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travelling / relocation

 
#1 travelling / relocation
07/02/2006 13:44

Jim

I'm an analyst in Accenture's government operating group. Much of Accenture's government work is currently based in Leeds and Newcastle (NHS, DWP etc) which often entails long periods of time away from home (often 6-18 months at a time). Although it makes sense to be based at the client location, much of this work could easily be undertaken from anywhere (ie a nice office back home in London!!) Which begs the question - why is accenture so keen on sending its staff miles away from home 5 days a week? it must cost the firm a fortune in hotels, travel and rental of apartments.

I know this sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory, but I think there is a deliberate policy to send people to work away from home because they are willing to work harder. I know that I have always ended up working much longer hours when on out-of-town assignments, compared to when I am in London with the prospect of my own home, friends and family to return to! Accenture makes a big fuss about "work / life balance" but in reality makes very little effort accomodate the requests of its staff.

I got into consulting quite prepared to travel a lot and work hard...but it seems that when accenture say "willingness to travel" they actually mean "willingness to relocate". I'd be very interested to read anyone else's opinions on this, and what the situation is like in other firms.

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#2 Re: travelling / relocation
07/02/2006 15:46

Anastasia

Hi Jim,

i am not from uk but i ve encountered this situation many times personally. When i first started my job i started immediately from client's site (for a full 8 month period-from day 1)and it has occured to me to relocate many times as well.

There are many reasons that firms do or may do that. Firstly they may want to train u faster, the experience that u get this way is more intensive. Second they may want to have a person inside the client state so as to watch the situation tighter. Third u may indeed work harder in the client;s place. And fourth and most important is the strategic aspect of this. This is usually the major reason of this situation. It is possible none of the above conditions to occur though the firm sends u to the client's place. It is simply the strategy of the "physical presence".(apart from work done....)

And it may seem to u that the firm has a cost for u but usually this is nothing to the amount that is charged to the client!.

Just remember to be rewarded for this "willingness" of u to relocate often. In a firm there are those who "travel" often and those who don't(or less). The first ones should definitely be paid better (or get better bonuses). Just use it:This is a "personal willingness" from u to ur company that should be taken advantage by u.

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#3 Re: travelling / relocation
07/02/2006 18:27

Atos Guy

My experience with Atos has been refreshingly different. Managers here are much more flexible and though one cannot avoid travelling in this field, it can definitely be made a bit more pleasant. I am based in London but was in a Manchester-based project for almost 6 months last year. My manager was quite understanding and told me that I dont have to be in the Manchester office, just for the sake of it.Most of the time I used to do 3 or 4 days a week in Manchester and the rest in London(either working from home or from my London office). Most of the work was well-planned and well-defined and so neither I nor my manager ever had any problems. I know it doesnt sound too much of a difference between 5 days away from home and 4 days away from home , but believe me , it is a BIG difference.

Also, this isnt just a one-off - I know several other people in other teams(even ones who have to work in Europe) who work 4 days from client-sites and Fridays from home or their base location. Of course, not every project will have this luxury but me thinks that a lot depends on people who sell the job(what kind of contract is it) and how understanding the Delivery/Project Managers are.

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