Balancing remote working and real life (and cats)

February 27, 2023

As a relatively young technology company, Aker maintains a remote-first policy which we view as a great benefit both to our employees and to the Company, as we are able to build a world-class team from across the UK. We spend a lot of time developing ways to both give our employees the remote work environment they enjoy, whilst delivering on the security and access demands of the real-time classified systems we build for UK Government clients. We work hard on our deliberate approach to our culture and values, ensuring we have a strong, positive culture with plenty of collaboration, connection and fun.

New hires benefit from a home working set up allowance to make sure their home office set up is safe, comfortable and productive, and we maintain office space in central London when face to face collaboration is necessary. We also use a number of hubs from time to time - the Aker team photos and videos that run in the background on this website were taken in the Shard - and we hold all-employee in-person events twice a year.

We are growing fast – as we continue to hire quickly, we had more than double the employees present at our Jan ’23 meet as we did at the previous event in Jun ‘ 22. Due to the critical nature of the systems we work on we realise not everyone can attend every in-person event, so sessions are recorded and distributed to make sure everyone is kept informed and aligned.

We run well-attended fun virtual social events (and in so doing seem to uncover some intriguing fancy dress themes - Halloween was a great example). And we run more informal virtual coffee chats and meet the management sessions to make sure our people have time to connect more socially, and get to know others across the company that they may not interface with on a day-to-day basis.

In addition to the social events, we run monthly well-being sessions with a variety of external speakers and advisors. We encourage our people to embrace home working and love to see people’s partners, children and pets on screen during meetings – where appropriate we feel that it’s important to know and support our employee’s whole life, not just when they are at work.

Getting the right balance for remote working is not straightforward - some things are still better face to face so we facilitate that flexibility when needed; and as a young and fast-growing company we are always looking at ways to do better. We think we have the balance about right at the moment though - and we appear to have uncovered some cat balancing champions in the process!