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Flashy HQs are good investments too

People should stop whining about the expense Telecom New Zealand has incurred in its move to new large and flashy headquarters.
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Written by Darren Greenwood on

People should stop whining about the expense Telecom New Zealand has incurred in its move to new large and flashy headquarters.

Telecom New Zealand is currently moving staff into a new four-building "campus" in Auckland's CBD.

Yes, the cost of their new home is a whopping NZ$280 million, but I am sure the telco will get a return on its investment.

Let's face it, can we really have one of New Zealand's largest companies in something dated and shabby that is sited just off Auckland's "red light" area? You would probably be in danger if you left the building late at night.

I have been inside Telecom's old HQ and it was "threadbare", as the company admits itself.

I recall friends working there, who were envious of the equally flash new Vodafone headquarters sited just over the road from Telecom's new base.

But new buildings are about more than just corporate one-upmanship, even if Telecom staffers will be able to "look down" at Vodafone from their more hillside location.

There are many costs to running offices and I see Telecom has made great play about the new building's environmental features, as well as savings in leasing costs from having fewer buildings.

Also, during the economic good times, I recall that having a flash office was always a good recruitment tool. People do prefer to work in a pleasant, modern environment.

I am sure Telecom staffers will enjoy an upsurge in morale as they relocate to their new place of work and this should make them more productive, along with the new technical tools they will have received to help them with their jobs.

Indeed, I recall a mate of mine was very happy to shift to the plush new offices of Vodafone a while back, something he said made Vodafone a far more attractive place to work than Telecom.

Vodafone seemed hip, young, funky and trendy with its building, though I didn't approve of the "hotdesking" when I saw it.

Telecom appears to have gone down similar tracks, emphasising a mobile, flexible nature of working, thanks to the building being all wireless.

I am sure this will deliver cost savings on the old office model.

There are other advantages too. There are video-conferencing facilities and a 300-seat lecture room, which can hold events like today's quarterly results meetings, instead of Telecom having to hire facilities at a hotel.

Yes, there will be those who will question the cost. But more than everyone else, Telecom's bean-counters will have done their sums. They will have worked out the costs, and it will all pay off, with the ability to literally look down at Vodafone being one added bonus!

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