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Insights Increased flexibility through international remote working

At AtkinsRéalis , we recognize that our employees value flexibility in their work. From expanding talent pools to providing greater flexibility to employees, international remote working has proven to be a welcome benefit. At AtkinsRéalis , we recognize its value and have taken steps to ensure our employees have access to this great initiative.

In June 2022, we launched our International remote working procedure, which enables our employees to work remotely from any location outside of their usual place of work for up to 20 workdays per calendar year provided that certain conditions related to immigration, income tax, data compliance and security are met. Since then, we have approved over 1,200 requests, providing our colleagues with greater flexibility and the opportunity to enhance their work-life balance.

But what does international remote working really look like in practice? How does it benefit our people on a personal level? We spoke to a few people to find out.

Meet Hamish Diack, based in Dubai.

Hamish has been an expatriate based in the Middle East & Africa region for the past 18 years, having been at AtkinsRéalis for the past decade. When his wife and children moved back to the UK to support his mother-in-law, who was diagnosed with dementia, Hamish found himself struggling to balance his work and personal life across geographical boundaries.

The international remote working procedure provided Hamish with the solution he needed. By allowing him to work remotely for a few days during his trips back home, Hamish is able to spend an extra 20 workdays each year with his family, giving him more quality time with those he cares about while continuing to thrive at work.

Meet Catalina Gallego Lopez, based in United Kingdom.

Catalina, originally from Colombia but living in the UK, had her first experience of international remote working when her father underwent surgery. Being able to work during the day and spend time with her family in the evenings without having to take annual leave was a huge relief for Catalina, and it also had a positive impact on her work.

Working in a different time zone can be challenging, but supportive managers and colleagues helped Catalina to adjust and thrive in her new work environment. She emphasizes that successful remote working requires discipline and organization, as well as good communication with colleagues.

Meet Matt Olejniczak, based in United Kingdom.

Matt has taken advantage of the international remote working procedure to visit family abroad and considers this a much-needed option for flexibility. For Matt, the possibility to spend time with loved ones without having to take a long leave of absence was a great advantage.

Matt is grateful for the support and encouragement his manager has provided him in using the procedure and he has been able to organize his work schedule abroad to align with his normal working schedule in the UK, maintaining continuity for his team and clients.

Meet Martin Nobert, based in Canada

Martin recently took advantage of the international remote working procedure to extend a family vacation to Europe. This provided him the opportunity to coordinate and align his travel schedule with his family. The entire experience for Martin was positive.  The application process was simple, his manager was extremely supportive, he was able to manage his schedule and workload, and he had no network issues.  Best of all, he was able to spend wonderful evenings with his family in Europe!

Explore the benefits of international remote working for yourself

These examples demonstrate how international remote working can be a valuable initiative for both employees and companies. With the right mindset and communication, remote working can provide flexibility, enhance productivity, and support peoples’ wellbeing. It's not just about emergencies or personal situations; remote working can also be a way to extend a vacation or simply enjoy a change of scenery while remaining productive.

We believe in empowering our employees to work in a way that suits them best. Our international remote working procedure is just one example of how we are committed to supporting our colleagues in achieving their personal and professional goals.