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

5 marijuana business people share strategy ahead of recreational sales rollout

The Latest
Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ahead of the recreational rollout, what are dispensary owners most concerned about ?


Big Trouble in China?

Guest Blog
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
0818-wellmanthumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.


Child care challenge

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Inside the Box

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?



September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ben Kaiser holds his ground.


Fare Thee Well, Company Town

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Corporate headquarters are no longer a marker of economic prowess.


Photos: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon awards dinner

The Latest
Thursday, October 01, 2015
100best202thumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the big 2015 celebration of worker-friendly organizations that make a difference.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02