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Working from home

#1 Working from home
01/08/2006 21:15

Paul to deleted (#0)

As consultants spend so mch of their time at client premises, what do firms generally think about "working from home", instead of the officm, when not at clients?

Is there are culture of "be in the ofifce,or a client" or is there flexibility to work from home?

Do any firms do "home worker" contracts with your contractual location "at home"?

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#2 RE: Working from home
02/08/2006 17:15

East Enda to Paul (#1)

Hi Paul,

Interesting topic. My personal experience is that the flexibility of working from home depends on a number of factors -

- who your manager is on the project

- whether you're working from the clients location/own office

- your level of face to face interaction with client

Some managers are more open to allowing you to work from home, where as others feel that allowing you to work from home regularly is not great for team morale - particularly when away from home on a project.

If you are working from your own offices it is easier to work from home, whereas if you are in the clients office there is often the need to put in face time and in the most primitive way show some tangible proof that you are making the effort to justify your high charge out rates.

Also, as a junior level consultant, you may be on a role where there is more analysis of data rather than interacting with the client on a regular basis. If so, you are more likely to be able to do this from home. However, if you are in a role where you are managing other Consultants or client members than you will more often than not be required in the office.

I for one wish there was far more tolerance to working from home. If there is no real need for you to be in the office, you should be able to work from home - particularly as we stay away from friends and family so much. Are there any Consulting firms out there that actively allow you to work from home regularly?

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#3 RE: Working from home
03/08/2006 06:53

Village Idiot to East Enda (#2)

As East Enda said, it generally varies by the nature of the client engagement and the manager you're working for. I live a long way from my current client and my own offices, so I try to work at home as much as possible, and my company has been reasonably flexible about this. I generally work four days a week at the client site, one day a week at home.

At my previous company, desk space was at a real shortage so we were positively encouraged to work from home. Several of my colleagues were on home-based contracts, although this was more to enable them to claim the mileage from home-to-office as a business expense than it was to enable them to work from home.

The model worked really well. Our consultants lived right across Europe -- the philosophy was that they spend 90% of their time travelling to clients, so there's no need for everyone to be London-based. As our client base was global, there was no problem reclaiming the expenses -- London to Amsterdam costs the same as Brussels to Amsterdam -- and it gave our consultants the capability to live and work where they wanted to.

For me, that sort of freedom is thing I miss most after I made the decision to go from a smaller, more flexible firm to one of the big boys.

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#4 RE: Working from home
03/08/2006 09:32

Tom Tempo to Village Idiot (#3)

To Village Idiot: Which company did you work for that didn't mind you working from home? I've recently relocated to Brussels from London for personal reasons and am currently looking for a opportunity with a consulting firm that encourages this style of working. Would be interested to learn from everyone whether any of the Top Tier firms have this model - or if I should be targetting the smaller players.

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#5 RE: Working from home
03/08/2006 12:58

Village Idiot to Tom Tempo (#4)

I was working for a smaller specialist consultancy.

These sorts of arrangements are unusual, but not unheard of, within the top tier firms. It depends a little bit on how unique your skillset is and how good you are at negotiating.

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#6 RE: Working from home
04/08/2006 10:18

Giuseppe Monti to Paul (#1)

I don't know about the big consultancy company. For what I am concerned I am the CEO of a small consultancy company working in all over Italy. We are in total 10 people plus occasional consultants on contract. Until september 2005 we had a 300 sqm office in the center of Rome. The rent was 4.000 euro per month and the owner was asking for 9.000 from october. I discovered that for at least the last couple of years the office was empty for the majiority of the time, a part for myself (one or two days per week), the secretary, the accountant (part time 2 ays per week) and the ICT responsible. My home was in the same building. Since october 2005 we are now organised in the following way:

1. there is no more central office: we outsorced the secretery and the accountantcy and office location when needed;

2. I moved home on the outskirt of Rome and finally I have a garden with orange and lemon trees;

3. we have a good communication system based on a central server;

4. all consultants work from home;

5. after nearly a year we are all very happy and a lot more efficient and try to meet once a month.

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