Best places to work in Nairobi
Posted Thursday, August 2 2012 at 16:45
A door opens on the left side of the reception at the Safaricom Call Centre in Mlolongo and a pregnant woman emerges holding a brown packet filled with medication close to her chest.
She slowly walks towards the reception and soon disappears behind it as another employee walks quickly past her to the closing door.
Behind the door is a long corridor leading to the doctor’s room, laboratory, a pharmacy, sleeping area for infants, kids feeding room, baby’s kitchen, mothers’ room and a crèche stretching to the playing ground outside.
This is the set-up of Safaricom Contact Centre - a building commissioned in 2009 to house the expanding call centre.
The woman holding a the bag of medication is an employee of Safaricom and she had just visited the doctor for a check-up in their in-house clinic.
Upstairs just above the reception, is a group of young men in the games room playing pool while others are seated at the canteen adjacent to the pool area having a meal as some browse the net at the cyber yet it is hardly lunch hour.
But then, do not mistake them for unruly employees, they are taking a break from work to have fun and in 15 minutes, they will be back at work for the next three hours.
Depending on their plans for the day, they may opt to pass by the gym downstairs in the evening and lock themselves up in the steam room, sauna or workout before taking a company ride home.
There is also a library and a banking room for those who may need the services before going home.
Welcome to the new age work environment in corporate Kenya. Unlike the old stuck up offices partitioned with plywood, today’s office space has undergone a transformation both in the interiors, building design and the way employees go about their duties.
Companies are investing hugely in the wellbeing of their employees which human resource (HR) services personnel say that it has not only boosted their spirits, but also seen a high turnover in employee retention.
“The ambience of the environment where your employees work is very important because then you get return on investment.
"You might not look at it from a tangible perspective where you say how much money is coming in, but we look at how they deliver service to customers, dedication, loyalty and retention figures, how many customers stay with you.
"You will get well-adjusted employees who are not rude to your customers because the environment fosters that kind of healthy state of mind so that in your delivery process they are motivated sufficiently to be able to deliver to that client.
"People will stay with you because you have motivated them sufficiently and created an enabling environment for them to work,” said Goldemier Opiyo, call centre manager at Safaricom.