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Cai relocates to Copenhagen – our new office in Denmark

Cai Edge was working on the exciting East Frame urban space project in Christchurch when his partner won a prestigious scholarship to the University of Copenhagen – suddenly their world was turned upside down.  Both were keen to pursue their career goals, the Danish opportunity was too good to turn down, yet Copenhagen is a long, long 17,000 kilometres away.

From Christchurch to Copenhagen is a big change.  Setting up in a new country often entails months and months of job searching, learning the language and culture, often with little income and as the Edge’s only plan on being in Denmark for two years finding a job quickly was imperative.  As it turned out Cai avoided employment issues altogether, as we offered him a flexible contract and this has worked brilliantly for both of us.  He can continue to work for Envivo from the other side of the world thanks to advances in technology and remote access.

Cai is a Civil Engineer, until recently he was working at our Envivo Christchurch office in Sydenham, working on the engineering design and construction management of the huge Christchurch central park green-space known as East Frame. He has experience in hydraulic modelling, design, asset management and construction management in the three waters (stormwater, wastewater and water supply).  He is also a committee member for Water New Zealand’s Rising Tide with focus on the growth and development of engineers and other professionals and he hopes to bring an international perspective to the group on his return, through networking and sharing of knowledge.

When asked how the remote-engineering role was working for Envivo, Rob Walsham, Principal Engineer, replied “It’s magnificent.  We are delighted to keep Cai working for us, he is doing a sterling job.  He works a regular 40 hour week.  The transition to remote working has been easy as Cai is already trained on Envivo systems and projects.  It’s a win/win situation and has worked out far better than I ever expected.  I can send him an email at the end of the day and by the time I come in the next morning the completed work is in my inbox and ready for us to progress or to send on to the client.  As a staff retention decision it has definitely succeeded and Cai is not our only overseas employee; Joe Leeper and Andre Menzies are also working for us as they travel the globe and all three are providing excellent work results.”

Cai Edge said “Copenhagen is a fantastic city! Having spent my whole career in Christchurch, post-earthquake, it has been a bit of fresh air to be living in a city that is ‘normal’. Our current accommodation is a university residence hall, which has worked out great for meeting others that are also brand new to the city. During the first few weeks in Copenhagen my wife Danielle and I have been exploring the city- visiting museums, art galleries, and of course several Danish bakeries! I have started pursuing competitive swimming in a Masters swimming squad, and I am competing in the Nordic championships in a couple weeks. Danielle is loving her course here and has already situated herself in the United Nations Youth Association representing the Global Health agenda. I have also gone along to a couple meetings giving guidance in water related issues (sanitation and water supply in drought conditions).

“Working for Envivo on the East Frame project has been truly invaluable in terms of the experience and exposure that I have gained. I was honoured to be asked to continue to work for Envivo from Copenhagen, and accepted the offer without a second thought. Our accommodation provided my wife and I with two large desks, one of which has been turned into my ‘office’ set up. I have kept the same routine as though I was going to the office back in New Zealand, working the usual 8am to 5pm. Each week I usually have an email from Rob with a list of weekly tasks to accomplish – when work on the East Frame starts slowing down I will be turning my attention to assisting on other projects within Envivo. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

There are considerable benefits to us. We get to keep a highly-skilled resource (engineers are  difficult to recruit) and we anticipate that Cai will come back to work for us in Christchurch once they have finished their time in Denmark in two years’ time.  He will already be fully briefed on our projects and up to date with our systems ready to hit the ground running in Aotearoa again.

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