Sponsored by Lane Powell

Springfield call center offers innovative space

| Print |  Email
Saturday, July 01, 2006

SPRINGFIELD — It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a cruise ship… No, it’s a call center. Coming to rest prominently by Interstate 5 in Springfield is the next generation in call sites: Royal Caribbean’s months-old customer care building, with an entrance shaped like a ship’s prow and an interior that boasts ample natural lighting, a spacious fitness center and a cafeteria that would keep Oregon’s most dogmatic vegetarians happy.

The company, which runs cruises all over North America and Europe, began staffing up in Springfield late last year and officially opened up this spring. At full employment, between 800 and 900 people will work there. Already 300 employees are on the site, the vast majority of them service reps, and they are arguably getting the most bang in Oregon for their starting wage bucks: $9.25 an hour (plus benefits). The U.S. Green Building Council recently granted the center LEED gold status for environmental efforts in construction. The layout conjures a cruise ship, with its whitewashed walls, huge portal-like windows, rainbowed tapestries, arching halls and a spiral staircase up to the cafeteria.

“A lot of our employees haven’t cruised yet so we wanted to give them the feeling,” says Lena Kostopulos, Royal Caribbean’s human resources director in Springfield.

A Royal Caribbean employee also collected cruise memorabilia, such as original first-class
china, that is scattered around the center. The motif extends to a collection of eerie mannequins donned in cruise staff wear at one end of the building.

Toward the end of employees’ first year, the company does give them a taste of the real thing with a free cruise. Customer rep Tina Walling, who recently sailed out of Los Angeles, reports that the similarities between the ship and her new home port were uncanny. “The ship was so big — kind of like the center — that I didn’t even get seasick.” In Springfield, she uses a personal trainer in the fitness center and is eating more salads. And that’s helping her keep that cheery phone voice for eight hours straight. “You can’t help but be in a better mood here,” Walling says. “They’ve gone all out.”

— Oakley Brooks

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Beneath the Surface

May 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
0515-goodhacker01 250pxwBY LINDA BAKER

On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.” 


Read more...

5 questions for Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur

The Latest
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
FW splashBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland is awash in rideshare options. We ask the head of Flywheel what sets his app apart.


Read more...

5 questions about the FLIR FX

The Latest
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
FLIR-FX-IndoorBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Wilsonville-based company is targeting GoPro enthusiasts with its latest release. Is spy gear poised to go mainstream?


Read more...

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


Read more...

Make the Case

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015

10 briefcases that mean business.


Read more...

Editor’s Note: It’s a Man’s World

Linda Baker
Thursday, April 30, 2015
lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Earlier this week we posted an article from our May issue:  It’s a Man's Man’s Man’s World. The story covered the gender divide in tech from the perspective of male workers. Twitter didn’t like it.


Read more...

Picture This

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

As a general rule, the more people with autism can be provided with visual cues, the better they will be able to understand and manage their environment. It’s a lesson Tom Keating learned well. The 61-year-old Eugene grant writer spent 31 years taking care of his autistic brother James, and in the late 1980s developed a spreadsheet that created a series of nonsense characters that grew or shrank depending on how much money James had in his account. 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS