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

“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

“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

“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

“We have been collaborating with Aether for several years, and our projects have greatly benefited from it. Aether staff are very knowledgeable, professional and flexible - and last but not least, very friendly and a pleasure to work with.”

Umhverfisstofnun, Environment Agency of Iceland

“The support provided by Aether for this project was especially remarkable considering the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tools and methods used in order to engage local stakeholders really added value to the capacity building of the national team.”

Shanna Emmanuel, Saint Lucia BUR Project Coordinator

“The Aether team were a joy to work with and I would recommend the consultancy - the service provided throughout the process was exceptional. Where there were problems, they provided solutions. The team were working to very short time scales but were able to deliver a high quality piece of work within the specified time frame.”

Sefton Council - for the Merseyside Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

“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

“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

“It has been a pleasure to work with Chris Dore and Richard Claxton from Aether: they did their job in a very professional and timely manner. The workshop was organized and carried out in a cooperative spirit; the information provided to the workshop participants was complete and clear.”

Alina Novikova, UN/ECE Secretariat

“If we have a need for any more reports in the future Aether will be first on my list.”

Alan Hardy, Kyson Design

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