Call centre relocates staff half way around the world to avoid night shifts

03 May 2013


When employees at Moneypenny, an answering phone company based in Wrexham, north Wales, reported not exactly keen on a management proposal to provide round-the-clock service, the company came up with a novel solution – a new office in New Zealand.

Worried over losing trusted employees, the company had resisted customers' requests to stay open longer, as the employees did not want to work night shifts.

However, 40 out of the company's 280 staff volunteered to relocate and the first four moved out last November as part of a trial group.  They are being put up by the company in a rented house.

The Wales-based staff now leave the office at 8 pm and redirect all calls to go through to their New Zealand-based colleagues, 12,000 miles away and 12 hours ahead.

The employees in New Zealand work four days on and four days off to allow them to take in the sights while living abroad, a pattern which would be repeated over four- to six-month stints when the next group takes over.

Moneypenny handles over 8 million calls a year for 6,000 clients ranging from sole traders to multinationals.

Glenn Jackson, the company's managing director, said as a quality company offering a quality service, the management did not want to make staff work nights, which he said was terrible for both health and morale, and also did not want to just farm the work out to India.

It seemed to them the only way of keeping the staff they trusted, was to follow the sun and not the clock.

According to MoneyPenny founder Rachel Clacher, the company had considered hiring staff to work overnight at its offices in Wrexham.

It was, however not confident whethwe service levels could be maintained so the preferred not to take the risk.

She added, by working on the other side of the world the company was now able to offer a truly 24-hour first-rate service, with bright, chirpy and wide-awake people.

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