How a romance led to our company’s sea change


OfficeHQ was founded by our CEO David Atkinson in Sydney in 2003, however the majority of the company’s staff and our main operations are now based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland following a key team member’s romance that led to a sea change during our formative years.

Passionate about technology and people

David has always been passionate about using the best technology and the best people to deliver virtual reception solutions that benefitted businesses of all sizes.

After launching virtual reception services in October 2004 using an in-house built VOIP platform, a few developers, a small number of receptionists and a client service manager, David even helped out answering the phones during busy call periods.

As a business owner himself, David knew business owners wanted high quality, robust, professional solutions that made managing their businesses (and lives) easier.

David also understood the challenges of managing cash flow, suppliers, growth and quiet periods. Safeguarding business reputation was paramount. Having fun every now and then was also important!

From day one, David decided OfficeHQ answering solutions would be subscription-based only, without any lock-in contracts. Terms and conditions would be transparent. Client service would be responsive, efficient and friendly. As the voice of our clients’ businesses, all virtual receptionists would be Australian-based to ensure important details such as accent, tone and pronunciation flowed naturally. Virtual receptionists would answer clients’ calls using a professional, friendly manner and always be mindful of and respect our clients’ business reputations.

Today, David has grown the business to more than 120 receptionists – the majority of which are based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Global operations were launched in the US in 2007, the UK in 2011 and New Zealand in 2018. We’ve served more than 25,000 customers, all via our robust, cloud-based, technology platform, which is constantly being enhanced by our very talented in-house IT team.

Our company’s Sunshine Coast sea change in 2006

So, just how did the operations of a Sydney-based global answering services company end up on the Sunshine Coast? Put simply … love!

With the original OfficeHQ team being small and close-knit – software development manager Ashley van Gerven built the original VOIP platform with David and is still with us today – work-life balance, flexibility, innovation and doing things differently to make things better has always been important to David.

This is reflected in OfficeHQ’s company values:

  • Be Human
  • Be Brace
  • Be Your Best Self
  • Be Curious
  • Be Part Of It

As such, when our client service manager at the time announced in 2006 that she was engaged to be married and was moving – to Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast – David didn’t want to lose her. So he hatched a plan to ensure it didn’t happen.

OfficeHQ headquarters would remain in Sydney, however the contact centre and training facilities would relocate to the Sunshine Coast. David knew it was also a fantastic opportunity to create jobs in a regional area and by June 2006 the OfficeHQ’s Sunshine Coast contact centre and training facility had officially opened.

David says: “Our people and technology are the core of our business. We’re always on the lookout for better ways to do things and innovate.”

Has the sea change trend to the Sunshine Coast continued?

Yes, it has!

More team members from Sydney have relocated to the area to take advantage of the enviable Sunshine Coast lifestyle, including our CFO Ryan Mitchell in the past year.

Ryan says: “I holidayed on the Sunshine Coast with my family for years, so we all feel very lucky to now call the Coast home! I’ve been really impressed with the vibrant business community I’ve come to know since moving here.”

Our COO Luisa Di-Finizio, who joined OfficeHQ in May 2018, is also based on the Sunshine Coast.

Originally from Scotland, Luisa says: “I have the opportunity to do a job I love and live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. What a magical combination.”

David says: “Establishing operations on the Sunshine Coast all those years ago was a big step and the right step … we’ve come a long way since 2006 through using cutting-edge technology and the best people possible.”

In acknowledgement of OfficeHQ as the Professional Services (Large Business) category winner in last year’s Sunshine Coast Business Awards, management committee chair Jennifer Swaine said: “It is fantastic and humbling to see firsthand the high-calibre, innovative and progressive business community we have here at the thriving Sunshine Coast.”

David says: “I’m excited about what the future will bring. My vision is for OfficeHQ to be the global leader in providing superior virtual reception services.”

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