Vodafone HQ is huge. It covers 30 acres and houses some of the most brilliant brains in telecoms. And to keep them all happy, we’ve built state of the art features into every room of our British operations base. Step behind the scenes, and take a look at what goes on.
Based in the small Berkshire town of Newbury, our UK headquarters is a cutting-edge complex that sits just outside the town centre. It’s the beating heart of our network operations, and is also where we carry out research and development.
Curing the commuter’s blues
Getting there is easy. Regular shuttle buses bring our staff and visitors in from nearby Newbury Station. The route, known as V1, is trundled regularly, and some of our more ingenious passengers even trialed a system to make the buses tweet their location, direction and the temperature inside, so they could see when the next one was due.
The campus itself is made up of seven buildings, but most visitors will arrive direct at the largest one: Vodafone House. It’s a tech fan’s dream workplace. Receptionists snap visitor photos with a webcam and then send employees emails to let them know guests have arrived. There’s a giant scoreboard keeping track of the calls, text and data we’ve handled that day, and the on-site charging points and Vodafone Store mean you’re never more than a few minutes from a fresh battery or the latest device.
And there’s another thing we’re proud of: Our full size F1 car, decked out in full Vodafone McLaren Mercedes livery, on permanent display at the front of the building.
Beyond reception, the Vodafone complex is a hive of creativity and hard work. We don’t have assigned desks, and everyone is free to grab a seat where it suits us best.
We’ve found communication between divisions is made easier and quicker that way. Every floor has comfortable breakout areas, where we can grab a seat with our colleagues, put our heads together and brainstorm ideas, without unnecessary distractions.
We don’t have assigned desks, and everyone is free to grab a seat where it suits us best.
If we need a more private meeting room there are lots available, all fitted with screens near the door handle, so you can instantly see if it’s booked by somebody else. For those who can’t make it to HQ for meetings, we’re using more video conferencing than ever before. It’s our aim to reduce Vodafone’s carbon footprint by 50 per cent by the end of the decade, and avoiding unnecessary travel plays a large part.
Glance around, and you might wonder why there’s a distinct lack of suits at Vodafone HQ. The reason is simple: only one type of person here has a uniform, and they’re the guys who work in our Network Operations Centre, known internally as the NOC. They all wear black, signifying their importance to the company and their unique work, keeping the network running smoothly.
Step outside into the glorious Berkshire sunshine and you’ll see we’ve got an on-site lake with its own resident ducks, a gym for the more active members of our team, and for extra feel-good factor plaques across several walls commemorating some of the charities using our JustTextGiving service to raise money for good causes.
How does your workplace stack up against ours? Let us know in the comments section below.