Working remotely, with added secondment

06 October 2021

So, you work for a company that lets you work remotely? Big deal. For the last year and a half, everyone with a desk-based job has been working remotely. Still, working remotely from your destination of choice (assuming you can make the time zones work) should still carry some weight. But let’s face it, the claim that “my boss let me work remotely way before you’d even heard of COVID-19” isn’t so exciting. The obvious next step then, is to go one better. Not only can you work remotely, but you can work remotely and do a secondment, with only a months’ notice, no less. At this point it’s starting to feel more flexible than a lockdown with only a yoga mat for a friend.

In July I was lucky enough to be offered a short-term contract at the United Nations Forestry and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). My job is to work with national FAO teams based in Asia and to support them in delivering their Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) program. The aim of CBIT is to enable non-Annex I countries to meet the enhanced transparency requirements as defined in Article 13 of the Paris Agreement. My work for FAO is based in Asia, so to make the most of the time difference I work my mornings for FAO and my afternoons for Aether. Lunchtime, I would argue, makes for just as good buffer as for working alternate days. Plus working both jobs throughout the week limits the dreaded email pileup. It’s been a few months, and so far, so good. It is a great opportunity for me to gain new experience and to partially emerge out of my long-established consultancy world.

I am by no means the first person at Aether to do a secondment. Like remote working, this is not a new trend, and it’s a job flexibility that we all value. It allows me to pursue my interests and experience different work approaches, and brings added value to Aether.

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Testimonial

Don't just take our word for it...

“Aether is a great partner for work in the area of European Air Emissions. The team was committed, reliable, well organised and had a deep technical understanding and motivated other partners with their good spirit.”

Umweltbundesamt: Environment Agency Austria

“Aether delivered training workshops and generated learning materials for our SSN members, providing technical content in a manageable and comprehendible format. We particularly benefitted from their extensive knowledge and ability to interpret the needs of our members into the training materials.”

Jennifer Anderson, Sustainable Scotland Network

“Saint Lucia embraces the professional approach with which this project was undertaken by Aether, particularly their ability to develop mentorship relations with local government experts. This provides a basis for ensuring that the pool of local experts remain engaged and recognized over successive processes.”

Annette Rattigan-Leo, Chief Sustainable Development and Environment Officer

“It is always an absolute pleasure working with Aether. I always know what is expected of me. Their work ethic is of a very high standard and projects are always handled in a very professional manner. I have learnt many skills in terms of project management, quality control and workshop training styles from Aether and I hope to carry these principles forward in my own work. I look forward to collaborating with Aether more in the future.”

Luanne Stevens, Gondwana

“Chris was excellent to work with and always very pro active in making suggestions, taking work forward and applying his considerable technical knowledge in effective ways.”

Robert Vaughan, Defra Air Quality Team

“Both the face-to-face training and the online version have been of high quality, with dynamic methods and a practical orientation that have allowed students to reach a solid knowledge base. The products have been delivered within the stipulated deadlines with an excellent quality and the team has always shown willingness to make adjustments according to the requirements of CONAF. We are very satisfied with the work. ”

Javier Cano Martín, Professional Unit for Climate Change and Environmental Services, CONAF (National Forestry Corporation), Chile

“Engaging Aether to support us to develop the first GHG Inventory System and first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the United Republic of Tanzania has been a rewarding experience due to their high level of professionalism, creativity, timeliness and value for money. We will definitely consider Aether in our future initiatives.”

Abbas Kitogo, Programme Specialist Energy and Climate Change, UNDP Tanzania

“Aether's approach to couple innovative visualisation with high expertise manpower delivered valuable insights for our inventory work.”

Umweltbundesamt (Germany)

“The team at Aether works very professionally and communicates very well which makes working with them a pleasure. Outputs are delivered on time to high quality. The team brings the rigour of technical knowledge and expertise and finds innovative ways of communicating complex messages. I would be happy to recommend the Aether team to organisations working on analysing and presenting emissions information in the public domain.”

Fiona Glover, States of Jersey

“The Aether team were a joy to work with and I would recommend the consultancy - the service provided throughout the process was exceptional.”

Clare Bayley, Defra

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