With a recent report claiming Britons collectively spend £66.9bn a year (£1600 -£3500 per individual) on costs related to their job, such as travel, childcare, food, and clothes, property management agency Your Nice Apartment have decided to change the way it works to completely cut out these costs for its staff.
“We wanted to minimise overhead costs, not only for ourselves but also for everyone working for YNA. What we have now is a 21st Century office environment. Staff are working on their own terms and because of this productivity and motivation have vastly increased.’ Simon Walker YNA Managing Director
All the staff at YNA work from different locations usually their own homes. Using a premium Skype account everyone clocks into the ‘VHQ’ (which is a little box on the screen where, via a webcam you can be seen by other employees and vice versa) between 9 and 10am each morning and for the remainder of the day the employees can see each other, talk to each other, ask questions, laugh, joke and banter as you would in any normal office environment.
“It was a little weird at first, you’re quiet conscious of your appearance to begin with and I wasn’t sure whether to announce to everyone that I was leaving to go to the bathroom, but once you get used to it, you forget about the camera and get on with the job, now we joke about whose turn it is to make the tea for everyone.” Carla Ball YNA Customer Service Manager
Using a specialist company YNA are able to divert their main phone line to whoever is on ‘reception duty’ that day, which means that like any office, calls are taken by one person and transferred to the appropriate person as required.
“It has been a great success. There’s no need to dress up to work (although we do frown on working in PJs), the only commute our employees have to undertake is to get to their computer in the morning which means no delays due to bad weather and no travel costs. And for our hard working mums we allow a break at 2.45pm -3.30pm so they can collect the kids from school – which means there’s no need for after school childcare.” Simon Walker YNA Managing Director
“As I am sitting here watching the snow falling outside I can hear my children playing in the other room. Schools are closed but instead of having to take a day off work I have the advantage of being able to be a mum and work as usual. Not many other companies would give me the flexibility to use my brains and skills and care for my family without the need for expensive childcare” Sophie Schofield, Customer Service Manager
It’s not just the office staff who use the VHQ. With a growing number of managers and clients based in a variety of different countries across the globe, the VHQ makes it easy for people to ‘pop’ in and spend some time talking to YNA staff ‘face to face’.
“I’m the YNA Location Manager in Kerry, Southern Ireland and so for me to be able to click into the YNA ‘office’ whenever I have a question and speak to someone face to face is a real godsend as so much time is wasted waiting for answers from emails, this way its like the whole company is in an office just next door to me!” Clodagh Edwards, YNA Location Manager
Judging from this there seems to be a lot of positives to using a virtual office and its no wonder that YNA have had interest from other companies wanting to emulate their work model. It seems 2013 could be the year of the VHQ
If you’re interested in visiting the YNA VHQ find us on SKYPE at yourniceapartment101 every weekday between 9.00am-5pm
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Company Name Your Nice Apartment Ltd.
Company Postal Address: 10 Western Road Romford Essex RM1 3JT
Company No: 06301905
Press Enquiries: Simon Walker 44 (0)844 877 0844