Monday 19 March 2018

Jeroen to clean up Vodafone UK

The Punt sincerely hopes that Vodafone's UK office staff do not maintain messy, food-addled desks. If they do, we can assure them that they are in for a short, sharp shock with the appointment of the mobile operator's new UK chief executive, Jeroen Hoencamp (right).

Mr Hoencamp was, until earlier this year, the chief executive of Vodafone Ireland, where he brought some very Dutch rules to office life. In particular, he banned food from ordinary workers' desks. No Mars bars, no cereal, no breakfast rolls; he regularly described eating at work desks as "disgusting".

His notions were grumpily acceded to by staff, who mumbled about neurosis and Dutch pernicketiness but still appreciated the nice new canteen spaces on each floor.

Nevertheless, it wasn't just grub that was verboten: Mr Hoencamp banished printers from most work spaces. His idea was that desks full of paper were a sign of indecision and laziness. He also got rid of most offices, telling executives they had to sit at communal desks.

Vodafone Ireland's new guvnor, Cork woman Anne O'Leary, is thought to have eased up a little on these strict workplace observances.

The Punt thinks that Mr Hoencamp is dead right. Guzzling Pot Noodle with gravy oozing through one's fingers may be acceptable as a phone dispatcher at 2am in a hackney cab office. But it is surely ultra vires in a modern telecommunications firm.

So watch out, Vodafone UK: Dutch cleanliness is coming to your Tesco Express lunch hours.

Irish Independent

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