who don’t feel part of mainstream pop culture. This links back to Winbush’s work on the MEFaverse.

“We wanted to create more ‘metamasks’ or PFPs with different traits to represent our community,” he explained. “Method Man’s motivation in creating the MEFaverse was to show his fans their powers, the unique traits that make them who they are but in the superhero realm. Method Man wanted everyone that was excited about the MEFaverse to have a mask that truly represents them. He wanted his community to be shown their unique powers in a superhero realm.”

The building blocks of film production are being used to build the metaverse

The technology that underpins movie production is driving metaverse creation. For example, motion capture is harnessing and translating movement to avatars, while Unreal Engine is being used to create the worlds themselves.

Charles Borland, founder of real-time studio Voltaku explained: “When I was an actor in a video game called Grand Theft Auto IV, I would spend a lot of time in a mocap suit, and I’d been on a lot of TV and film shoots and saw just how inefficient the Hollywood production process is. I remember thinking, holy cow, when this technology and the economics get to a certain point, all of this gaming technology and real-time technology is going to revolutionize filmmaking and how you make content.” 

Talking about the use of technology in Killtopia, Charles elaborated: “If we’re going to build this in a game engine, like Unreal Engine, then we [had]to do things like set up a camera inside of Unreal. We knew we were going to have an actress and we were going to try and do this in real-time, but one of the things we were looking at was real-time ray tracing, and to push the envelope on that. We couldn’t go into the studio and do full camera tracking, so we wanted to find something inertia-based. Using the Xsens suit, capturing the raw mocap data, enabled us to create the avatars”. 

From an investment standpoint, how Marvel’s magic formula for success translates to the metaverse is clear. But IP in the metaverse goes far beyond a franchise of characters. Fans build on these worlds themselves, becoming creators in their own right. And in order to create, they need to feel invested. And that’s where the technology underpinning interoperability is key.

Blockchain blockbusters

Killtopia’s Charles Borland explains: “To invest in interoperability, stakeholders and project owners need to know that the assets for whom they’re building aren’t going anywhere. Of course, that’s if by ‘decentralized,’ you mean you’re applying blockchain. What’s great about that is it’s immutable and it’s public. So I know if I build around a project, even if it tanks, my pipeline will stay. Because the things I’ve been referencing and looking at are going to stay online in this decentralized file hosting system, which is great.”

This is an example of how the technology used in metaverse creation is improving the entire production pipeline. Accelerating the content production workflow, and safeguarding the assets for future use, is a challenge even Marvel faces. 

Cultural shift between content creators and consumers

Borland highlights the cultural shift in how we interact with the properties we love. COVID-19 drove the rapid acceleration in digital experiences, helping us to forge genuine connections when real-life interaction wasn’t possible. The convergence of these behavioral changes and technology advancements is now paving the way for the future metaverse, with mixed reality live performances — which became more prevalent during the recent pandemic — offering a hint of what we might expect. 

Brett Ineson, founder of Animatrik Film Design, which has hosted mixed reality performances for Justin Bieber, Pentakill with Wave XR and even virtual circuses with Shocap Entertainment, says: “Nailing the look and feel of a world will be paramount to delivering the illusion of reality, and that’s where capture technology will come into play. Motion capture will be essential for creating lifelike animation for characters and creatures in these virtual worlds so that players feel like they are interacting with real beings.”

Technologists and storytellers are helping to unleash the potential of new IP into the metaverse. Right now, the reality is that the metaverse does not exist, but it represents the next step in immersive and engaging entertainment. The more engaged a community is, the more invested it is in the story. Powered motion tracking, performance capture, interoperable avatars, virtual worlds and hip hop artists-turned-super heroes, the metaverse is prime real estate for the next Marvel enterprise. 

Rob DeFranco is CEO of Sequin AR.

Brett Ineson is cofounder of Animatrik Film Studios.

Remco Sikkema is senior marketing communications manager at Movella and Xsens.

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Fortnite Chapter 4 debuts with Unreal Engine 5.1

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Fornite Battle Royale Chapter 4 arrived today and it makes use of Unreal Engine 5.1, Epic Games announced.

The debut shows how tightly Epic Games ties its overall strategy together. Fortnite is the prime revenue generator for the company, reaching tens of millions of players who buy in-game items. And Unreal Engine is the game developer tool that makes the advances in Chapter 4 available. To sell developers on the engine, Epic eats its own dog food by building Fortnite with Unreal to showcase what it can do.

Unreal Engine 5.1 provides new features that make the game look and run better. Unreal Engine 5 itself debuted earlier this year and it Unreal Engine 5 ushers in a generational leap in visual fidelity, bringing a new level of detail to game worlds like the Battle Royale Island.

Shadows and lighting are better in Fortnite with Unreal Engine 5.1.

Next-gen Unreal Engine 5 features such as Nanite, Lumen, Virtual Shadow Maps, and Temporal Super Resolution — all features that can make Fortnite Battle Royale shine on next-generation systems such as PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and cloud gaming.

