Life isn’t ‘one-size-fits-all’ says Viatel as it mandates hybrid working

As many employees await firms to codify post-pandemic hybrid working arrangements, nationwide tech firm Viatel has set the matter straight: hybrid is here to stay.

As businesses endeavour to put the pandemic in the rear view mirror, many employees of firms large and small are still in a kind of a twilight zone.

Some firms are tentatively maintaining remote and hybrid working practices that kept the ship afloat during lockdown while others have issued clear edicts on returning to the office full-time or for a certain amount of the week.

“Our people told us flexibility is a top priority, and we are responding. We have fully embraced hybrid work, with no mandated number of in-person days”

For nationwide technology player Viatel, the decision has been to make flexibility not only a virtue, but a permanent reality.

Embedding flexibility

The group said today (24 May) that its strategy is to embed flexibility as a central pillar of their work culture and operations. The leading provider of cloud, cybersecurity and digital services is committed to creating a healthy and supportive working environment for its growing team of 310 employees. 

CEO Paul Rellis explains that Viatel actively listens to its team. “Our people told us flexibility is a top priority, and we are responding. We have fully embraced hybrid work, with no mandated number of in-person days. Life isn’t ‘one size fits all’; each individual is empowered to work with their manager to find the balance that works for them and their team.”

“Many companies have backtracked on flexibility, returning in whole or part to traditional work practices and locations. In contrast, we are fully committed to embedding flexibility in our strategy, our culture and our operations. We are transforming our office spaces into regional hubs, with hot desks and collaborative areas for when colleagues choose to meet face to face.” 

Hybrid working is just one aspect of Viatel’s flexibility initiatives; the technology group has also enhanced leave entitlements, and implemented a working from abroad policy to accommodate international team members.

Starting this month, team members can also take some extra time to themselves. Paul explains, “‘Flextime’ is part of our strategy to create a vibrant and dynamic workplace where our team can achieve their professional goals while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Time is our most precious resource, and we are giving everyone the chance to pursue personal interests; whether they be studying; volunteering; getting outdoors; spending quality time with loved ones, or simply relaxing. We’ll get back to work refreshed, reenergised, and poised to make an even greater impact.”

Viatel Technology Group successfully trialled a flextime initiative in 2022, when employees committed to a 100:90:100 model: receiving 100% pay for 90% of time while maintaining 100% productivity. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Participants rated Viatel 8.5 out of 10 as a flexible and supportive workplace, with 81% expressing their desire to maintain flexible working arrangements, reporting improved job satisfaction.

Harvard Business Review cites that initiatives that support work-life balance have been proven to promote productivity, reduce turnover, improve employees’ mental and physical health and can even boost organisational diversity.

“We believe flexibility benefits our employees, customers, and our business as a whole. Our focus is on fostering a happier and more fulfilled workforce, which will ultimately lead to greater success,” said Rellis.

Flexibility is just one of the many benefits offered by Viatel Technology Group which in February announced the creation of 50 new jobs; and has been shortlisted as one of Ireland’s best workplaces by the Tech Excellence Awards.

Main image at top: Paul Rellis, CEO, Viatel Group

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.