Families, no matter which constellation you may think of, are the heart of society at large. Every year on May 15th, the International Day of the Family is held as an official United Nations Day of Remembrance. Its purpose is to reaffirm the importance of families and awareness of family support. Also, A1 is aware of the impact of a stable work-family-life-balance and thus provides a variety of initiatives designed for (becoming) parents and families. Listen to our colleagues who present their favorite ones.

With more than 19,000 people, the A1 Team has just as many families in the background. The needs to balance private and working life differ in different life stages so the initiatives, programs and options that A1 provides to support its employees are various. Many companies offer childcare, either occasionally or on a daily basis, flexible working time during pregnancy or when returning back to work again, special trainings and guidelines on how to handle challenging situations, like home schooling in Corona times or taking care for parents or even the possibility to take a sabbatical leave.

»Good work-family life balance is the key to higher employee engagement & happiness at work, higher productivity, excellent results & greater satisfaction.«

Some of our markets, like Slovenia and Serbia have been awarded as “Family friendly” among the first companies in their countries and A1 Croatia and A1 Macedonia hold the MAMFORCE certificate of excellence in facilitating work-life balance.

Join a personal journey and meet Saša, Nataša, Johanna, Bogdan, Sibina and Davor, who tell us about some family initiatives and why they are important to them.

Employees in A1 Slovenia are among other benefits credited with up to 5 days per year of additional paid absence for important personal reasons. Nataša Pilipovič, Expert in Purchasing, explains the advantages in her situation:

»I’m grateful to have A1 Slovenia as my employer which provides flexible hours despite working agreements during pregnancy to have regular meetings with my doctor. So I am able to combine both my duties for work with the responsibility for my baby. Also the option to choose for three months after maternity leave whether to take morning shifts or work only 4 hours per day while getting full salary paid, gives me confidence for a great start back at work.«

A1 Bulgaria also has a broad range of initiatives. Among the popular family outdoor events and health care program, 12 years ago it started its own kindergarten “Funky Monkey” with the aim to fulfill the high expectations of parents. About 70 kids visit the kindergarten, located in the HQ campus, thus saving parents’ time from commuting by leaving their young children within meters of their workplace. This benefit aims to help preferably those colleagues, who return to work before the end of their maternity or paternity leave. The kindergarten teachers have gained the trust of the parents, like Bogdan Chukov, Testing and After Sales Support Expert, who happily shares his experience:

»Now during the lockdown when I spend all day with my son I understand the things he already knows and does. I am really impressed with his English language knowledge – he uses words very clearly and correctly. In the extremely rare times, we have to go out, I see how many social skills he has acquired. In a great extend I attribute his progress and these visible results to the work of the teachers at “Funky Monkey”. I very much hope that things go back to normal soon and that he can visit the kindergarten again.«

A1 Macedonia introduced the program Flying nannies in January 2020. More than 100 A1 kids aged between 6 – 14 had the chance to spend their free time learning new skills for a week during winter holidays at A1 Makedonia’s HQ with trained educators. Sibina Prokopovska, Puchasing Expert, had both children attending the programs, and has only best words for the initiative:

»I am so happy to have had my kids included in this really amazing project. Both kids were part of it, in the kindergarten and in the digital academy. As a parent, I want to see them safe and spending their time productively. They took part in activities and games, they socialized, learnt how to work in a team and acquired new skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.«

With the idea that our workspace can be our second home, Vip mobile developed an open corporate culture also to support business and private situations. One of the benefits are additional 5 days of paid leave for the childbirth for Vip fathers, besides 5 days that are given by law. Our colleague Saša Milošev, IT billing and Charging Team Manager, explains how important that was in his case.

»The day little Lenka was born and me becoming a dad changed my life. Being a parent is a completely new role in life that brings along many pleasures, but also new obligations, and only than I realized how important every moment spent with my family is. And we did have a lot of wonderful moments during those 5 additional days of paid leave for new Vip dads, which is one of the beautiful Family Friendly initiatives that Vip made possible for its employees.«

The program »parental leave @ A1« at A1 Austria has established a voluntary package designed for returning parents. One of the initiatives is the so-call »Family Canvas« Seminar. By now, it took place three times and addresses topics concerning self-reflection and focus on individual strengths. Johanna Wiener, Learning & Development Expert, took part in this seminar.

»A successful return to work after parental leave should not be left to chance, hence this course was the ideal preparation for me. I became aware that changed priorities in life and a successful career are not mutually exclusive and I was able to compile a helpful action plan to support my transition from parental leave back to my job life.«

A1 Croatia has been one of the most desirable employers in Croatia for years, thanks to continuous efforts to develop benefits and initiatives for its employees, like the Flexerica program, allowing working flexibility in location and time. Another popular benefit is a kindergarten for employees’ children incorporated in the company’s office complex. Since its beginning ten years ago, more than 400 employee children have attended. Employees recognize the benefit of being able to visit their kids during working hours and to organize their lives. So does Davor Keleković, Business Customer Support Team Leader:

»Usually I enjoy the quality time with my son in the morning to bring him to kindergarten and of course home again. Both of us are looking forward to its reopening after Corona so my son can see his friends. Meanwhile we use digital channels and video calls to hang out with friends.«