Epic Games said that over half of all announced next-gen games are being created with Unreal Engine. And it said developers can now take advantage of updates to the Lumen dynamic global illumination and reflections system. This is important stuff if you’re a game developer, or you’re expecting to build the metaverse.

Epic has made updates to the Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry system, and virtual shadow maps that lay the groundwork for games and experiences running at 60 frames per second (fps) on next-gen consoles and capable PCs. These improvements will enable fast-paced competition and detailed simulations without latency, Epic said.

Additionally, Nanite has also added a programmable rasterizer to allow for material-driven animations and deformations via world position offset, as well as opacity masks. This development paves the way for artists to use Nanite to program specific objects’ behavior, for example Nanite-based foliage with leaves blowing in the wind.

Nanite provides highly-detailed architectural geometry. Specifically, buildings are rendered from millions of polygons in real time, and each brick, stone, wood plank, and wall trim is modeled. Natural landscapes are highly-detailed too. Individual trees have around 300,000 polygons, and each stone, flower, and blade of grass is modeled.

On top of that, Lumen reflections provide high-quality ray traced reflections on glossy materials and water.

Water and shadows look prettier in Fortnite Battle Royale Chapter 4.

Also, Lumen provides real-time global illumination at 60 frames per second (FPS). You’ll see beautiful interior spaces with bounce lighting, plus characters reacting to the lighting of their surroundings. (For example, red rugs may bounce red light onto your outfit.) Also, Outfits that have emissive (a.k.a. glowing) qualities will scatter light on nearby objects and surfaces.

Virtual Shadow Maps allow for highly detailed shadowing. Each brick, leaf, and modeled detail will cast a shadow, and character self-shadowing is extremely accurate. This means that things like hats and other small details on characters will also cast shadows.

Temporal Super Resolution is an upgrade over Temporal Anti-Aliasing in Fortnite, and allows for high-quality visuals at a high framerate.

With the introduction of these UE5 features in Fortnite Battle Royale, Fortnite’s Video settings have changed on PC. You can see them here.

To run Nanite, the minimum hardware requirements are Nvidia Maxwell-generation cards or newer or AMD GCN-generation cards or newer.

For Nanite, Lumen, Virtual Shadow Maps, and Temporal Super Resolution to be available in Fortnite on your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S, make sure the “120 FPS Mode” setting (in the “graphics” section of the Video settings) is set to off.

Unreal’s reach has grown well beyond games. Unreal Engine has now been used on over 425 film and TV productions, and is integrated into over 300 virtual production stages worldwide. Unreal Engine usage in animation has grown exponentially, from 15 productions between 2015 and 2019 to over 160 productions from 2020 to 2022.

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Is It Time To Talk About A More Sustainable Approach To Serving Our Customers?

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At a recent event, I spoke to a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) about how it was not untypical for him to have a day of 14 back-to-back half-hour meetings. He explained that this started during the early part of the pandemic, and by 4 pm, he was absolutely exhausted and struggled to stay focused and pay attention. He added, however, that over time he got used to such a heavy schedule and was able to manage his energy and concentration better.

On hearing this story, I commented that while I often hear stories like this from all sorts of executives at different firms, I am often left wondering how folks end up doing any work if they are in back-to-back meetings all day.

I asked slightly tongue-in-cheek how we had gotten to his point, given that I’d never seen a job description that contained any objective that required a person to attend as many meetings as physically possible.

This raised a few smiles and quite a few nods.

Whilst my comment was playful, it also contained a serious point and one that I have made to many executives about how they should actively manage their time to create the space necessary to really think about and understand the challenges they are facing.

I was thinking about that conversation again the other day when I came across some research from Microsoft about the impact on our brains and emotional state when we have back-to-back meetings.

Using an electroencephalography [EEG] cap, the Microsoft research team were able to monitor the electrical activity in the brain of back-to-back meeting participants. Unsurprisingly, they found that back-to-back virtual meetings are stressful, and a series of meetings can decrease your ability to focus and engage.

However, the research also found that introducing short breaks between meetings to allow people to move, stretch, gather their thoughts or grab a glass of water can help reduce the cumulative buildup of stress across a series of meetings.

That’s really useful insight, and I hope that more executives and their teams embrace the introduction of these short breaks between meetings to reduce stress, support well-being and maintain attention levels.

But I’ve also been thinking about whether these research findings have a broader application.

Specifically, I’ve been thinking about whether the calls taken by customer service agents could be analogous to a series of very short, back-to-back meetings. If they are, that has ramifications for the amount of stress customer service representatives have to deal with. This is brought into sharp focus when you consider that the average customer service representative is often expected to be constantly on calls for the duration of an 8-hour shift apart from a 30-minute lunch break and two 15 min breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

So, is it any wonder that the contact center industry faces perennial burnout and high levels of staff churn?

Suppose we want to build a more sustainable approach to serving our customers, particularly over live channels like the phone or video. If we do, we need to think more clearly and empathetically about our agents and what they go through.

Now, I know that technology is evolving to help with this challenge and that’s great. But we shouldn’t stop there. Building a more attractive and sustainable contact center model will require us to rethink both contact center operations and their economics.

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