Pausing for a moment, reading a book in peace, traveling across Europe, dedicating oneself to a project or volunteering full-time – this is the dream of many employees. At Univention, this dream has come true, because for the past two years, employees have had the opportunity to take time out in the form of a “sabbatical”. In this interview, Andreas talks about how he managed to establish this offer, why the topic is so important to him, and how he spent his sabbatical.
What made you decide to take a sabbatical?
Actually, I had been dreaming of seeing many different places and trying new hobbies for quite some time. I had already accumulated a few books on travel destinations, personal development, drawing and painting, but I never had the time to read them. At work, my tasks kept increasing, the expectations grew, the stress increased, and the direction became more and more unclear. The proverbial hamster wheel was spinning faster and faster. A weekend was no longer enough to recharge my batteries, and a vacation was no longer relaxing. Then my gut told me that I could do things differently. This was a good time for me to make my dream come true and take a sabbatical. Take a break, slow down, read more books, get out in nature more often and travel around Europe.
How did you organize your sabbatical at Univention?
First of all, I remember that the possibility of a sabbatical was not yet available and that there was a lot to coordinate. I first approached Carina, my colleague in the HR department, to discuss the matter. A few weeks later, a general agreement was reached for all employees. I was really surprised that it went so easily and quickly. I was able to clarify the next steps with Jörg, my department head, and plan them with my team. I am grateful to my colleagues for their understanding in taking over my tasks. I was able to successfully complete some projects before I left. Upon my return, I also thanked Peter, our managing director, and he replied rather sheepishly that it was an experiment after all. A successful one, I think.