Britain’s fourth-largest mobile phone operator has a good one-to-one relationship with its staff, who enjoy the lively, open atmosphere so much that a quarter of new recruits are friends of existing staff.
Launched nine years ago with the aim of bringing mobile phones to the masses, One 2 One was bought by Deutsche Telekom in 1999. Now the firm provides the British service for T-Mobile, Deutsche’s wireless division, and two years ago launched a service with Virgin based on a calls-only monthly charge.
Recent times have been difficult for the mobile phone industry because the market is reaching saturation point. One 2 One has delayed opening a call centre in Dundee and cut 900 jobs, 13% of staff. Previous years had been ones of explosive growth, with free weekend and evening calls making it the fastest growing UK network. It had more than 10m customers by the end of last year.
Staff feel the firm communicates well with them, offering a fun atmosphere and some unusual perks. One employee said: “There is an amazing feeling of comradeship throughout the team and the company, and people I meet on courses say they have never met an employee who is negative about the company.”
An unusually high 81% of staff said the facilities contributed to a good working environment, with benefits valued by the young staff — a quarter of whom are under 25. The call centres offer entertainment between shifts, with massage chairs, reflexology, cyber cafes and pool tables.
Growing from a base in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, the firm now has 24 offices, including five call centres. Good work is rewarded with peer-nominated awards of £100, champagne, a gold security card and a personal letter from the director. There are employee forums and an emailed company news round-up every Friday. Even so, the firm scores poorly on management’s actions matching its words, and avoiding favouritism (only 44% and 37% of staff agreed with these statements) but 84% rated it a friendly place to work. And with 50% off mobile phone tariffs for life, employees do not have problems in calling and telling their friends.
Number of Staff:
Male to Female ratio: