Does Flyline have specific working time models for its 400 employees?
Michael Spring: All employees are on permanent contracts. We do not have any temporary staff or workers paid by the hour. And with good reason – given the complexity of our business, our employees have to spend a lot of time in training. But we do have part-time staff, many of whom are mothers returning to work. We are also flexible when it comes to remote working. We currently have 80 employees who work from home or alternate between working at the office and from home. This is really easy to implement and integrate into operational procedures thanks to the latest technology. For us, it makes little difference whether an employee is located in Munich, say, or at our headquarters in Bremen. We even have a member of staff who works for us from the Netherlands.
What communications technology do you use in the Flyline contact centre?
Michael Spring: Everything runs via IP telephony. But we are also opening up new communication channels and are currently in a transitional phase. There is a lot of talk about the lack of skilled workers. Is that a problem for you too? Michael Spring: So far, we have always managed to hire the staff we need for our multilingual communications right here in Bremen. The university is a great help with this, and some of our employees also study part time. We can also take advantage of our links to the international companies that operate here in Bremen. The city has a good reputation among young people, who are happy to come here from abroad. What’s more, our offices are really easy to get to on public transport, especially as the tram stops right in front of our building. We also offer our employees a free pass for Bremen’s tram network.
Do your language requirements mean you employ people from non-EU countries?
Michael Spring: Yes, we do. Sometimes there are problems with residency permits, but these problems are not specific to Bremen. Bremeninvest has helped us to resolve such issues many times, for example through contacts at the relevant authorities or job centres. We offer German courses to employees from non-EU countries to make it easier for them to find their feet here. This is a scheme that we believe will help us to attract employees from abroad, and we would like to see stronger government support for it. What are Flyline’s plans in Bremen over the coming years? Michael Spring: Our aim is to remain BA’s top contact centre in terms of quality. We also want to build on our position in the BA world and stand out by continually improving our processes. We are a creative team that is constantly coming up with new ideas.
Mr Spring, thank you for talking with us.