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Blog: An Atkins Love Story

By Katherine Gelsthorpe

I met James when I started work at Atkins‘ Peterborough office in September 2009. We were introduced by a colleague. This year, we’ll celebrate nine years of our relationship and our first year of marriage, and for most of that time, we’ve worked out of the same office. That’s right - we’re an Atkins couple!

It may not be uncommon to look back on the major events in your life and say, ‘we’ve been through it all together’. From getting married, to moving to a new house, and even day-to-day experiences - you see and do a lot together. But what may be unusual is that the people at Atkins have been an integral part of those incredible moments as well.

The thought of working with your partner might worry some people but for us it’s one of the things that make us love where we work even more. Atkins has such a great culture and it’s even more rewarding because we share it. We have the opportunity to work from home - and yet still stay connected to the office through each other. And when we do return to the more formal work environment, Atkins’ hot-desking policy enables us to speak to new people and helps us feel like part of a wider team. People don’t have the attitude that ‘this is mine’. It’s more like, ‘we’re in this together’.

We’ve also found a work/life balance that works for James and I. We both enjoy the holiday shut-down each year (there is a company-wide shut-down in the UK the last week of December) or we can buy additional annual leave. There are so many benefits of working for Atkins we can take advantage of.

The biggest benefit of working together is that we understand the pressures each of us face, and that sense of understanding and acceptance helps us to support each other in a really meaningful way. I know I can bounce ideas off James if I need a fresh perspective, but without having to explain every little detail of the project – he just gets it. And, if I forget my purse but need to buy lunch it’s good to know there’s always a backup!

I like to think that we’ve found a good balance and keep our personal and work life separate. There are occasions when we have to mindfully keep work out of our conversations. That’s easy to do because James is a cycling fanatic and I’m a keen runner, swimmer and weightlifter so we always have a lot to talk about!