As a relatively new employee, Daniel Reinert was surprised how accepting his manager was at the idea of him taking a leave of absence for two months.
After working at NIRAS for just a year, civil engineer and project manager Daniel Reinert approached his manager with a request to take a leave of absence to go to Spain with his family to learn Spanish.
Daniel anticipated that his request would be met with resistance and was prepared to argue for his case, but his manager, Lene Holst Kjærgaard, surprised him by agreeing without hesitation. “She simply said, ’That’s fine,’” says Daniel Reinert.
Daniel’s manager, Lene Holst Kjærgaard corroborates this, noting that the department has had several employees take leaves of absence with positive outcomes.
“When employees approach me with such requests, they often prepare a long speech to try to convince me. But as Daniel says, I’m always quick to approve these requests and feel happy for the colleague's adventure,” says Lene.
“I admit I go through an inner emotional rollercoaster, but eventually, I think ‘How nice it is that our colleagues throw themselves into adventures and return inspired.’”
“I like that it was hassle-free to take a leave of absence. As employees, we are expected to be flexible and work late or during weekend when times are busy. That is why it means a lot when the company shows flexibility the other way around."
Worth investing in personal growth and well-being
Daniel's decision to take a leave of absence allowed him to spend quality time with his family and immerse himself in a new language and culture, experiencing more than a typical holiday.
“It was truly an amazing experience. I’m glad I did it,” he says. “Taking a leave of absence may seem daunting, but I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to invest in their personal growth and well-being. It’s not only a change to learn new things and have new experiences, but also an opportunity for your colleagues to grow and develop their skills.”
The idea of going to Spain had been brewing for some time for Daniel, and it started with his daughter's interest to learn Spanish in school, which led to their two-month stay in Oviedo, a city in the Asturias region of north-western Spain.
Back in Denmark, Daniel’s colleagues took care of the projects he had been working on. One co-worker, who did not have a ton of practical experience with bigger projects, got the chance to gain invaluable training – with a thorough introduction from Daniel, of course.