January 31, 2022Published by: Charlea Glanville

One big global team: Total Flexible Working at Battenhall

As the pandemic started to ripple through society in March 2020, reshaping how and where we work, many of our UK team members suddenly found themselves separated from their families overseas – with little to no sense of when they’d be reunited again. As travel restrictions eased and tightened in ebbs and flows, flexible working for some meant seizing any opportunity to fly home and work from another country for an extended period of time. 

The past 12 months was a record year for Battenhall. We welcomed 36 new faces to the team, with many based away from our UK HQ. Client expansion and demand – paired with our totally flexible working model – saw us scaling up all around the world, from the USA to Dubai, India, Brazil and Russia.

But our flexible working policy doesn’t just extend to recruiting new team members globally. It exists to give every Battenhaller the opportunity to live and work wherever they are in the world – be it a long stay or just a short trip. If you’ve got a broadband connection and access to your tech, you’re good to go. 

Here, three of our colleagues share their experience of working around the world.

Global working around a global family

Account manager, Natalie Allen, has close family in two continents – and has taken opportunities to work abroad whenever restrictions have allowed.  

“With half of my family in Hong Kong, the other half in New York, and myself in London, we are literally dotted around the world. This means two things. First, I get to visit some amazing places when I see them, but also I don’t get to see them very often.

“It’s previously been tough to see my family with restrictions on flexible working. But during my 18 months at Battenhall (spanning all three national lockdowns in England), I’ve been lucky enough to travel to both countries when possible. From December 2020 to February 2021, I worked remotely from Hong Kong, and in January 2022 I worked from New York.

“I’m so grateful that Battenhall encourages flexible working. It’s given me so much precious family time during a difficult couple of years.”

Joining Battenhall from Dubai

Starting a new job remotely can be daunting – with no in-person office interaction and little idea of what people are really like. But joining remotely, as the only team member in your country, is a whole new experience. Our Dubai-based social media manager, Rhea Mathew, explains why she loves being part of a global team.

“I’m so fortunate to work at Battenhall from the comfort of my home in Dubai, and I love being part of a global team of specialists who come from (and work in!) different parts of the world. We all operate in our own different time zones, and while this may sound confusing, it’s always been a success. There’s usually someone online to help a client out, and as a team we can work on our own time while being part of a big team effort.

“Even though geographically we’re apart – and some of us (like me!) a long way from the wider team – technology has made it possible for us to stay connected as a global company. 

“Together we are a global team, and that’s exactly how it should be.”

Dividing time between two countries

Living between two countries is a dream for those who want to escape colder winters in the UK. For our studio manager, Christopher Buttiġieġ, it’s his reality – splitting his time between London and Malta, where his family lives.

“Being able to visit my family back home in Malta, and work while I’m there, has been great for my mind and soul. As a studio manager, time management is especially critical to my job and sticking to schedules is vital. But with only an hour’s time difference between Malta and the UK team, I’ve found it easy to work around – I find I have more time to enjoy the beach, work out, or spend some quality time with family and friends before starting work.

“Technology makes it so much easier, but I do sometimes miss being in the office with colleagues to share ideas, moments and discussions in person. To maintain long distance relationships while working flexibly, I make sure I organise 1:1 meetings – allocating a 15-minute catch up with a colleague can really help me feel more connected.

“This year it’s been Malta, but next summer it might be Portugal or Spain where I head to remote work. I’m just so grateful to Battenhall for giving us all the opportunity to work wherever we want in the world.”

The future of flexible working

Flexible working has long been advocated by progressive brands in the tech industry, but historically hasn’t been common in media or agency land.

For Battenhall, this way of working started long before the pandemic. We’ve had 20% time for all employees from day one, giving staff a day a week to work on their own projects, learn different skills and develop new ideas. We’ll continue working to perfect our own version of totally flexible working, expanding our offices across the globe and giving our colleagues the freedom to work from wherever, whenever.

If this sounds like the kind of place you want to work, why not join us? We are actively recruiting for a number of account roles and specialist positions. Find out more or email join@battenhall.com

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