Therese’s sabbatical: Change of plans

 

Whether checking things off their bucket list or their ever-growing to-do list, our sabbatical program is one of our most valued benefits. First introduced in 2014, this unique benefit offers employees with six years of service, four weeks paid time off in addition to vacation days.

2020 was the first year when employees who took their first sabbatical in 2014 were eligible to take their second one.

Therese and her family live in Sweden and had always talked about taking a road trip across the U.S. during her sabbatical in the summer of 2020. But after her mother passed away unexpectedly, Therese made a conscious decision to prioritize family and spend the entire sabbatical with them. 

The family rented a villa in the south of Spain and invited Therese’s father, mother-in-law, her son’s girlfriend and her niece to join them on their Mediterranean getaway. But COVID-19 forced them to change their plans again. And while plans had to change, their focus on family did not.

“We realized that we could still spend time with our loved ones, just not all at once,” Therese says.

So, the family got their road trip after all, but this time across their home country.

“We spent the first week in Öland, an island in the southern part of Sweden, with my four children, my two brothers and their families. During the second week we headed to Nyköping, a small town 100 km south of Stockholm, where we spent time with my mother-in-law and my husband’s family,” she says.

In fact, the family loved the area so much that they bought a summer house there, near the sea.

“We had been talking about getting a summer house for a while now, and between losing my mom and then the pandemic we decided to stop postponing it and just went for it! We now have a place where our families can come together and create new traditions and memories for years to come,” she says.

For the third week of the sabbatical, the family headed to the west coast of the country for a week of ice-hockey—“the thing our children love the most,” says Therese—before spending the fourth and final week of the sabbatical back in their hometown of Stockholm with Therese’s father.

“Although not what we had originally planned, my sabbatical turned out better than I could have imagined. Despite the challenges, we had everything we had hoped: time with our loved ones. And as an added bonus, we get to invite all our families to the new summer house next year!”

Therese, EU Regional HR Lead, Stockholm, Sweden