Durhamlane’s workforce benefits from international working

Global sales and marketing firm durhamlane has introduced an ‘International Working Benefit’ for its staff.

The new policy allows its employees to travel outside the UK for up to two months per year.

Created after the ‘revenue accelerator’ firm identified a significant percentage of its younger employees had a desire to travel alongside working, especially those with families overseas.

The firm is headquartered in Newcastle, but its 97-strong workforce is spread across the UK. A quarter of its clients are located in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. As a result, 21% of the durhamlane team is multilingual, covering 12 different languages, a company statement said.

Under the slogan ‘The World Is Your Workplace’, the International Working Benefit “complements the lifestyles of employees, allowing them to visit family abroad and celebrate religious holidays, and also having an in-office presence with durhamlane’s clients internationally”, the company said.

Sinead Hall, chief people officer at durhamlane, who developed the policy, said: “When we considered the diversity of our workforce (which is made up of at least 18% ethnic groups), and the fact that we sponsor migrant workers via the skilled worker route, we started to think about where some of our employees call home. This led us to looking at the ability to work internationally.

“Together with the fact that a lot of our clients have head offices all over the globe, this brought us to the conclusion that it was important to give our employees more freedom to choose their location of work, whether remotely in the UK or abroad.

“We believe the International Working Benefit does this, meeting our objectives of attracting and growing our people, not only through nurturing and empowering existing employees, but also making the company an attractive prospect to join.”

The benefit was trialled and subsequently rolled out after it was met with unanimous approval from an internal focus group led by Sam Vardon, durhamlane’s junior people adviser. Feedback centred around mental health benefits, as well as an improvement to social life and happiness outside of work, proving the success of the policy.

Since then, four employees have used the International Working Benefit to travel around the world, from Spain, to France, to Pakistan and beyond.

Commenting on what the policy means on a personal level, head of operations Josh Guthrie said: “This benefit allows me great flexibility in being able to visit my parents, who emigrated to Spain at the end of 2023. I can work completely seamlessly when abroad and keep in regular contact with my line manager and my team.

“My parents used to live locally, so their move took a bit of getting used to, but the International Working Benefit allows me to spend time with them more than I expected possible.

Sales development representative Waqas Rajput added: “I visit my family during the month of Ramadan, and as a practicing Muslim, it is invaluable for me that I can break my fast with my family and celebrate Eid. This policy allows me to make the most of my travel.

“Whilst using the benefit, I was able to work as normal and exceeded my standards of working.”

Over the next year, durhamlane said it hopes more employees will take advantage of the new policy. 

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