‘Big Brother’ clocks in at the Royal Mail

Abigail Townsend

The Royal Mail, which earlier this month revealed an 86 per cent plunge in profits, is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds installing television screens in every delivery and sorting office in the country.

Management will use the screens to convey information and updates on the company’s performance to staff, including speeches by chief executive Adam Crozier and chairman Allan Leighton - prompting wags inside the state-controlled postal group to dub it “Allan Leighton Direct” and to compare it to George Orwell’s Big Brother.

A Royal Mail spokesman declined to comment on the cost of the new communication system, but insiders believe it will set the business back considerably. The TVs are understood to be 42-inch Fujitsu screens, which retail for around £2,000 each.

The Royal Mail will be able to negotiate a discount but it is still buying a considerable amount: at least one will be installed in every site, including 1,400 delivery offices, the 470 post offices the group manages directly, administration centres and other depots. The spokesman defended the communication system, commenting: “It’s absolutely normal good practice for any large company to have effective and swift communications with its people, especially when we’re operating out of many different sites nationwide.”
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