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News : Working Remotely Takes Off at Contact Energy


Dunedin, New Zealand, Jan 5, 2021 -- From February, Contact Energy will significantly reduce the amount of office space it takes in Dunedin as it allows its call centre staff to "work from anywhere".

Contact said it successfully trialled ways of working away from the office before, during and after the Covid-19 lockdown earlier in the year and staff have started to clearly prefer working remotely.

In Dunedin and Levin where the company has its customer call centres, with 140 staff in Dunedin, the company adopted a "three weeks from anywhere plus one week in the office" arrangement several months ago and it was going very well, Contact communications spokesman Paul Ford said.

As a result, the company will reduce its office space on Halsey St from next month.

"Before lockdown almost 100% worked from the office but these days around 25% of those people are working in the office, and the other 75% are working elsewhere and only in the office from time to time," Mr Ford said.

Staff surveys and feedback showed most workers at Contact preferred the flexibility of working away from the office.

"We want to bottle those benefits and embrace the change from working primarily in the office to permanently ‘working from anywhere’ and we have been cracking on with it," Mr Ford said.

The company was permanently changing the way its staff worked and there was no plan to go back to everyone working from the office any time soon, Mr Ford said.

There were financial, productivity, health and work/life benefits that came from having a flexible working arrangement, he said.

"And for Contact, the anticipated benefits include happier and more engaged people, a greater talent pool, a more mobile and tech-savvy workforce, plus reduced property costs and a smaller carbon footprint."

There were some staff, such as technical workers at power stations, who were not able to do those jobs from home.

The company also moved from its 100-desk Auckland office to a smaller operation in the Generator shared space at Wynyard Quarter.

In Wellington, Contact has reduced its space from four floors to a single floor and reconfigured the area to allow for various types of work.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

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