Aiji found the remote job of his dreams thanks to Rabo@Anywhere

Aiji Loganathan, Projectcoordinator Cooperative & Governance

Aiji has always wanted to work at Rabobank, even as a child. What appealed to him was the fact that “Rabobank is a large organization that’s socially involved. That’s a beautiful combination,” he said. It seemed out of reach though, because of the long commute between Roermond and Utrecht. Rabo@Anywhere changed that though. “I can combine the best of both worlds through hybrid work.”

The way Aiji walks around the Utrecht office is so laidback that it looks like he spends every day here, even though his first day was only six months ago and he works from home a lot. We ask what exactly it is he does. He explains, “I’m a project coordinator for the Cooperative & Governance department. Rabobank is a cooperative, which means we don’t have shareholders but members. Our members determine the course of the bank through different levels of member councils, the Supervisory Board, and the General Members Council (GMC). The department I work for is responsible for everything having to do with that. We oversee the planning and coordination of the GMC council and its meetings. We also support the members of the member councils and the Supervisory Board where necessary.”

Aiji tells us that he came to the office by train today for the photo shoot and the interview. “It’s always a big undertaking. My commute to and from Utrecht takes four hours, and that’s just too long to do on a daily basis in my opinion. If I wasn’t able to work from home, I would not be working here now, no matter how much I love it. For me it is ideal that Rabobank has embraced hybrid work since the pandemic, and made it so easy.”

I can combine living in the provinces with working in the Randstad thanks to hybrid work.
Aiji Loganathan

The Best of Two Worlds

When I heard that Rabobank had been encouraging hybrid work since the pandemic, I got really excited. I had always thought that I would never be able work for Rabobank since I live in Roermond, unless of course I took a job at a local Rabobank. I didn’t want to have a daily commute or move to the Randstad. I am deeply connected to my town, you see. I told my wife on our first date, ‘I’m never leaving Roermond.’ So yeah, you can imagine I’m not going to move away for a job.”

Aiji tells us what he likes so much about Roermond: “I love how it feels like a village even though it’s a mid-sized town. It has a population of 60,000 people and everyone knows each other’s faces. I’m also really involved in local politics—I’ve been a member of the municipal council since 2018 and vice chairman of the largest political party since 2022. My parents and my friends live in Roermond, so this is my world. But thanks to Rabo@Anywhere, I don’t have to give that up to also have a challenging job at Rabobank. It’s the perfect combination for me.”

The Remote Job of My Dreams

“I have always wanted to work at Rabobank, because of the Mini Olympics it organized in the neighborhood I grew up in. The social and cooperative side of the organization is really important to me. There is a lot of poverty in the neighborhood I grew up in. Living at subsistence level or just above it was normal for me. Rabobank sponsored everything for the kids there. We still do that sort of thing, for example through Rabo Clubsupport. And helping people lead a financially healthy life is also an important strategic pillar for the bank. I love the fact that Rabobank is more than a bank; it is really at the heart of the community. That support is really invaluable in some neighborhoods.”

“I still live in the neighborhood I grew up in, and as a member of the municipal council I do whatever I can to help develop the area. I recently bought a house there. It makes me proud to be able to set a good example for the children who are growing up there now: even if you’re from that part of town, you can go into politics and get a job at a bank.”

“It’s also really appealing to me that I can have a career at Rabobank and continue to grow. My parents used to always tell me that I would have to go the extra mile, maybe even an extra two miles. When you’re from a bad part of town, you have to work harder to be seen. I worked hard to get where I am today, and I’m nowhere near done yet. It’s so wonderful that I can have the opportunity to take this step at Rabobank thanks to hybrid work. And it’s not just me, but also so many others from provincial towns.”

Hybrid working in practice

“During the six months I have been working here, I have talked to many people and not one of them works full-time in the office. Everything is set up so that you can easily do your work remotely. You get a nice home office with a monitor, a chair and a desk. And in consultation with your team, you can pick your own working hours. Usually these are regular hours, but sometimes it is more convenient to shift. That way I can combine it well, for example, with work for the municipal council. I can compensate any lost hours some other time during the week.”

“For me, there are fewer distractions at home than in the office anyway, and I work much more efficiently. I think that’s true for a lot of people. It’s so much better for your work-life balance. It saves me travel time, of course, and I can decide how to organize my time myself. As a result, I experience a lot of peace and quiet. At the office you chat here and there, you go for coffee, you have lunch with colleagues, you chitchat. Don’t get me wrong, that’s important to me, but it doesn’t have to be every day.”

Connecting with Colleagues

The social side of things remains a big challenge for working from home, according to Aiji. “When you work from home, it’s easier to feel isolated. Luckily, Rabobank does an awful lot to encourage social contact and connections with colleagues. Once every two weeks we have a team day in one of the RaboHouses, our office. And when you’re working from home you can join in on ‘coffee calls.’ If you’re working remotely, there is always somebody online who can be your sparring partner on Teams. Offices throughout the country are being transformed into RaboHouses to facilitate working together, learning together, and meeting up.”

Rabobank does whatever it can to facilitate hybrid work. Even renovating its offices.
Aiji Loganathan

“I wouldn’t like to be working by myself all the time. I’m an extrovert so I like to be around people. But doing things digitally is so easy that it’s too easy sometimes. Not so long ago I was working in the office and I nearly sent an e-mail to somebody who was in the same room as me!” Aiji laughs when he recalls this experience, adding, “When I realized what I was doing, I thought, ‘what are you doing?’ I got up and walked over to her then. That type of spontaneous interaction makes work so much more fun. Only working remotely would not be a good fit for me, but the balance I’ve found at Rabobank is perfect.”

Find your job at Rabobank