Engineering consultancy Atkins, winner of Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work in IT Awards 2007, has raised the bar in this year's competition by upping its game in three areas that helped secure the title.
"Since winning the competition, we have concentrated on further improving collaboration, flexible working and environmentally friendly practices across the organisation, including the 300-strong group information services department," said Jo Withers, business services manager at Atkins.
A portal software upgrade has enabled Atkins to extend internal collaboration to include international offices, client organisations, and offshore resource centres.
"The more collaboration tools we can put in place, the more that helps our business work more effectively, as well as providing more flexible working opportunities to help meet child care and work/life balance requirements," said Withers.
Atkins has also improved connectivity for remote workers by introducing 3G mobile data services and high-speed dial-up services that enable staff to view their desktop from anywhere in the world.
The company's Greener Futures initiative has been widened by replacing office bins with recycling trays and containers for biodegradable waste. Atkins also uses recycled paper in all its offices, and duplex printing has been set as the default across all printers to save paper.
Winning the Best Places to Work in IT award has given Atkins a standard to maintain and an incentive to raise the bar further. Withers said, "Although Atkins has won other awards, the IS department is very proud to have won Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work in IT Awards 2007, we can focus on this award and use it as a benchmark."
Withers said the award had raised the profile of the company, the IS group and its director, Lesley Hume. "This has helped with recruitment and is often mentioned by candidates in job interviews," she said.