British Contact Centre workers fly to NZ to work night shift during office hours

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Employees of Welsh phone-answering company refuse to work nights, so firm moves workers to Auckland so they can work in the daytime, bosses say staff are more productive as they work around the clock.

A British call centre has hit upon a novel solution to the problem of providing around-the-clock service – it has sent its staff to New Zealand.  Workers there man the phones in the daytime, which is night in the UK, meaning they are fresh and alert at all times.  Telephone-answering company Moneypenny cooked up the plan after managers realised that their employees would rather leave the country than work night shifts.

When workers at its base in Wrexham leave the office at 8pm, they hand over to their colleagues in Takapuna, a suburb of Auckland, where it is then 8am.  And when the British staff get back in the next morning, they take over from the ‘night shift’ workers, who are free to enjoy their evening. 

Jess Edwards, 24, one of four workers who have relocated from Wales, said: ‘It is a fantastic opportunity – I’m loving it.  ‘It was a bit strange to start with but it works very well – we go to work in the morning just as the staff in Wrexham are going home for the day.  ‘I am getting to see places I probably never would have the chance to see otherwise.  ‘I have visited Australia and both the North and South Islands of New Zealand and generally thrown myself into the experience.’

 The staff are living together in a rented house, and work on a cycle of four days on, four days off to enable them to travel around their temporary home.

 By Hugo Gye

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